Our Web of Inconvenient Truths

November, 2021 newsletter from Katie Singer

After my newspaper showed a man charging his electric vehicle (EV) with a caption that he worries “only about replacing his tires, wiper blades and air filter,” I wrote the following letter to the editor:

When electric vehicle owner Mr. C. worries only about replacing his tires, wiper blades and air filter, I assume he doesn’t know economist Herman Daly’s principles: Don’t take from the Earth faster than it can replenish. Don’t waste faster than the Earth can absorb.

Does Mr. C know about the water taken from farmers to dope his EV’s transistors and process his battery’s lithium? The children maimed and buried alive while mining for his battery’s cobalt? The 10 million+ murders over coltan (extracted for batteries)? Does he know about the pure carbon (such as Tar Sands’ petroleum coke) for smelting silicon for his EV’s transistors? What about n-hexane, swiped on EVs’ circuit boards, which gives swipers leukemia?

Does he know about his vehicle’s fire hazards? Firefighters use 20,000 – 30,000 gallons of water to extinguish an EV fire—and should stand watch over it for 24 hours, since EV batteries can re-ignite, several times. Nationwide, only 10% of firefighters are trained to handle EV fires. A traditional vehicle fire typically extinguishes with 300 gallons of water.

If there’s a forum for discussing these issues (this letter doesn’t scratch an EV’s surface) with due diligence, and for learning to live with less new, industrially-produced goods (including EVs), I don’t know about it.

While marketers greenwash the fossil fuels, extractions, toxic waste and worker hazards involved in manufacturing EVs—and the roads, chargers and power plants required to operate them—by calling these vehicles “sustainable,” “net-zero emitters,” they perpetuate the illusion that consumptive living can continue.

Mr. C. might not worry. I sure do.

For more info about EV hazards, read

Katie Singer and Dene Nation Elder Francois Paulette will speak at the NOVA Institute’s 10th annual InVivo conference on Planetary Health. In “Connect the Dots: there is no net zero,” Katie will describe the real environmental cost of electronic devices and telecom infrastructures, Wednesday December 1rst.

NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence has just published Tom Troszak’s paper, “The hidden costs of solar photovoltaic power.” It explains the fossil fuels and energy-intensive processes involved in manufacturing solar-grade silicon for solar panels. To make electronic-grade silicon for computers’ transistors, the process is slightly more complicated.

For more info about the hazards of solar PVs, including their PFA coating (yikes!):

Do you use free or proprietary software? Why does MIT Prof. Richard Stallman not use a cellphone? Are you allowed to repair your electronic devices? To learn answers to these questions, watch “Hacking for the Commons,” Phillippe Borrell’s documentary. While this film presents the problems that come from making a few people wealthy (via software)…and failing to provide for the common good, we still need due diligence that protects the Earth from new extractions, new manufacturing, new waste. How do we protect the Earth as we manufacture new tech, including “free” software?

Miguel Coma’s new article, Is the WHO impaired by electro-smog? a commentary on regulating 5G radiation, was published by Wall Street International Magazine, November 23, 2021.
All of Katie Singer and Miguel Coma’s reports about tech’s impacts on nature are available at



  • Lawsuit against Microsoft and Huawei 

Muammer Karabulut, who lives in Antalya, has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft and Huawei with the claim that human health is compromised due to 5G technology studies. Links are more at The first lawsuit against 5G Technology  has been filed in Antalya, Turkey.


  • 2019: 4th Case in Italy on Health Impacts

A worker is compensated for tumors linked to cell phone radiation.  In January 2019, a Court in Monza recognized an occupational disease in a former airport employee, who developed acoustic neuroma and was left permanently incapacitated.

Read BC Legal  “Italian Workers’ Compensation Authority (INAIL) Ordered to Pay Out to 4th Mobile Phone User with Cancer” “Throughout his 10-year employment period, he alleged more than 4 hours (sessions of up to 45 minutes consecutively) of daily use of a Siemens DECT phone, a Nokia and later a Samsung mobile. The CTU, a collaboration of experts and technical advisers assigned to evaluate the case, concluded that the development of the claimant’s left auditory nerve neuroma was related to his work, harking back to the Hardell study.”

  • 2017: The Italian Court of Ivrea ruling

The ruling recognizes a causal link between cellphone use and a brain tumor. Italian court recognized a causal link in an April 11, 2017 ruling which awarded a Telecom employee, Roberto Romeo, lifetime damages of 500 euros a month after he developed a brain tumor from 15 years of cellphone use.

  • 2012 Italian Supreme Court Ruling: Man’s brain tumor was caused by his cell phone use. 

The National Institute for Workmen’s Compensation must compensate a worker with head tumor due to cell use. Innocente Marcolini, a 60-year-old retired businessman argued that the excessive use of his mobile phone for around six hours every day for 12 years caused a benign brain tumor that left his face partially paralyzed.


In India, there are cases pending in the Supreme Court but hearings have not been set.

  • Simarjeet Singh v. State of Punjab and others: A case involving cell antennas where a March 2, 2021 ruling resulted in towers being removed “This order is being passed in view of the fact that installation of towers in a haphazard manner may endanger lives and property of the people and would violate their rights under Article 21 of the Constitution.” Source: Environmental Health Trust