Posted on Science Alert.
The US Green Party just officially nominated Jill Stein as its presidential candidate, and to mark the occasion, the internet dug up a YouTube video from earlier this year that has her casting some serious shade on basic technology when it comes to kids.
In the video below, Stein not only denounces the move towards giving every child access to a computer at school, but also says, “We should not be subjecting kids’ brains” to wi-fi.
As a Harvard-educated physician, Stein should know better than to freak people out with conspiracy theories that have no basis in science, especially when it comes to their kids.
As we discussed last year when a French woman made history by being the first person ever to be awarded compensation for being “allergic to wi-fi”, despite multiple peer-reviewed studies and reviews investigating claims of wi-fi allergy – known as electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) – there’s no evidence that the condition actually exists.
While people can actually experience symptoms such as persistent headaches, nausea, mental fog, and dizziness when exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMF), researchers have overwhelmingly put this down to something known as thepsychogenic phenomenon, or the ‘nocebo effect’.
Basically, the idea is that if people can convince themselves that something is making them sick, the anxiety that creates can actually make them feel physically ill. Think Chuck on Better Call Saul.
“The majority of studies indicate that EHS individuals cannot detect EMF exposure any more accurately than non-EHS individuals,” the World Health Organisation (WHO) has concluded. “Well controlled and conducted double-blind studies have shown that symptoms were not correlated with EMF exposure.”
Researchers have observed a similar phenomenon in people who convince themselves that wind farms are making them sick.
“It’s a psychological phenomenon,” William Barr, a neuropsychologist from the New York University School of Medicine, told CBS news last year. “[Sufferers] essentially establish a belief that something has the potential to cause a symptom, and then when they come in contact with the cause they develop those symptoms.”
With Trump declaring this week that he wants to “save the coal industry”, the Greens can angle themselves as the option for the environmentally conscious, but you don’t get to cherry-pick when it comes to scientific evidence.