Topical issues: nature

Our natural world is under assault from human activity. The trouble is, to recognise damage to nature reveals also the risk to ourselves. ‘Progress’ is in the hands not of individual people, nor their elected representatives and politicians. It is in the hands of the free market, the large corporates who set the direction of our world through creating profit streams however they can. We don’t have to identify this as evil; rather it is almost inevitable. We are persuaded of the benefits of convenience and consumerism, and we are the source of the profits and the stimulant to corporate behaviour and the setters of social trends. What we must do is to observe, to ask questions, and be honest enough with ourselves to recognise that nothing we do is without consequence. If we are custodians of our children’s futures, we must accept individual and joint responsibility for the condition of our planet.


Here are examples of honest concern over EM fields from telecoms affecting wildlife:

  • The Kompetenz initiative writes urgently to bee associations and beekeepers and explains about EM fields and bee colony collapse
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Concerns Over U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Concerns Over Potential Radiation Impacts of Cellular Potential Radiation Impacts of Cellular Communication Towers on Migratory Birds and Communication Towers on Migratory Birds and Other Wildlife Other Wildlife – Research Opportunities Research Opportunities

Tree Damage : Forests dying

(For pictures and German original text, see

Damaged fir (image by F. Ruzicka, 6. June 2005)

‘We will burn them.’ This was the answer of the technicians who were installing new masts on the Feldberg in the Taunus area, when asked whether the trees standing in the way of the emission would not disturb the signal (from Wetter - Boden - Mensch, issue 5, October 2002).

The microwaves of mobile phone masts are not diffused evenly into the surrounding environment. They are directed and the directional aerial is inclined at an angle of 6-8 degrees to the ground. The maximum emission lies between 150 and 200m. But even in the areas of emission there is no evenly decreasing level of radiation, but through reflections etc. so called ‘hot spots’ are created. It is within these areas of concentration that the damage to the trees occurs, as shown in the pictures.

On the contrary, bioindicator plants for various air pollutants, such as spruce (sulphur dioxide), stinging nettle, poplar and trefoil or clover (ozone), show no damage to leaves or needles.

Lerchl at al. (2000) of the University of Münster have irradiated conifers at 383 and 900 MHz with 50W. The plants experienced this as stress. The needles turned brown starting from the top of the plant. The rate of plants that withered and died was significantly increased. The needles have the effect of 1/4 antennae: the loss of needles after only 3 years shows the influence of a pollutant, since the normal time is 8 years.

Research about the quantity of chlorophyll in the leaves of the Robinia Pseudacia has been carried out by Sandu at al. (2005). Three-month-old saplings were irradiated with an EMF of 400MHz with low intensity 1, 2, 3 and 8 hours a day, and compared to plants that had not been irradiated. The chlorophyll content was measured with spectral analysis and the results evaluated statistically. It was found that when exposed to radiation for more than 3 hours a day the relation between the main types of chlorophyll (chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b) decreased logarithmically to the increase of daily exposure (withering of the leaves).

In my garden I could not only observe the withering of the needles and leaves and the dying of the branches, but also an extreme growth of leaves on certain trees, such as Walnut and Gingko Biloba (see picture). On Gingko tree leaves we have observed a 233% increase in size. Normally Gingko leaves have an average diameter of 60mm, here we have had Gingko leaves of 140mm in diameter.

The measurements of 945MHz (GSM 900) were 250µW/m2, at 1864 (GSM 1800) 3,1µW/m, and at 2705MHz (airport radar) 92µW/m2, peak hold 5 minutes.

Scientists of Michigan Technical University (MTU) in Houghton have observed the vegetation of the forests of North Michigan between 1985 and 1994.

They have registered a growth increase of up to 74% in some trees, if they stood in the vicinity of a 90km long radio antenna of the US Marine and therefore had been exposed to a low frequency electromagnetic field.

Students of the Secondary School in Spaichingen have investigated the effects of DECT phones on plants in a Science Project of ‘Jugend Forscht’, a German Youth Research Project (Schwäbische Zeitung, 23 Feb. 2003). The young scientists Markus Keller and Stefan Mattes and their teacher Dr Markus Ziegler have grown plants from seeds, cress and grass. The difference: next to one of the plant trays was a switched-on DECT phone, but not next to the other one. After 4 weeks the plants exposed to the radiation of the phone were 30% longer. ‘Electrosmog promotes plant growth and has a direct effect on the speed of cell division.’ The same experiment was repeated with the same result.

A few weeks earlier, Werner Hengstenberg, an electrosmog specialist and producer of measuring equipment, told of an experiment in which he had exposed plants to radiation from DECT phones. As a result, these plants grew much faster and died much earlier than normally.

Here you can see pictures of my garden before the masts had been activated!