The Uglification of Planet Earth

One of the worst things about wireless technologies—other than health effects and species decline—is how very ugly they are.  In the U.S., the FCC may have banned anyone from objecting to wireless technology on health or environmental grounds, but what about aesthetic grounds?  The world is, or ought to be, a very beautiful place. And wireless technology is exceedingly ugly.

I used to live in Athens, and I hated the rooftops bristling with ugly TV antennas.  Little did I know how much worse things were going to become. I could almost wish for the TV antennas back, if that was the worst of it.  Satellite dishes were even uglier, and then along came the mobile phone.

Suddenly, it wasn’t just towns and cities that were ugly.  Cell towers invaded the countryside, and pristine landscapes were spoilt by these hideous metal structures that stood up on the tops of hills and ruined the view.  At first there were only a few of them.  You could look somewhere else for a view.  Now, no matter which direction I look in, there is always a cell tower somewhere.  Worse, there are often groups of cell towers, or “antenna parks” as they are euphemistically called. “Death parks” would be more like it, since they kill both the nearby wildlife—birds and insects especially—as well as the human beings who are unfortunate enough to live nearby.

So there are no views anymore that aren’t marred in some way by having a cell tower somewhere within your field of vision.  Forget the pristine green countryside, the azure seas, the birdsong, the multicolored flowers, the insects humming peacefully.  Most people don’t seem to notice views anyway, because they spend their time staring at their smartphones. This is a holiday island, but the tourists don’t seem to look at it. Sometimes I wonder why anyone pays the money to come since they aren’t really here at all; they’re too busy “staying connected” to the places and people they left behind.

A couple of years ago, a friend was visiting from London. We took him to some of the island’s beauty spots, along routes with spectacular scenery, but we needn’t have bothered.  He didn’t even look out the car window because he was too busy looking at his smartphone and reeling off facts and figures about the villages we were going to.  He’d arrive knowing which restaurant got the best recommendations (as if we didn’t know which taverna served the best food) but he’d seen nothing along the way.

Towns and cities are even uglier than they used to be, modern architecture aside. City rooftops bristle with antennas, and the telephone office in small towns hosts a cell tower, satellite dishes and booster masts that can often be seen from miles away. For the past several years, our island has been upgrading its communications technology, digging up every street in towns and villages to lay fiber optic cable.  Now ugly two-doored metal boxes like large, pale grey filing cabinets are now stuck in unlikely places, right outside of churches and traditional stone houses. Is this progress? With these boxes has come public Wi-Fi, and I suspect they will be used for 5G in the near future.

If 4G is ugly, think how ugly the world will be when we get 5G.  As if cell towers weren’t hideous enough, now lamp posts and utility poles everywhere will carry ugly boxes called “small cells” (euphemistically known as “street furniture”) that aren’t very small and are guaranteed to make any neighborhood an eyesore.  Worst of all, perhaps, is that even the night skies will offer no escape from this world, for we will be surrounded by low-orbit 5G satellites spinning a web around our earth to trap us here and cut us off from the vastness of the universe.

In many places, city councils are cutting down or severely pollarding mature trees because the vegetation blocks radiation.  We can’t have nature interfering with fast downloads or a “smart” home’s ability to communicate that you’ve just used two watts of power or that you’ve run out of mineral water, can we?  Just get rid of those pesky trees and bushes, who needs them?  Instant communication—be it person to person or machine to machine—trumps every other consideration.

In Greece, nobody bothers to hide wireless communications infrastructure. It’s an aesthetic disaster, but at least you know where the sources of electromagnetic radiation are and can try to avoid them. Elsewhere, efforts are made to hide the ugly infrastructure, and there are actually companies that make it their business to provide fake trees, fake water towers (which aren’t pretty either) and fake clock towers to mask it.* Greek Orthodox churches don’t have steeples, but in other countries, churches allow cell towers to be hidden in steeples (for a fee, of course)—a practice guaranteed to drive away dwindling congregations. Has anyone studied the health effects on the priests who have to work in these churches?

Such is the imperative of wireless technology that South Africa is considering passing a law allowing telecommunications companies to erect a cell tower (or other wireless infrastructure) on anyone’s property without the owner’s permission and without necessarily having to pay the owner for doing so.** Imagine looking out of your front windows to see a cell tower in your yard!  If one country can pass such a law, so can others, because 5G is being rammed through not by popular demand but by governments who are utterly determined to foist this technology on increasingly unwilling populations.  We are all at least partly to blame, however. We should have started protesting a long time ago.

Wireless technology has made our beautiful world a really ugly place. It’s made people ugly, too, because no one who spends his or her life staring at a smartphone is reacting or responding to nature or other human beings. Such a person is a zombie, zombies are the animated dead, and the dead have no use for this world, ugly or beautiful.

Prove you aren’t a zombie. If you own a smartphone, put it down and spend a couple of days observing the world around you. How much more beautiful would your world be without the infrastructure of wireless communications? Those cell towers were put up for you, and for everyone else who owns a wireless device. Stop subscribing, and there will be one less reason to have a cell tower near you. If everyone did it, they’d have to take them down.  Let’s end the uglification of Planet Earth.



The photo accompanying this blog shows beautiful mature trees.  If you want to see some really ugly fake trees hiding cell towers, have a look at

Finally, I’d like to ask everyone who reads this post to please sign the Avaaz petition to stop 5G in Greece by STOP 5G GREECE. Go to

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