Category Archives: Everybody Panic

Responding to Media Matters

Apparently the folks at Media Matters didn’t care for my July 12 article in the Daily Caller debunking the cell phone cancer scare.

The trouble is, I’m not quite sure why. They never say. Jamison Foser’s blog post doesn’t touch a single argument I made in the article. Instead he attacks me personally, as well as CEI. For all I know, he agrees with everything I said. Or maybe he disagrees. I don’t know.

His main point is that corporate funding makes arguments untrustworthy. Since CEI receives some corporate funding, we are therefore suspicious. This is not a rigorous line of thought. Arguments are either right or wrong. The presence or absence of corporate funding has nothing to do with whether an argument is right or wrong.

There is also the matter of Media Matters’ own very generous corporate donors, which Foser does not address.

Media Matters’ fixation on corporate funding is an easy way for them to avoid genuine intellectual engagement. It is a diversion. If you are unable to attack the argument, then attack the person making it.

This ad hominem attack deserves a rebuttal. The Daily Caller was kind enough to run mine this morning. I hope you will take a few minutes to read it.

Cell Phones Don’t Cause Cancer

Over at the Daily Caller, I debunk the fear that long-term cell phone use can cause brain tumors. San Francisco and Maine already have warning label regulations on the books. Rep. Dennis Kucinich has introduced federal warning label legislation. Here are the main reasons they’re wasting their time:

-Activists promoting the scare only ever mention brain tumors. But you hold your cell phone in your hand. You hold it next to your ear and your jaw. Why no mention of those cancers? Suspicious.

-Most phones only emit one watt of energy. The human body generates about a hundred times that much energy during normal, everyday activity. Adding a single watt to that baseline does nothing to contribute to the DNA damage that can lead to tumor growth.

-Cell phone photons are so weak, they fall short of DNA-damaging energy levels by about a factor of 500,000. So you might have something to worry about if you strapped half a million cell phones to your body. That would be getting crushed to death, not cancer. Phones don’t operate at cancer-causing frequencies.

Does March Madness Really Hurt the Economy?

An annual study claims that the NCAA’s basketball championship tournament makes workers less productive. The illicit temptations of filling out brackets and watching games instead of working will cost the economy about $1.8 billion this year.  Over at the Daily Caller, I show why that’s (mostly) a myth.

Regulation of the Day 96: Health Warnings on Cell Phones

The state of Maine and the city of San Francisco are considering requiring warning labels for cell phones.

Perhaps some warning labels are in order. After all, few things are more annoying than people SPEAKING AS LOUDLY AS POSSIBLE INTO THEIR PHONE ABOUT WHAT’S FOR DINNER when a normal tone of voice will do.

But these warning labels have nothing to do with letting people know that their phones can make them look like jackasses.

No, the labels warn the credulous that their phones emit electromagnetic radiation. Otherwise known as light waves. Some people believe that this causes brain cancer.

Brain atrophy, maybe. But cancer? Most studies have found no correlation, let alone causation.

Something else to consider: the demographic group far and away most prone to brain cancer is also far and away the least likely to use cell phones – the elderly.

Hmm.