A dozen activists of the environmental movement Extinction Rebellion (XR) briefly blocked the Proximus store located at the foot of the tower of the telecommunications operator, boulevard Roi Albert II in Brussels, Belgium.
“We are opposed to the large-scale deployment of the 5G mobile telephone network, in which Proximus is one of the main players,” commented Cédric, spokesperson for the activists. “There is, first of all, an ecological reason to fight this deployment”, he explained. “Data traffic and digital energy consumption are already responsible for 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions. With 5G, this energy consumption and the resulting effects will double, which is unacceptable while we are currently fighting against global warming.”
Building and connecting all the devices needed for the 5G network will require mining even more of the already rare metals, which will lead to increased looting of planetary resources, the activists added.
In addition, “the damage from 5G on health, the environment and small animals, already vulnerable to other types of pollution, is not yet clear”, according to the spokesperson for the group. Finally, “this technology also poses a threat to our democracy, with the launch of a gigantic arsenal of surveillance. The so-called advantages of 5G do not outweigh the dangers it entails, certainly when compared to the 4G network, which is already efficient enough,” concluded the activist.
Streaming with wireless results in higher greenhouse gas emissions compared to safer, faster, and more secure corded/wired fiber-optic connections. Numerous reports have documented the exponentially increased energy consumption of 5G, 4G densification and the billions of new wireless devices for the Internet of Things (IOT). While there may be improvements in energy efficiency for new devices individually, these gains are completely lost in the increases in total demand that will take place with the proliferation of games, videos, other streaming services, and the continued generation of highly addictive apps.
In nearby France, actions against 5G also have continued. The “Extinction Rebellion Orléans” collective in France has mounted actions posting anti-5G posters on Sunday, March 14 in the center of the city as part of an international mobilization campaign against the deployment of this technology.