The autism, electromagnetic link

To the editor,
Recently, the unprecedented rise in autism has been a hot topic in the news. According to the Centers for Disease Control, it has risen 30 percent in the last two years; doubling every five years. Why?

Electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) emitted by wireless devices can cause breaks in the blood-brain barrier of children due to their thinner, more permeable skulls. Unfortunately, children 0-18 are the most vulnerable victims of this electro-environmental pollution. Worse, fetuses can be exposed to these frequencies in utero via cell phone, wifi, ipads, computers and wireless utility meters (smart meters/AMI).

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which represents 60,000 pediatricians and pediatric surgeons, has written three letters in the last two years, calling for the adoption of the Precautionary Principle by protecting children and pregnant women from radiation emitted by these devices. The AAP also demands that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revise its “inadequate and outdated exposure guidelines and testing protocols” ( In addition, more than 6,000 independent medical/scientific studies support the concerns of the AAP. 

One study by Dr. Dietrich Klinghart, Seattle, compared the sleeping quarters of pregnant mothers of autistic children to those of mothers of children with no neurological impairments. The findings showed the body voltage of the mothers of the autistic group to be 20.7 times higher in microwave density. The common variable was the attachment of a wireless utility meter (Smart Meter/AMI) to the outside wall of their bedrooms. 

According to B. Blake Levitt, a renowned science journalist, “There is no safe time for either strong intense bursts or low-level continuous doses of EMFs during the months of pregnancy.” She prophetically warns, “As consumers living in a time of emerging scientific consensus and an accompanying regulatory vacuum, it is up to 4

us to assume responsibility for reducing EMF exposures. We can only hope that government regulatory agencies will soon assume their proper responsibility for protecting our future generations. But for now, it is up to us.” Do your own research and find out how you can protect your children. Visit: or
– Deb Shisler, Durango

Berman, Dance for clean energy

To the editor,
We live in an energy sacrifice zone, which essentially means we sacrifice our health, water, air and ecosystems to produce energy for other communities. There are many reasons I love living in Southwest Colorado, but that is not one of them. Increasing intensity and frequency of forest fires, pine beetle devastation and decreasing snowpack and water scarcity make it clear we are experiencing the impacts of climate change in addition to suffering the direct impacts of energy extraction.  

Imagine a different future, one where we benefit from the production of clean energy. An estimated 4.7 gigawatts of coal were retired in the U.S. last year. Corporations and communities like ours are realizing there are affordable alternatives that provide greater security without sacrificing jobs, clean air and water, or ecosystems that sustain us.

We are fortunate. We live in a region with abundant solar, wind, geothermal and biomass potential. These resources are nearly infinite in supply and not subject to the boom and bust of global markets. We should be producing clean, safe, economical energy and transform this region from an energy sacrifice zone to an energy advantage zone. 

The good news is we have a powerful voice in our energy future. Rather than purchasing our electricity from an investor-owned utility, we are members of the La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) cooperative. Every year, we elect directors to the board who will represent our interests.

This year, Jeff Berman and Alison Dance are running for Districts 3 and 4 respectively. They believe we should take advantage of our abundant local renewable energy resources to secure clean affordable energy that supports our local economy. Please join me in supporting them to help shape a better energy future for our community. Look for your ballots to arrive around May 2.
– Erika Brown, Durango

Embracing the Peter Pan in us all

To the editor,
In response to Luke Mehall’s April 3rd article, “Calling a Bromatorium,” I submit to the author and to the men and women of Durango the theory that:

a) Peter Pan Syndrome is prevalent in Durango, but that it also affects women, not only men.

b) The Syndrome is directly linked to the story of the land in which we live.

c) The “cure” is linked to the positive aspect of the condition.

I think it’s important to first understand that by definition, Peter Pan is not just a Disney character, but an archetype. First recognized by psychologist Carl Jung, an archetype is a universal, archaic pattern upon which the unique combination of one’s personality is constructed. As such, both men and women may embody this particular mythic story or pattern, which Jung labeled “the Puer Aeturnus.”

The main characteristic of Peter Pan Syndrome is an unwillingness to grow up. This can mean an unwillingness to be in a committed relationship, but it can also manifest in an unwillingness to become one’s more evolved self. With middle age looming on the horizon, I believe that many of us 30-somethings may yearn for the carefree days to last forever, shirking responsibility to others, as well as to ourselves, in the commitment to embrace health and balance in intra and inter-relationship.

Surrender, for a moment, to the idea that we, as a species, are intimately connected to the land in which we live. This landscape, this particular combination of plant and mountain, river and stone, communicates with and imagines through you, in the language of symbol, archetype and myth. (For more on the study of terrapsychology, check out The Animas River may be viewed as the primary artery of Durango. The full name of the river is Rio de las Animas Perdidas, which translates to “River of Lost Souls,” an apt name for a town that houses so many lost and wandering souls.

So the next time someone accuses you of being afflicted with Peter Pan Syndrome, you can say that it’s not your fault. You are simply unconsciously living out one of the embedded stories of your particular locale. You live in Never Never Land, among fellow lost souls. This, however, should not relieve you of the responsibility of accepting and integrating both the positive as well as negative aspects of the archetype. I believe that it is through the journey into the mountains, down the river, up the wall, and into the sometimes treacherous landscape of one’s psyche that one begins to find a deeper sense of self and to know what one truly wants, whether it’s a committed relationship or children, or a particular calling. So I say, keep on wandering – either solo or in the company of other lost boys and girls. Allow yourself to get lost from time to time. And remember that the place in which you live wants to teach and heal you. You need only remain open to the invitations.
– Sarah Rankin, Durango

In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows