At first, you think, that proves it. If cell phones can make popcorn kernels pop, the claims that cell phones cause brain tumors must be true (read here for nonspin background on this possibility). The industry denials, the video seems to confirm, are just spin.
But then you go to Snopes, the site that debunks urban legends, and you read that, instead of this video being a debunk of cell phone industry spin, it is actually more spin layered on top of spin, but this time by the cell phone headset industry. Specifically, according to Snopes, this video was made by Cardo Systems, Inc, who make bluetooth headsets.
Indeed, though the cell phone industry does not want us to think that keeping a cell phone near our heads is dangerous, the cell phone headset industry does. They want to convince you to keep your phone away from your head by purchasing their products.
(You can watch a CNN report of how the video was made by dropping popped corn into the shot and then photoshopping out the unpopped kernels here.)
Now listen, I'm not keeping a cellphone near my head for hours and I don't let Isabella put one near her head at all. Spin or not, my brain was not made to be microwaved. But that's not the point.
The point is, with all the lies and counter-lies, how is anyone supposed to make informed consumer choices about so-called "green products?" This is one reason why my first-order strategy, when it comes to environmental living, is not consume differently.
Unless, a company has gone the extra mile and I am quite convinced I can trust it (Dr. Bronners is an example), my strategy is just plain consume less.
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.