Natural Resources Defense Council Weighs In

Today the USA withdrew its last battalion from Iraq.  The death toll for USA troops since the invasion in 2003 is 4,415.

Today Bill Millin passed away.  He was the Brits bagpiper player on D-Day in France, when the allies landed.  The death toll that day is estimated at 4,400 troops - in 24 hours.

Now the last thing I should do in this blog is open a new political front on the USA policy in Iraq (as much as I'd love to, I concentrated in mid-east policy while getting my BA in International Relations / Poli-Sci).

But the math is indisputable.  A life close to you is valued more than a life away, but still.   Seven years in Iraq = 24 hours on Normandy Beach. 

The Natural Resources Defense Council in NY  is a very well respected non-profit environmental organization.  Their reputation is based on a history of carefully considered positions.  When I was recycling director at Massachusetts DEP, and John Tierney wrote "Recycling is Garbage", I tried to respond but NRDC came in with much more gravitas and was heralded as the defender of Recycling.  Thank God.

I am happy NRDC is entering the debate, though they are weighing in solidly with BAN and the E-Stewards campaign.  I am glad because, unlike BAN, NRDC is a very deep organization with its reputation staked on many fronts, and if I can show them they are mistaken about something, I don't think they will just clam up.

Allen Hershkowitz posted a blog this week, firmly planting NRDC's flag with Basel Action Network and their E-Stewards Certification model.   His post is centered on the NYTimes photo show of Ghana's landfill, where poor and poorer people are sadly burning electronics to get the copper out.

  • It is difficult to point out (especially in liberal Vermont) that 24 hours on Normandy Beach is equal to the entire Gulf War II military casualty list. 
  • It is difficult to point out that the CRTs professionally and proudly refurbished (5,000 per day at one factory) in Indonesia dwarf the number burned in Ghana.

My philosophy is that 100 years is a second on the clock, and opinions in the future matter more than popularity contests today.  I challenge and debate because I really don't care how popular it makes me to be sharpened.  I need to be just popular enough to be relevant (and that's a balancing act).   The miracle of being an entrepreneur, owning your own company, being your own boss... It is not a bully pulpit, by any means. 

Tom Friedman should weigh in.  I'm pretty sure he'd understand the fair trade and engagement plan of WR3a.

We have to be right.   Allen can afford, for awhile, to be wrong.  I trust him and his organization.   If he were to attack or go after my company, it could destroy Good Point Recycling and all our investment.   I feel like a lion tamer.  A lion tamer must respect the lions, and understand they are stronger and more deadly, but to understand their nature. 

To carry ahead the "fair trade" debate, I must be honest, I cannot cheat.  My company must be transparent.  If we lie or stray, the lions will eat us alive.

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