Simple E-Waste Disagreement Dialogue

'I’m afraid.'

'That’s nothing to be ashamed of,' Major Major counseled him kindly. 'We’re all afraid.'

'I’m not ashamed,’ Yossarian said. ‘I’m just afraid.'

I'm not ashamed of techies in the developing world, but I'm kind of afraid of BAN.  Not that they have bad intentions.  During the past 4 years, while debating and defending the potential for fair trade in the "e-waste" export market, I have repeatedly been caught in a kind of Clevinger's Trial or Catch-22 (that novel by Joseph Heller was my favorite book in 9th grade, and I performed in Clevinger's Trial as the Colonel at Fayetteville High School).

Catch-33, the "ewaste" dialogue, is not as funny.

Robin:  We have visited and audited the reuse end market, and we have complete assurance that the WR3A partner is repairing 90% and the 10% they cannot repair is being completely recycled in a glass-to-glass manner.  Any parts replaced or upgraded are properly recycled, the same as when they had incidental breakage as an original equipment manufacturer.

Sarah:  You say that.  But we don't know that.  You won't submit any data, or let us audit you.  How can we know this is a good arrangement?

Robin:  Well, if I provide you with all of the data, and prove what I just said, will you accept us as a non-polluter, Pledge Signer, or E-Steward?

Jim:  No.  Because even if you have a proper recycling facility in a non-OECD country, we disagree with your interpretation of Basel Convention Annex IX, and do not like the fact that your importing country agreed with you.  We would prefer to see the equipment tested and working before its exported, or all non-working parts removed.

Robin:  So, if I provide the audit to Sarah, and demonstrate that no pollution results, you will protest to the host government and try to have the fair trade recycling factory shut down?

Jim:  Yes.
RobinAnd if I do not provide the information to Sarah, she will cast doubt that we have a properly audited, fair trade recycling arrangement?  She will maintain that we may be shipping to a primitive, wire-burning operation?

Sarah:  Yes.

Robin:  So if I do provide it...

Jim:  Damned if you do.

Robin And if I do not provide it...

Sarah:  Damned if you don't.
More from my favorite Joseph Heller novel....
"I didn't say to Yossarian that you cant punish me."
"When didn't you say that"
"Last night, sir"
"Is that the only time you didn't say it?"
"What do you mean, sir?"
"Goddamnit! Now you're asking me questions again!"
"I didn't understand your question sir"
"When didn't you tell Yossarian we couldn't punish you?"
"*sigh* I always didn't tell Yossarian you couldn't punish me."
"Thats very good, Clevinger, even though it is a barefaced lie..."
"I told Yossarain that..."
"I understand, sir."
"Now, where were we?..Read me back the last line."
" 'Read me back the last line,' " read back the corporal who could take shorthand.
"Not MY last line, stupid!" The colonel shouted. "Somebody else's."
" 'Read me back the last line,' " read back the corporal.
"That's my last line again!" shrieked the colonel, turning purple with anger.
"Oh, no, sir," corrected the corporal. "That's my last line. I read it to you just a moment ago. Don't you remember, sir? It was only a moment ago."
"...Oh, my God! ...Read me back his last line, stupid. Say, what the hell's your name, anyway?"  
"Popinjay, sir."

"Well, you're next, Popinjay. As soon as this trial ends, your trial begins. Get it?"

"Yes, sir. What will he be charged with?"

"What the hell difference does that make? Did you hear what he asked me? You're going to learn, Popinjay - the minute we finish with Clevinger you're going to learn. Cadet Clevinger, what did - You are Cadet Clevinger, aren't you, and not Popinjay?"

"Yes, sir."

"Good. What did-"

"I'm Popinjay, sir."

"Popinjay. Is your father a millionaire, or a member of the Senate?"

"No, sir."

"Then you're up shit creek, Popinjay, without a paddle.He's not a general or a high-ranking member of the Administration, is he?"

"No, sir."

"That's good. What does your father do?"

"He's dead, sir."

"That's very good. You really are up the creek, Popinjay. Is Popinjay really your name? Just what the hell kind of name is Popinjay, anyway? I don't like it."

"It's Popinjay''s name, sir," Lieutenant Scheisskopf explained.

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