BAN NGO Threats Lawsuit vs. Vermont #ewaste Blogger

BAN:  Worst NGO in the world?
"Robin— this conversation is about one thing: removing the false and misleading information from your website.   It is my hope that you will agree to remove this libel and not attempt to “trade” its removal for any other action.

This is our final request.  Should you fail to remove this libelous information about our fees from your website immediately, the next communication you will receive on the subject will be from our attorneys. 

Please advise."

Ok, here's my advice.

BAN objected to my calculation of their fees for licensing "E-Stewards" Recycling.  My number was within 1%, not a glaring error like "80% bad exports" when the fact is "85% good exports".  This time, happily, BAN provided the real numbers, so I was happy to remove what I'd been told second-hand.

It's good to see BAN become such a stickler for correct percentages.  Boycott E-Stewards?  As I said yesterday, I wouldn't go that far... they are all good companies, even if the alternatives are not anywhere as bad as they say.  But here is my case for why Basel Action Network needs people like me to do them favors like this... Tough love from a fellow environmentalist.

First, let's be clear.  You wouldn't be suing me for saying that overseas refurbishing factories were ruined without evidence, or that the African dumps were not filled with imported material, or that you have a monetary incentive to recommend one company over a company that has the exact same (R2) system and markets. You won't sue me for mis-representing Basel Annex IX.  Of course not, 90% (a statistic I just made up) of what I write is true, which is a pretty decent defense.

You are threatening to sue me based on a decimal point, a percentage, somewhere between 0% and 2%.  You, who said that dirty Africans primitively burn 80% of the computers they buy, that they are waste tourists and criminals... You want to sue me over, plus or minus, a decimal point.  Hmmm. FY SUE ME?  No.  You should hire me.

Yesterday's post wasn't even about the exact amount or percentage of profits E-Steward companies pay BAN, in return for BAN saying bad things about R2 and reuse markets.  It was about BAN's mission conflict, and motives, in prescribing a certification label, before the R2 Label had even been tried out.

Blind watchdogs leading
BAN has now adapted R2, but still criticizes it...  Like a doctor admitting that a generic drug might work, when he doesn't get commission.   They dance about the disclosure that they make hundreds of thousands of dollars from the branded standard their NGO endorses.  But they say the R2 drug isn't guaranteed to work. Then they say it's "hazardous".   Who gives the guarantee?  BAN does... for a price.

Think "doctor getting paid for the prescriptions".
Someone should be getting sued all right... for malpractice.

Is Basel Action Network becoming an expert at percentages, now that their "80% exports" percentage has been totally and completely discredited in every single study?  Or is this about making me quiet?  Guess what.  This is an employee-owned blog.  Bring it on..

In fairness, they did this time send the calculation describing the ongoing payments which certified companies must write to them after a standard is adapted (see bottom).  The top rate was $90,000 per company, per year... $900M in a decade.... which might be 1.13% of their gross profit, if their profit was 10%. This is lawsuit math, not like saying 80% of Africans are primitive wire burners, which apparently west coast white people can agree is "close enough".

BAN will not sue me because I have been telling the truth in this blog.  They don't respond to it, rarely correct it... because  I have been telling the truth.  If you doubted it, then BAN's lame, weak, silly threat should tell you that the elephants and zebras and giraffes in the room are not figments of my environmental zoo.

As for the "exchange" Donald rejected, I had asked whether BAN would withdraw the slanderous and libelous descriptions of semiknockdown factories?  E.g. reopen the California Compromise discussions, where that was a requirement - they had to admit there was no poison, no evidence of toxics, and the factories were not "primitive".  In this email negotiation, I offered to change the 1 percentage difference they threatened to sue me for, but asked would they, similarly, publicly withdraw the claim of 80% bad exports to these factories?

Accuse 'em and Reap
Donald says "this conversation" was not about that.  That's the kind of "conversations" BAN has with people.  They tell YOU what the conversation you are having is about.  That was the jist our overseas partners got during the California Compromise, that BAN was slow to even say they weren't poisoning people, wouldn't begin by acknowledging their right to exist.

As far as I'm concerned, this is about "that".  BAN's prescription for which e-waste recycling company to use is affected by the payola (a company could have the precise same processes under R2 certification, but not be recommended unless I pay them money based on my revenues).  This is also a financial incentive for BAN to say bad things about companies which choose the certification which does not give its income to BAN.  And when the R2 certified companies are overseas, BAN is very clearly calling them polluters, and those overseas companies do not have the legal resources that BAN has.  When BAN wrote to the Indonesian government and claimed knowledge that sea containers were filled with "hazardous waste", and the containers were returned to the USA unopened, and BAN ran a press release saying Indonesians had discovered hazardous waste in their containers, I think it was a major error by our industry not to sue BAN's pants off.

That opportunity has passed.  But now BAN is defaming R2 as a standard, saying it has failed to prohibit exports of hazardous waste.  BAN would have people believe there's no difference between an ISO14001 manufacturing facility in Singapore and the kids burning wire at a landfill... it's that same 83% of the world.

BAN could have said

كافر    (Infidels)
"Many R2 companies have processes which appear credible, and which we could support if we personally verified them.  They were verified by the exact, same auditor as we use, but we personally don't buy that auditor's report unless we see it. And we don't look at it and give it our blessing unless we are paid a percentage of revenues."

No... Instead BAN says the "R2 Standard failed to prohibit exports of hazardous electronic waste to developing countries"  Instead, they threaten to sue a Vermont blogger who has the guts to stand up for his friends overseas.

MALPRACTICE:   BAN basically says "if you use the generic brand, expect hazardous results".  BAN s**tmouths the competition every day.   All the money they raise, as far as I can see, is spent tying people to pictures of poor children.  I never see a dime go out of their organization to buy a single African a laptop.

Bring it on, I got moves
This was not a bad organization ten years ago.  But this payola business model has made them, in my humble opinion, the worst NGO in the world.  This is a negative campaign hit-man, that's all they know how to do, is threaten and accuse and belittle and bully.

Does the E-Steward Label really add value?  Check the factory below, which is approved if they do one thing, for an E-Steward, but a polluter if they do the exact same thing for an R2 company.

BAN approves the exact same factory doing the exact same process in the exact same country when the parent company pays them money.

IT's ok to use a contract manufacturer in Southeast Asia to make your monitors,
IT's ok to send the monitors which are returned under warranty back to same factory,
and yet is is "toxic" and "polluting" for the same factory to buy back the exact same monitors outside of warranty, and do the same thing?
Facility BAN accusation closed down

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ 
Ka-ching.  Proof of payola, proof of corruption.

BAN of course has no evidence of pollution or any toxic releases at all from any of these factories.  But if they did, why shouldn't warranty repair and manufactured goods from these factories also be outlawed?  Good luck getting your $$$ from OEMs like Samsung if you try banning the product MADE in these factories, or ban warranty repair returned to them.

BAN is quick to cry that my blog has done them libel and harm.  Tell that to the children of the people who once had jobs rebuilding affordable computers inside this ISO9000 certified, ISO14001 certified factory.  --

For the record, the e-Steward 2012 marketing and licensing fees are presented below... if profit is 10% of revenue, then the percentage of profit would be the percentage of revenue samples times ten.  So do your own math.

But just to be clear, I'm changing this because I want to tell the truth, all the time... not because I'm afraid of Donald Summers threatened lawsuit.   If he wants to sue this Vermont blogger, here's some red meat.

In my opinion, BAN is the worst NGO in the world.
Go ahead, sue me for that.

Giving Donald Summers something to do with his pro bono work today.  Go after the Americans for a change, sue us in Vermont, stop picking on Indonesians and Africans.  Come after someone in Middlebury, Vermont, who can defend himself, in court, in English.  You can cast our program in Middlebury as an infidel.  Personally, I resepect you, and think you are smarter than this, but should be ashamed of yourself.

Here is BAN's blog, trying to "spin" the UN Report on E-Waste in Africa.


Friday, February 17, 2012 1 Comment
Aside from domestic consumption, the e-waste problem in West Africa is exacerbated by an ongoing stream of used EEE from industrialized countries, much of it labeled for “re-use” but proving to be e-waste, says a new report by the UN.

Uh huh. Sure.  "add to".  Oh, that's what the UN Report was about. Never mind the part about the waste BAN photographed at the dump coming from the African cities, not from the imports.  Never mind that the report found 30,000 electronics repair technicians in Ghana, generating $105 million dollars per year in the economy.  Never mind that the report found 85% reuse of the imports, and a silver lining of value and opportunity to properly recycle the other 15%.    This is what this NGO does for a living.  They belittle and defame people.  And then threaten to sue me over a ONE PERCANTAGE POINT difference in the fee structure to do it.

All right then, I'll go to hell, said Huck Finn.

BAN's 2012 e-Steward Marketing and Licensing Fees (based on GROSS, not profits)

2012 e-Steward marketing & licensing fees
(percent of gross revenue samples)
Gross Revenue
Licensing Fee

$                        1

$         1,000,000
$         2,000,000
$         3,000,000
$         4,000,000
$         5,000,000
$         8,000,000
$       11,000,000
$       14,000,000
$       18,000,000
$       22,000,000
$       26,000,000
$       30,000,000
$       35,000,000
$       40,000,000
$       45,000,000
$       50,000,000
$       55,000,000
$       60,000,000
$       70,000,000
$       80,000,000

Come and get me

Then dump counterfeit Korans all over, everywhere


Anonymous said...

I'll pay your legal fees.

Anonymous said...


I'll pay them too.