Blunt Apology: E-Waste's Zimmerman, Jonathan Green @MailOnline

Before my Earth Day Apology goes to print, I have to be clear about what started this war between export bans of "e-waste" and fair trade recycling of used electronics.  "Criminals corner e-Scrap market" was the headline which describes the witch-hunt triggered by BAN's fake statistics.  BAN accuses, photographers find poster kids, and police are called in... to ruin reputations and lives of the best damn thing the developing nations have going.

We are still waiting for the outrage over this despicable racist Interpol report, and the horrific reporting (based on press releases) that led up to it.   The Basel Secretariat had already released its detailed, thorough reports showing 85% reuse of electronics imported to Africa, and that the junk being burned in the fields, for the most part, had been discarded after years of use... there was no excuse for this story, this headline, this assumption...  All this racial profiling was completely discredited in a merciless report published a year ago, blogged about here a year ago today.

Recall the 2008 "Blunt Instruments" Blog about the UK Mail Online story by Johnathan Green, which got the most detailed response back from Jim Puckett and the reporter Mr. Green himself.  Read what is said about me ("Robin") by name.   Read Jim's comments (which I did not edit or censor).  Green discloses his connection with BAN... he gets numbers from BAN, and then corresponds with Interpol about enforcing and arresting the African "e-waste" importers.

Now read the Basel Funded Reports from 2011, saying the AFRICAN GEEKS ARE INNOCENT.

SVP:  Don't go "Zimmerman" on black geeks
The "people with ethnic links to the destination countries" described by Interpol below are AFRICANS who "fly and buy", who test the equipment prior to export, and who communicate with the geeks in their home country.
  • People like Wahab.
  • People like Hamdy.
  • People like Miguel.
  • People like Souleymane.
  • People like Mariano.
  • People like Fung.
  • People like Jinex.
  • People like Vicki.
An apology does not mean I don't intend to hire an attorney, perhaps Frederic Fahiri Somda of Burkina Faso, to file a defamation lawsuit.  The accusation of "waste tourist" is based on the ASSUMPTION that they are burning 80% of what they buy, IE the ASSUMPTION that they are too stupid and too primitive to know what they are spending $10,000 for shipping and customs alone... IE the exotic primitives described by Jonathan Green.. who did more than Mike Daisey to stir the pot of white guilt and black insult.

The Interpol story, as covered in Jerry Powell's E-Scrap News is below, followed by Jonathan Green's comments about me personally, in defending his rant against the geeks we disagree about.

EU criminals corner e-scrap market

By Jake Thomas, Resource Recycling
Europe is seeing a rise in organized crime illegally trafficking and disposing of hazardous materials, including e-waste, while making a high profit, according to Europol, the European Union's law enforcement agency.
"Criminals are exploiting the high costs associated with legal waste management and are making substantial profits from illegal trafficking and disposal activities, circumventing environmental legislation," according to a statement from the agency.
This growing trend is being facilitated by economic growth and globalization, according to Europol, which has made it easier to ship illicit items across borders. Additionally, the agency has found evidence of corruption in the public and private sectors that is contributing to the problem, as well as a muddled distinction between e-waste and second-hand goods that has made enforcement of relevant laws more difficult.
Italy, according to Europol, has become a hub for the transportation of e-waste sent to Africa and Asia, while northwest Europe has an active part in sending obsolete electronics to West Africa through its ports. Much of the e-waste is trafficked by small groups ranging from five to 10 people with ethnic links to the destination countries, according to the agency.
Earlier this spring, the Environmental Investigation Agency reached similar conclusions regarding the U.K., finding that the export of e-waste from the country was poorly managed and that malfeasance was present at nearly every level.

The internet traffic to the post about this "study" in September (the "Child Catcher" blog) was disappointing.  Read the Interpol Report side by side with the UNEP study that describes a "paradigm shift", and you will see that the only evidence of "criminal" enterprise is the blatantly racial profiling of African buyers.  This is outrageous.

Here again is what the UK Globe and Mail Reporter Jonathan Green said about me personally (excerpted) in 2008, four years ago today.
"I don't normally dignify the rantings of bloggers and other amateur pundits lurking in cyberspace by replying to their comments on my work, but this time I am going to make a rare exception. 
"I found the comments of 'Robin', not only disgusting and morally repugnant but crassly misinformed all in his thinly veiled attempt to justify the money-making free marketeering of those that export this misery. He also completely traduces facts and distorts others that are inconvenient for him. 
"...What was so malodorous in 'Robin's' rantings was not one shred of compassion for the children I saw.  He says some in the pictures looked ‘sad’ but rather than empathize or express sorrow at their plight he goes on to document, laboriously, stating what a big heart he has because of some of his house guests and his time in the peace corps…  
"Those who do genuinely kind things for their fellow man do not do so for recognition on blogs while trying to justify their money-making activities." 
 "At the magazine we had a flood of letters not only from readers but from crime-fighting UK agencies who are now thoroughly investigating this trade. I have forwarded Robins comments to them and not only are they slack-jawed in bewilderment but they share my disgust.
"Robin is likely to be hearing from some people in Africa – who I have forwarded his blog to - who have quite a number of things to say to him also.  
"Is this really what we have become at the start of the 21st century -- businessmen in the first world justifying human suffering so that they can make a quick buck 'recycling?'  

Jonathan Green 2008 response to my blog
So before I issue my promised "Apology", I just want to document how far we have come since 2008, when I was mocked and derided for my descriptions of the Geeks of Color. The Interpol / Europol enforcement, the seizure of "e-waste" pentium computers by dictators in Africa, the imprisonment of Nigerian traders in London... all of this has fallen down with the "paradigm shift" reports by the UNEP and Basel Secretariat in 2011.  I do not intend to apologize to Jonathan Green of the UK MailOnline.   He's made up a statistic "75%" out of whole cloth and signed his name to it.  He should be named in the defamation suit.

85% reuse vs. 75% primitive dumping.  Which is it, Jonathan?  The UNEP and Basel provide quite good data supporting the 85% reuse and 30,000 information technology and electronics repair jobs in Ghana.  How does your source of 75% grossly primitive wire burning children statistic compare?  It appeared strong enough to discredit me.  Can we see the numbers?

Did I start my business to work with the geeks?  Or did I start defending the geeks, as you say, to protect my greedy interest in my business?   I don't doubt the slack-jawed bewilderment.  Jonathan... whatever apology I may write, it must not be addressed to you, sir.

"Reuse can indeed be used as an excuse for pollution.  But refusing to trade with people of
languages and color is a cowardly reaction to that risk."

African geeks are buying skittles in American and European markets.  Touche Pas A Mon Pote.

Gold mining
Reporter Jonathan Green of MailOnline UK in African Gold Mine.  That's where the pollution is, idiot

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