"E'Waste" Repair: They Took the Road Most Travelled

Agriculture in developing worlds can mean starvation.   There are a lot of things better than starvation.  Perhaps they shouldn't have to make that choice.  But they do.

Roll up the window, you're letting the air out

  • Bush meat, hunting of endangered species.
  • Gold mining and gold panning, using mercury from USA's recycled lamps
  • Cutting rain forests.
  • Soldier.
  • Sex worker.
  • Kidnapper, pirate, and thief.
There are many paths once the starving leave the rural fields and move to the slums.

There are not as many ways out. (World Bank: Informality & Productivity in the Labor Market in Peru)

Scrapping and repairing are not on the lists of Ju-ju professions.  The strong concentration of scrappers in China and Africa is not a sign of exploitation.  These are good people who are trying to thread a needle, who are trying to create wealth in the most honorable way they can.   Scrap and repair is the road most travelled for the smartest kids in the slums.

Jorge is still fixing TVs.   Choma was not replaced.  See them in action in the 2008 video below

They cannot all be taxi drivers, cooks, and teachers.  There has to be a way to add value.  Entire economies are supported on the multipliers from scrap and reuse.  The money they bring in makes another career, like teaching or taxi driving, or pie baking possible.

Certain Environmentalists and "brave journalists" need to take time to figure out why those of us who have majored in international relations, worked in international development, and built businesses around the geeks of color and fairtrade cotton farming are not singing with their choir.

Choma, RIP, is the technician on the left, in this 2008 video taken in the "slums" of Lima.

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