|Chevron Agrees!!!! With Chevron!|
We've seen the success of an "anti-ewaste" campaign which never had a number or statistic or even a proper interpretation of Basel Convention Annex III or Annex IX... they had something better, photos of children and the word "toxic" to describe something vaguely electronic and complicated which we all had in our basements and could feel guilty about.
Success breeds imitation.
Now Big Oil is into the act. Take pictures of the kids, then make a demand for something you just so happen to already be doing (donating money to schools). You co-opt the protest zeitgeist, steer it to your lightning rod, protecting your house.
The big difference between these two campaigns?
Probably the kid got some money from Chevron. No kid ever got a dime from Basel Action Network. They take jobs away but don't even write a thank you note.
And as long as we are making stuff up, here is a "hypothesis". You know, that's an alternative to just stating something bogus as fact (like, 80% of the electronics exported are burned, or 80% of the e-waste collected is exported, or that Guiyu is "the most toxic place on earth", or that arsenic in Guiyu's river came from ewaste recycling rather than from the textile dyes, which are the source of arsenic in other rivers...).
Ahem, hypothesis, here goes...
"Jazz originated in New Orleans because poor families in close quarters encouraged music."
I've got a 15 year old on piano and an 11 year old on trumpet, right here, right now. Practicing.
I hear them synchronizing. For a few moments, the piano and trumpet sound good together. But my kids are in a big house and aren't really pursuing that, the geographic distance between them makes compromise more difficult to strive for. If they were in more contact with each other, they'd probably look for ways to harmonize.
Birth of Jazz.
Now that I've properly labelled this as a "hypothesis", people can rip it to shreds and I don't feel "attacked". If I were to state, as a "fact" that this is the birth of jazz, and my hypothesis were reprinted by USA Today or CBS, or Fresh Air, and it was wrong... well then people would have to attack CBS's source, wouldn't they? That's how I'd suffer an ad hominy attack of my own making.
Hominy grits, polenta, couscous. This leads up to one of my favority cross-examinations in movie history, Joe Pesci as My Cousin Vinnie. In the scene linked, Cousin Vinnie "attacks" a witness who states a false fact "proving" the guilt of two innocent boys. Vinnie gets applause at the end, not because he's attacking the witness, but because he's protecting the innocent Karate Kid guy and his friend.
|Southern style Socratic Method|
Chevron's ad is a little easier on the palate because they seem to accuse themselves, then show how they made up for the self-deprecating straw man attack. I'd like to see them talk about how many BP Style Louisiana gulf oil spills they have off the coast of Africa every decade.
How about them grits, Chevron?
The collision of ideas should generate light. Environmentalists need to adapt, as Chevron has adapted, and leave the sanctimonious false-accusation bull-grit attacks, and evolve to make better arguments. Like Chevron, we should publicly show environmentalists questioning themselves and getting rid of bad-Apple facts about Foxconn and Proview - the Taiwanese who seem to be the butt of environmentalist tirades but who have done more to create wealth and invention in Southeast Asia than any NGOs or state government.
My cousins in Taipei, I salute you.