Slums of Dublin, 30 years before OECD

Thirty years before the "OECD" was formed as a definition of "rich countries", Dublin Ireland (where I spent 4 days) was still fresh (15 years) from the Uprising of 1916.

The walls of Glasnevin Cemetary were built with gun turrets to shoot grave robbers.  Anyone found over the wall at night was presumed to be a grave robber, and shot and killed.   The scavenging of graves had begun in earnest in the 1800s, when Ireland was as poor as India of 1900s.
 Glasnevin Cemetery Museum 

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Surprisingly, the "end of life" issue driving grave robberies was reuse.   Grave robbers had learned to dig narrow holes down to the coffins.  A noose or hook was inserted over the neck of the cadaver, and the body would be pulled for its teeth.  Cadaver teeth were, at the time, the chief monetary driver of hospitals and research universities, which bought them to make dentures.  Dentures were afforded by the emerging rich, or were exported to England.  The emerging rich, like the Irish merchant who sold Cummings flush toilets to become a baron, could afford the concrete coffins and monuments to protect their teeth, or dentures.

This is a lot like the scrap recycling industry today.  LA Times has a story on just how difficult it is to regulate without resorting to shooting people in the OECD, today.

By the 1930s, the area near Glasnevin had become a notorious spot to be seen in.

Ireland was one of the original OECD "rich nation" signers in December 1960, which made it automatically a legitimate trading partner for "waste" or recyclables under the Basel Convention.

My question is, if photos of Irish thugs were postered about in the 1950s, would Ireland have been denied admittance to the OECD in 1960?   Because China is today well on the way to being far wealthier than 1960s Ireland.  But China has these ten year old photos of kids on piles of e-Scrap, kids who may have been in the families of grave robbers a century earlier.

The path of denying trade with "poor" people is suspect to begin with.  But the path of denying trade with entire nations, nations which generate as much computer scrap as we do, countries which are already richer than the white nation of Ireland at OECD's beginning, is outright stupid.

It is stupid to deny trade with a rapidly emerging country based on ten year old photos.  That is the science behind "E-Stewards".  Ban trade with 6 billion - SIX BILLION, 6,000,000,000 - human beings because of pictures taken in their slums.

Today there are riots in Amiens, France, a city north of France hit hard by the recession.  I doubt they are throwing potatoes dotted with razors (Ireland) or nails (Palestine).   But if they are, and photos emerge, we can either decide to trade with France based on the photos from French slums, or we can decide to trade with France based on a comically obscure 1960 treaty which makes France "OECD".

I don't actually know which is stupider.  I think it's a bloody toss-up.  But sad pictures and 1960 treaties are the total stack of evidence for E-Stewards over R2, and for the Thompson HR2284 E-Waste bill.   Mexico and Greece are ok to ship to, Peru and Egypt are not.   It's ridiculous, and the fact is that the Basel Convention doesn't even say "tested working" or "fully functional", but in its own Annex IX specifically exempts circuit boards and CRTs for reuse to begin with.  Yes, the Treaty itself allows used computer exports, which is why Basel Action Network calls for an "Amendent" to the treaty on their website. lobbies the Basel Secretariat to AMEND the Convention, while telling Americans it's the authority to ban recycling exports.  

So it's a derivative of a derivative... a 1960 treaty and a someday amendment which hasn't even passed.

The USA will be banned from selling product we have in surplus.  That's surplus value.   That's affordable material.  Those are recycling jobs we need migrant workers to do for us, which the nations which send us those migrants would prefer to do at home.

End of Life... in the end, it's a religious battle.  

Glasnevin Cemetey (originally Prospect Hill Cemetery) was created as a sectarian plot where Irish Catholics, Irish Protestants, and Irish Jews could be buried together, side by side.  It became a Cemetary which was symbolically uniting Ireland.  I like working and trading with Egyptians and Indians and Africans and Latinos and Indonesians.  I'd be a racist sell-out if I signed the Basel Action Networks Pledge of True Stewardship.  I refused to do so.  Today my company is labelled more "suspect" by certain enviros who are funded by planned obsolescence corporations that want USA's and Europe property surplus taken off the table, and ironically by Chinese officials who want to sell their own new and used products to the emerging markets whose "non-OECD" cities crave television and internet.

This will be historically a laughingstock "environmental" movement, the stupidest thing my fellow environmentalists ever got behind.  If you are under the age of 40, and you are an environmentalist, blease believe me... December 1960 is was more about race than it was about talent or ability.  Pegging environmental credentials to a 50 year old treaty waved around by aging hippies is bad for the credibility of our movement.  It's all about race, pseudo-religious sanctimony, grey market protectionism, and taking away environmental recycling and repair jobs from Africans just pushes them into mines, gorilla hunting, soldiering, sex trade, and other trades which anyone who has lived over there knows are on the same list of jobs as the Fedele David and Scrap Boys videos.   Just because there's more film made in slums today doesn't make nations like Ireland and USA, who had our own slums and serious problems in 1960, somehow better than the nations which some people want to boycott.

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