Key Annotations from Adam Minter's "U.S. Isn’t Flooding the Third World With E-Waste"

U.S. Isn’t Flooding the Third World With E-Waste

Whoops!  This wasn't meant to be published yet, and has no key words.  But I chose some of the comments from the Bloomberg Editoria by Adam Minter that deserve annotation or commentary, and I'll be returning here over the next few days.  So stay tuned.  More from the editorial which brought us THIS response.
"Despite your reading diligence however, it is unfortunate that you did not start by questioning the baseless assertions made by Adam Minter in his reckless article.   Never has BAN ever stated that 80% of US e-waste is exported." 
Key dialogue being recycled below...  Stay tuned for red letter responses to each.

lingelbach 3 days agoCollapse
Is anyone, in any of the comments below, refuting this statement in the article: "Reality is a far cry from the long-standing claim, first made by the Basel Action Network, a Seattle-based nongovernmental organization in 2002, that as much as 80 percent of U.S. e-waste is exported to the developing world."?  And isn't this statement, after all, the thesis of the article?  Simple thesis, simple point, simply not refuted.

  • Jim Puckett 3 days ago
    Dear John L. 
    Yes John I am refuting it.  BAN has sadly not witnessed dramatic decreases in the real evidence of exportation either in the exports we witness in this country or the receiving areas in China, Asia and Africa.  You have to go into the field.   I can compare that which I observed in 2001 to what I observe now.   Only in Nigeria have I any real evidence of less importation but that does not mean that that material which used to go there now does not go elsewhere.  The amount I still see coming into China every day when I go to Hong Kong  is still pretty stunning.
    Jim Puckett

  • The 279 sea container study in the Nigeria E-Waste Assessment UNEP report (cited in Adam Minter's article) were from import business in the 2009-10 era, when Mr. Joe Benson was arrested in London, based on BAN's claim that it was "mostly" primitive. The 91% reuse rates found in those containers was not the result of BAN "watchdog" activity.  The trade was never 80% bad in Nigeria.  
    You claim that Nigeria has changed, rather than admit Mr. Benson was innocent of the charges you and Greenpeace made against him.  You ruined his life.  Your own commissioned Kenya study in 2007 also estimated reuse rates of imports at 90%.  You attacked the Peru study which found 87%.  This is a "witch hunt" and you won't get away with claiming to have "cleaned up" Nigeria.  I brought you to Nigeria and feel a personal guilt for what you did to the technicians there, raising money from photos of kids at the dump, not sharing a bloody penny with the Africans whose trade you slandered.  You never had a single estimate based on African export, your "Expert" cited in 2002 has said he was also including clean steel, plastic, and working items in his 80% guesstimate.  The misuse of the 2002 statistic to arrest and ruin African geeks makes Basel Action Network a parasite of the poor. It's a sin to kill a mockingbird.

  • This is utter nonsense.  BAN had nothing to do with arrests made in the UK.  We never were subpoenaed and were never questioned, or interviewed regarding the case you are referring to. We have not followed this case.  It was a UK enforcement action.  Take your grievance up with the countries that are enforcing the Basel Convention.  
    As for the rest of your allegations, Robin, they are beneath all dignity.  Your technique of throwing mud and then more mud against the wall to try to get a reaction is not useful to civil debate.

  •  12/2012

    BAN participation appears evident in these articles by Cahal Milmo of the UK Independent.   The set up by Milmo and SkyNet (planting a sabotaged TV in Benson's shop) was after the February 2009 article.  The UNEP analysis of the 279 Nigerian sea containers was done in 2010-11, the containers selected based on these enforcements.  
    The crackdowns in Nigeria and UK were 2010, the UNEP analysis of the containers documenting 91% reuse was DURING the crackdown.   Joseph Benson was innocent, but BAN still treats his arrest as a triumph.  Oh, and Basel Convention Annex IX B1110 makes Benson's reuse trade clearly legal, so throwing out a backhanded insinuation that trade in use TVs was somehow illegal under the Convention is poppycock.
    Cahil Milmo, UK enforcement, Nigerian customs, etc. were all put in motion by BAN''s fiction that the African traders who fly to Europe are buying junk in order to dump it in landfills.  According to the World Bank, Nigerians owned 6,900,000 televisions in 2007, the 26th largest amount of TVs in the world.  They have had TV since the 1970s.   
    Jim's inference above, that Nigeria loads are good "now", as a result of the seizure of the containers, is belied by the UNEP study (which he praises) which analyzed those very containers during the crackdown.
    Yes, I can be pretty pointed in my criticism when innocent hardworking people are accused of crimes they did not commit, lose fortunes, and go to jail.  People who live in glass houses....


Septicalvar said... I wonder what you have to say about this new page.

WR3A's Robin Ingenthron said...

"Roughly 70% of global e-waste ends up in China.[3]"
If this means the steel, plastic, etc. from demanufactured "ewaste" it may make sense. But used TVs are 60% of USA e-scrap and China imports o% of those. So who is writing the wikipedia article?

Septicalvar said...

You are better informed to tell who might be writing the page, but does even "70%" still hold true after implementation of Operation Green Fence in China since March. The page has been recently updated but still there is no mention of the import ban operatoin!

WR3A's Robin Ingenthron said...

Seven out of five people have trouble with fractions. "E-waste" is the #1 cause of statistics.