E-Waste Tragedy 5: The Guideline to Eden

( Alternative title:  The E-Waste Comedy? )

"Hurricane Joe Benson" is locked up in a UK prison, away from his family.  His home is at stake, his retirement at stake, because he pleaded guilty to violating GUIDELINES.   Guidelines designed by policy wonks, in response to lies, to protect Africans (from Africans)...

No offense to E-Stewards... but instead of donating to BAN.org, environmentalists should be contributing to a class action defamation lawsuit.

Here is a link to the "Guidelines", developed in Europe, to save Africans from Africans.  The "Guidelines" are behind "Project Eden", INTERPOL's effort to divert some international police away from ivory, drug, and guns dealers to focus on television repair in Ghana and Nigeria.  Those jobs are documented by UN research to reuse 91% of the material they import, generating 6 times the average wages in those countries, and providing access to mass media without mining, refining, generating carbon, etc.

The whole thing reminds me a bit of "Escape to Chimp Eden", the Animal Planet program hosted by Eugene Cussons.  Cussons rescues poor chimpanzees and brings them safely from bad zoos to good zoos.   Except that the technicians in Africa are by far smarter, and know more, than either the "experts" on "e-waste" in Europe or the chimps.   They could give Kyle Wiens of IFIXIT a run for his money.   This whole idea of guidelines to train Chinese and Africans to properly repair and recycle... is a tragedy in the making.

By far the worst #WhiteSaviorComplex film I have seen is Dannonitzer's "The E-Waste Tragedy".  I don't like to drop the "r" word, but the film takes the word of a bigot who makes money selling shameful images and uses them to raise money for his own salary, and to put technicians in jail.

Alternative title:  The E-Waste Comedy? continued

Comedy and tragedy couple of masks
The film (I'd retitle The E-Waste Comedy) showed used electronics at an African scrapyard, then found the orignal owners in England, who could not account for the 15-20 years since they "discarded" the product.

The 20 years in between is silent... the original UK exporter is long out of business.  If Mike Anane spoke to a single Ghana resident who may have owned the equipment, he may have saved himself from a very comical confrontation in England.  Instead, the film opens with Anane's "follow the trail" investigation, leading to a confrontation with an original device owner, who was clearly confused why his office is being approached with an asset tag for equipment they replaced 20 years earlier.

It's a bit like being confronted with our names in a high school textbook, and being asked how we can account for it since our graduation ceremony (...in 1980?).

How did a display device, replaced in England in 1993, wind up in a Ghana dump 20 years later?   It's being oversold as a "Tragedy".  The truth is simple and boring.

Europeans and Americans discard electronics like the first owners of a car... after 3-4 years.   The cars, we all know, get used for ten more years.  But I guess some of us never imagined our display devices (TVs and monitors) could be reused.   Does anybody doubt the CRT televisions and monitors replaced by flat screens are working or repairable?

Out of an abundance of caution... we arrested and jailed the people who reuse them.   Brilliant.

Here is the Guidelines Joseph Benson is accused of "violating".   They are "guidelines", not law.  But given the comical statistic that 80% is dumped (completely proven false), merely violating the "guideline" becomes a "wastecrime".

The Ten Most Feared Words in Africa?

"We work for European Government, and We're Here to Help."

Joseph Benson remains in jail, though his containers were among the hundreds studied and exonerated in the Ghana and Nigerian studies.  On AVERAGE, they were 91% reused.  He's in jail because someone in Seattle, Washington, made up a fake statistic accusing Mr. Benson and his clients of importing 75%-80% waste.  Even though that source withdrew his "statistics" a year earlier, Benson was sentenced to 16 months hard time, alongside robbers, rapists, and terrorists... because the Seattle NGO came up with nifty phrases like "reuse excuse" and "reuse abuse" and profited from images of African teenagers in scrap yards (without sharing a penny).

Let me make this clear.  This black man had no incentive , no motive, and no reason to commit the crime he was accused of, and his goods, seized based on the accusation of the absurd wastecrime statistics, were determined by third party researchers to be good... He's proven innocent.  The junk (habeus corpus) was found to be generated by the cities in Africa, which have millions of households who have owned electronics for decades.

And BAN and StEP admit to all these facts, and still remain silent about the "collateral damage"!  And they applaud their own roles in peeling Interpol officers away from endangered species crimes to investigate trade and repair of used display devices.  The used displays were found to have higher reuse rates than brand new products sold in Africa!   That's one of the reasons Africans buy used goods from countries with stronger warranty laws!   

Technically, and tragically, Benson pleaded guilty to violating the "guidelines" the #WhiteSaviorComplex protagonists comedically designed to ensure African weren't losing money by paying for transport and dumping 80% of the material he sold to exporters.

The "Guidelines" were developed after Basel Convention attendees (Parties) were distributed fake data, and the Europeans and Americans met to draft guidelines to improve upon the 80% dumping (which never existed).  More fakery provided to UN delegates ahead in the E-Waste Tragedy series.

Below are the Guidelines.

Last week, Senor Puckett himself sent a news release backing off of them.  But hear the laughter?  The USA Trade Press didn't realize that the Basel Convention Amendment was not passed, and Puckett was backing off because his laughable "statistics" are no longer respected by the UN Committees!  The emporer's new clothes are given a figleaf ("Ummm, I'm just taking a bath, the robes are in the closet")

The BAN Amendment is NOT the Law.

Go to the Guidelines Glossary, and read the definition for Ban Amendment, which has been heavily promoted by BAN.org, but has not been ratified.   There never was a crime by an African.  The crime was racial profiling, and it was committed by my fellow environmentalists.

fair use 
And since my better blogs are less resentful sounding, less angry, or (as Jim P. describes them) less mentally ill, here's another really choice 1970s guitar riff from African singer/legend Prince Nico Mbarga ... the original owner of a 1978 white magnavox found on the head of a kid in Lagos 3 decades later.

Perception / Reality indeed.   The innocent wisdom of Prince Nico Mbarga's lyrics still echo.   

I too do wonder ...why? why? why?

(Far classier than Die Antewood btw!)

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