You guys are a bunch of cowards.
Environmental malpractice does not fit the definition of collateral damage.
BAN.org the show is over.
Pics of African kids at Agbogbloshie dumps was a hoax. NOT the largest e-waste dumpsite in the world, NOT the place where imported used electronics go. It's an Accra city dump, taking scrap from millions of residents in Accra, and there are NO sea containers there, none. Not just saying its less than 500 containers per month.
Saying NONE. Zero. Your story is complete hogwash.
So why does this appear as "aggressive" on my part? A board advisor to BAN asked me "why do you hate Jim Puckett?" I don't hate Jim, I hate injustice.
What I've tried to distill in the blog is how humans have a kind of "tribe", people they associate with, people more like them... and we naturally defend people we are more familiar with and who haven't hurt us. We trust them. So if an environmentalist has never been insulted, threatened, or injured by another environmentalists, Steve Pinker would tell you that person becomes part of your psychological tribe.
This is what shifts the "burden of proof" for the innocence or guilt of Joe Benson. Joe Benson looks and sounds very African. He hasn't been to primary school, let alone college or high school. His language and grammar are difficult for many people. And face it - he resembles the people who are repeatedly depicted in primitive wire burning videos. It's not that there aren't African technicians, it's that they never get shown with music in the background.
When Jim Puckett makes a full frontal attack on Joe Benson, the "exporter" and says that the exporter typically sends "vast majority" of "illegal shipments", and when Allen Hershkowitz of NRDC tells us we should "presume" any shipments by people in Benson's business are being "burned in primitive conditions", it's people we trust, people we have donated to, compassionate people. It's our tribe. And these respected authority figures in our tribe are telling us that Benson is guilty, or probably guilty.
And thus the burden of proof shifts. And thus, at the beginning, I was deferential to BAN.org, tried to work with them, tried go tell them that "toxics along for the ride" (the 7% of African imports that aren't used) is a problem we all want to solve.
That 7% fallout is less than brand new product sold in Africa, it's less than California store returns. And it's material Africans like Benson paid for and lost money on, and there's NOTHING in the free market or globalization that pays to ship that junk. It's biproduct, it's a casualty of shipping. And I'd bet dollars to donuts that Benson's containers have less "fallout" than tested working product from an "e-Steward" or "R2 certified" company which puts an average American employee in charge of shipping "good" products. I myself sent working Trinitron CRT tubes to factories that couldn't use Trinitron because of the R4 raster! I learned about Trinitrons and R4 from the "primitive" technicians overseas, who would prefer to load their own containers, or buy from someone from their own tribe.
The point of the blog isn't to stir the pot of white guilt. Africans and Asians have the same "tribal" and trust psychology. It's a human condition. Most people who see a poor child want to nurture it, and most people who hear from an authority of their own political view want to believe them.
But the burden of proof has been shifted onto Joe Benson and he's the one in jail. By risking offense to BAN.org and NRDC and Blacksmith Institute, I'm following western dialectic, debate, scientific method, the things that made us great. I'm speaking truth to power.
Jim has said to me, and no doubt believes, that I'm guilty of 'ad hominem' attacks. He says that "if" what I say is true, it's not his fault that international law makes Benson a criminal. I say back that International Law (Basel Convention) doesn't... that he is accused of violating the AMENDMENT, the Basel Ban Amendment, the movement to CHANGE international law. And its so over the heads of even USA and EU regulators, that they wind up believing Jim at his word.
And Jim's going to be embarrassed to admit it, as he was embarrassed by the studies showing 91%, 93%, 87%, 90%, and 85% reuse. 18 months ago he granted the studies were correct. But he's still silent as a man sits in prison when the fake statistic, which BAN denies making but which BAN's caught making, is used in Benson's "presumption of guilt" sentencing.
So yeah, "coward" is an ad hominem, I guess. But Jim should have signed the petition and should correct this. #EWasteGate isn't about BAN's mistake, it's about BAN's coverup, about BAN's excuse that Benson is "collateral damage" when he's still alive, sitting in jail, for something he didn't do, and BAN has the power to raise a hand to correct it.
And I completely believe, with the passage of time, these people will thank me for confronting them over the friendly fire. Just as the Catholic Missionaries made well-intentioned but unfortunate choices when they came to "help" Africans and Asians, so too can environmentalists. We become better by being humble, and by accepting the possibility that we may not know better than Emmanuel Nyaletey, Joe Benson, Wahab Odoi, Souleymane Sao, Miguel Artur Aziz, Hamdy Moussa, etc. how they should build the infrastructure in their own cities.
Hubris doesn't look good in green.