Collateral Damage TOC: The Preview of Ewastegate


Many, many posts on this blog have been around the theme of "unintended consequences".  Two decades of attacks by Basel Action Network to save the world's poor from the waste of the rich nations have added up to a lot of environmental injustice.

This series of blogs will try to document the case for "intervention" by Basel Action Network's donors and E-Stewards.  The NGO has lost its way, and is expending more of its firepower on agents of conscience and authors of nuance.

These are in order of scale of importance, but if you are skimming, jump to #7.  I got something new, and if it turns out to be proven, BAN's Board of Directors will need to take action before the feds get involved, and before Jim Puckett starts erasing his emails.

Collateral Damage 1. Modern high tech recycling and refurbishing factories

BAN spokespeople have repeatedly called the best and brightest recyclers and refurbishers "a myth" and have attacked those who represent them as "deniers" and "apologists", and sought amendments to the Basel Convention to make trade with those factories illegal.

Collateral Damage 2. Small scale (Informal) repair and recycling of home generated scrap

BAN has made the "informal sector" a bad word, when the smaller refurbishers are actually the most vulnerable.  Forcing African, Asian and Latin American small scale tech-sector to buy from fewer OECD suppliers creates "back alley" recycling, just as most prohibitions and boycotts do.

Collateral Damage 3.  Reporters and journalists

Reporters and journalists are in a tough spot already, forced to be experts on every environmental and economic and political topic.  Calling themselves a "watchdog", the NGO has gotten extremely false and inflammatory statistics ("80-90% exports are dumped") into USA Today, National Geographic, CNN, BBC, Economist, Al Jazeera, Science Daily, NPR, etc. etc.  The poison circulates from journalist to journalist, diverting attention from real environmental problems (like non-ferrous metal mining).

Collateral Damage 4. Environmental movement

Ditto.  Well meaning young environmentalists respond to the photos of children at dumps with a passionate indignation, not knowing that the devices they insist on destruction would have been properly repaired and reused, or even properly recycled, by the "others" portrayed as sub-adults.  This "accidental racism" will create cynicism.  (I've been urged not to use the word "hoax" out of fear fellow environmentalists will wind up as collateral damage).

Collateral Damage 5. Interpol, EPA, and Enforcement

A massive waste of resources, "Project Eden" found no Eden in Africa.  It found statistics from World Bank that showed no more illegality or fraud in trade of used electronics than any other trade - until the crackdown.  (Make straw hats illegal and straw hat crime increases).

Collateral Damage 6. Economy (CA SB20)

California believed BAN's malarky about CRT dumping in Guiyu (never a destination for CRTs) and cut itself off from a billion dollar per year refurbishing factory market, which BAN told SB20 was "illegal" and "a myth".  The "cancellation clause" created huge piles of CRT glass and robbed California taxpayers while doing nothing at all to improve the environment.

Collateral Damage 7. Basel Action Network Board of Directors, employees, and friends

In this post I intend to reveal new information about the MIT GPS methodology, suspicions about methodology asked about in our 14 page letter to Carlo Ratti, some of which are now proven. But ironically, there is a brand new development I would have missed if I hadn't been forced to go back to it by BAN's false attack on my company and its friends.  It has to do with the releasing of information about the GPS trackers to companies who pay BAN a portion of their income.   
During the period the GPS was sent to Middlebury, my company was in the process of shipping several loads of printer scrap to an E-Steward.  The company denied Good Point Recycling dock apointments, which we asked for repeatedly over several days.  If Jim Puckett allegation that the printer "very quickly" went to Chicago, that means he had real-time knowledge of the tracked device.  It now appears that device WOULD have been delivered from my company to the E-Steward if our dock appointments, which we'd already shipped several, had not been cut off while the GPS device was in our factory.  I may reveal the frustration from emails sent by my employees over the E-Steward delivery cancellations, and my pleading with the Chicago area e-Steward to let us deliver the loads which we had been issued purchase orders for.  We can show that resulted in a change to the other R2 Chicago company - the one we had not tried delivering to, but whose audit showed R2 certified downstreams in Hong Kong... and how we sought to relieve that pressure by re-sorting potenially reuseable laser printers for the R2 load.  
 Put this another way:  The ratio in 2015 for loads shipped to the E-Steward to the R2 company (total all materials, not just printers) is 93.3% to 6.7%  The odds that a device would wind up at one of the two companies, rather than the other, is striking.
If is apparently true that MIT undergraduates were instructed how to find a non-public office on the basis that they disclosed my company, and they selected a laser printer which sells used for $349 to drop off there, it was bad enough.   If in addition, BAN knew the location of the device in real time, and the Chicago area e-Stewards recycler cancelled the 5th load already prepared for it because it had information about the GPS device from BAN, then that is potentially criminal
Got that?  That would appear to be a violation of SEC rules at best, and potentially a criminal enterprise if the collusion was intended to harm R2 companies that were using the same "approved" downstream as E-Stewards companies (which have agreements to pay BAN $$ a share of their income, which goes in Jim's pocket).  Before I provide the evidence of it, I would suggest that BAN's Board of Directors get in touch with me, so I can provide them and MIT's attorney with information that should not be given to Jim.  I have testimony from E-Stewards that they were aware of the GPS devices before BAN made the public announcement, and in some cases actually helped deploy the devices against competitors. 
I had asked MIT about this possibility in May 2016, and MIT provided my letter to BAN (without cc'ing me or informing me).  It should have been an opportunity for Jim to vet the methodology internally.  If, as it now appears, BAN leaked information selectively to e-Stewards, and some of that was "live" information, someone could actually go to prison.  There may be a legitimate explanation for the cancellation of the printer scrap delivery to the E-Steward company.  But if not, E-Stewards and BAN itself could be the biggest collateral damage of their leaders obsession with Robin Ingenthron and Fair Trade Recycling.

Collateral Damage 8. My personal relationships
Admittedly, I look obsessed, too.  That ain't good.  But its the business relationships I'm building, the memberships in Fair Trade Recycling, that have been collateral damage to BAN's 2 page hit job.  And yeah, I'll write more about that too.  It's the financial damage that would become a part of a defamation or slander lawsuit.  But those are expensive and tie up the legal system.  It is the due diligence of Boards of Directors and MIT Ethics departments which will shake this out when they see that I have a very legitimate case.

Let the due diligence begin.

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