|Live from New Orleans, International finalists for Recycling Innovator Prize (c: Resource Recycling)|
Game Theory continues. Can the policy over #ewaste, the tiny little environmental niche of electronic device recycling, be assessed best via the individual conflict and cooperation strategy of decision-makers? Or rather by the environmental risk and benefit of the environmental impacts?
Competition, evolution, survival of the fittest... in societal groupthink, it's called Survivor.
I wasn't. Ah well. Neither was my reuse business model.
Over the years, this blog has examined how "legacy display devices" movement is better explained by reuse value than by "avoided disposal costs". Used CRTs from the USA compete with new CRTs made in Chinese factories in 2002. Used CRTs provide ten-fold increase in internet access in cities ruled by anti-democratic governments. Cheap secondary devices compete against new. The planned obsolescence, or anti-gray-market forces, join an alliance with "parasites of the poor". The NGOs see the visibility of their "cause celebre" picked up by more journalists, turning donations into enterprise.
The rules in any game are bought into by the players at the table. The rules are set by environmental officials who don't know an SVGA monitor from a monochrome flat panel display. The rules are enforced by international police, beat cops who act on the information given by journalists, following the footsteps of Lord Chris Smith. "I'm reporting on a really big and important story," says the journalist... and "80% exported to primitive wire burning operations" becomes the single critical ruling enforced by umpires on the field to protect Africa and China's Eden-ism (or the value of the primitive imagery to westerners, who seem to almost see huge African city-scapes - development itself - as a loss of vacation habitat).
The story builds interest in the Game. And public interest in the game is currency. Every perceived crisis is an opportunity. Even if the water samples in Guiyu, China, actually measured textile dying factories from upstream, the awareness brought to "E-Waste" can be turned into a game changer.