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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    The Power to Change should be Realized

    Recycling electronic waste (e-waste) in the forms of CRT (cathode ray tubes, television screens, and monitors etc), obsolete computer hardware, and other electronic equipments has caused, and is causing severe environmental, and health damage. E-waste is being exported to developing countries from the developed countries such as the United States as it is cheaper for multi-national corporations to do so.

    Though the mainstream media has not paid much attention to this, I would like to bring this to the table, and argue that we should realize the power to change, as Congressman Dennis Kucinich puts about controlling e-waste:

    The power to change lies largely in the hands of developed countries. It is time that this power was realized and addressed in the United States. – Congressman Kucinich

    I believe we should sign the Basel Convention, an international treaty designed to reduced the movement of hazardous e-waste, and play a vital role is stopping inhumane corporate practices. The revenue from electronic waste can still be generated, but their needs to be a systematic approach to solve this equation.

    We must work to transform the U.S. into a closed-loop system, where products enter and exit the market through the same open doors. This way, obsolete products will no longer end up in a dangerous heap at the end of their lives. – Congressman Kucinich

    We should not continue to recycle and “donate” e-waste to overseas countries at any cost. If we are really sincere about aiding the developing world we should support not-for-profit projects such as OLPC (One Laptop per Child), which is providing non-recycled computers to the children in the third world.

    What you wish your neighbors to be to you, such be also to them.” – Pythagorean

    We cannot say we are actually aiding the developing nations when, in essence, we are polluting their environment, and damaging their nations’ future. I do not understand how we can even think about hurting others just for a few bucks?!?

    Of course, developing nations such as India need technology to be “developed,” one day. But if those who are to transform that technological revolution are not prepared, the future generation, as being intoxicated by the waste produced by recycling the e-waste, and having severe types of brain damage, then there is no point of initializing this technological paranormal in the first place.

    Electronic equipments contain heavy metals, such as lead, barium and cadmium, which can be very harmful to health once entered through the water system. These chemicals can cause serious diseases such as nervous, and repository systems damage. Flame retardant plastics that are used for casing electronics release harmful particles that damage human endocrine functions.

    It is unimaginable that even the scientific reports have clearly indicated that using recycled electronic equipments decreases child’s IQ by a factor of 20%, and this inhumane cause is still in business.

    As I said earlier, the sincerity would only be apparent if non-recycled electronic equipments, such as computers are provided to the developing world by the developed nations such as the United States, as OLPC is doing it.

    This evil practice of inhumanity should be stopped, and should be stopped as soon as possible.

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