[LAU] OT: mineral wars in Congo

Renato rennabh at gmail.com
Mon Jul 5 20:14:47 UTC 2010

On Mon, 05 Jul 2010 20:46:32 +0100
andy baxter <andy at earthsong.free-online.co.uk> wrote:

> On 05/07/10 18:43, Renato wrote:
> > Hello, I know this might be very OT here, but I think anyone
> > involved with modern technology should know about this:
> >
> > http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/27/opinion/27kristof.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
> >    
> This is something that's bothered me for some time - pretty much any 
> piece of electronic hardware you use contains minerals which have
> been dug out of a big hole in the ground somewhere, usually in a poor
> country and often without respecting the rights of local people and
> their environment. With some products you can buy fair trade in the
> hope that this is making some difference at least to the unfair trade
> practices that are the root of the problem, but there's no such thing
> as fair trade usb sticks.
> Seeing as I like computers, I've found this quite painful over the
> years 
> - every now and again I hear of another story of people being forced
> off their land or having to live in a polluted environment, and if
> I'm going to think honestly about it, there's no escaping the fact
> that the things I buy are part of what's causing these problems.
> On a personal level the only answer I've come up with is to think
> before I buy something whether it's something I'll actually use, and
> try to stick with old hardware as long as possible (e.g. I still use
> a non-internet mobile phone). Also to give stuff away when I don't
> need it rather than throw it away.
> On a wider level I'm not sure what the answer is, but publicising the 
> issue and calling companies to account for their responsibility in
> the worst cases of social and environmental abuse can only help. So I
> think it's ok to post stuff like this every now and again.
> andy
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On this site


you can send an email to 21 companies asking them to start using
conflict-free minerals. Specific link:


Apart from initiatives like these, I too think the best thing we can do
is buy new electronics as few as possible, and of course
selling/buying/exchanging/donating second hand (which in general is
ecologically far more effective than recycling).

We don't realize it, but actually as customers we have great power:
we vote everytime we buy something, and companies do give *great*
value to our votes.


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