As I mentioned above, a few weeks ago Greenpeace vandalized an HP building and had William Shatner robo call a huge number of HP employees to embarrass HP because they were deferring some self-imposed goal to remove two chemicals from their PCs.
Now are we talking about cyanide, mercury, or some other incredibly dangerous chemical found in lots of electronics? No, were talking about PVC, which is found in water pipes, and BFR (Brominated Flame Retardant), which is commonly used in power cords, clothing, and furniture to keep them from catching on fire (there is evidently no good replacement for it yet).
It appears that BFR is very effective at keeping you, your children, and home from bursting into flames. The US produced 34 metric tons of BFR in 1999 for the single purpose of keeping the US citizens alive.
This reminds me of a show that runs on Showtime hosted by Penn and Teller called Bullshit! (its the name of the show). In one segment the hosts showed up in this video at a Green rally and had folks sign a petition to block the sale of Di-Hydrogen Monoxide because it was put into lots of things without proper disclosure like drinks, baby food, and pesticides. They got hundreds of signatures; the formula for Hydrogen Di-Oxide is H2O, or water.
This is what Green efforts increasingly seem to degrade into. Its more about the publicity (this link is worth reading) , attacking corporations, and getting donations (and having parties) than about actually saving the human race. The problem is you end up appearing to make unreasonable demands and companies who have major green efforts like HP can lose heart and instead focus their efforts on what Greenpeace wants instead of what the world needs.
I think it important to try to save the human race but if we dont move intelligently the very efforts we make to save the race could eventually doom it. For instance, if you look at the massive battle on Healthcare and realize it is taking focus from more important topics like eliminating our addiction to oil and actually lowering the number of things that make us sick and kill us, you realize this isnt about hot topics but survival. In this case our survival something I find rather important.
While Im often fascinated about how easily were fooled, if there was ever an area we should strive to study and understand it would be here. Because if we dont learn to be intelligent and focus on what is important as a race, were done and we wont be given a second chance to get it right.
Watch that Penn and Teller video and try not to be one of the folks they are making fun of, our lives and the future of the race depend on it. In the end, eliminating our oil addiction is likely the one thing that could truly save our race if not our own lives. HP and the ex-Intel executives are doing their jobs, how about you?