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Earth Entertainment Games

Greenpeace Decries Lack of Environmental Progress From Console Makers 143

SwiftyNifty writes with an update to Greenpeace's 2007 criticism of game console manufacturers over environmental concerns. Their claim was that some of the chemicals used to make the consoles were toxic, and that the manufacturers' recycling practices were not up to snuff. Two years have passed, and Greenpeace now says that progress is either slow or non-existent. "... Nintendo has little plan to remove PVC and almost no plans to remove [brominated flame retardants]. Slightly further up the scale, Microsoft was again awarded a poor ranking due to the use of toxic waste materials. And Sony, who rank rather well in their mobile phone partnership with Ericsson (scoring 6.5 out of 10 for improved toxic waste and efficient energy usage) didn't perform as well in the console category, failing to eliminate PVC or BFRs from their gaming products."
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Greenpeace Decries Lack of Environmental Progress From Console Makers

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  • Re:Screw Greenpeace (Score:5, Informative)

    by Overly Critical Guy ( 663429 ) on Friday July 24, 2009 @01:27AM (#28803799)

    Greenpeace's own founder is against Greenpeace. It's time to stop letting insane left-wingers threaten everybody into living the way they want them to live.

  • Re:Screw Greenpeace (Score:1, Informative)

    by Ragica ( 552891 ) on Friday July 24, 2009 @02:58AM (#28804221) Homepage
    Doing a bit of research on your post. Greenpeace's archived website [greenpeace.org] makes no such admission. I did find some people on the net claiming what you claim above, but when I read further to find the basis for the claim I find none.

    For one shameful example is this gizmodo article [gizmodo.com] which ranks highly on google. It's Fox News-like way they use the headline of an admission. The arcile is long, and Greenpeace sounds quite reasonable in it. At they very end of the article the gizmodo author bolds a bit of Greenpeace's words as the basis for the "admission" in the title. But it it no such thing. It's a pathetic stretching of context worthy of Fox news. (But perhaps you are a fan of Fox news?)

    At any rate, Greenpeace took the time to rebut [greenpeace.org] the criticisms on several [greenpeace.org] official lengthy pages [greenpeace.org].

    The gizmodo article makes reference to another article where an "bromine industry group" dismisses googles claims. This is like the tobacco industry dismissing claims of tabacco's harmful elements. It's like oil companies denying global warming. (But perhaps you deny that too?)

    Do you have any other references for this claim? You might want to look into them a little deeper.

  • by nick_davison ( 217681 ) on Friday July 24, 2009 @02:58AM (#28804223)

    E.g. the ROHS program, which forced manufacturers to remove lead (and other things) from their products

    How many companies changed their product, midcycle, to comply before they were legally compelled to?

    My guess is new product cycles may have been changed in anticipation and those that were midcycle when forced by law did so - but that no one suddenly tossed out a working design simply because they felt it was the nice thing to do.

    Microsoft had their reputation trashed with the red ring of death issue. The last thing they need for the 360 is to tweak some design component that doesn't save them money, doesn't allow them to put out a cheaper product and introduce a new flaw that hammers an extra nail in their coffin of perceived reliability.

    That being the case, every change to their design needs to be tested and not just tested in a few cases. They need to be absolutely certain that their new design won't warp more easily, won't overheat more easily, won't damage discs over time and thousands of other risks.

    At that point, each change is hardly a cheap one for them to explore. That change is merited if they can knock more off in manufacturing costs than the new testing cost on average per unit sold (a cheaper chipset for example). That change is not merited if they save nothing but incur a huge expense in terms of either risk or testing.

    So, whilst new designs, when broadscale testing is happening anyway, make financial sense to introduce changes and whilst laws will ultimately force anyone that wishes to remain in the market to make changes, my guess is very few companies ever simply risk an estabilished product line, mid cycle, simply because it's a nice thing to do*.

    *unless there's a heavy marketing angle in it.

  • Re:Screw Greenpeace (Score:2, Informative)

    by SBFCOblivion ( 1041418 ) on Friday July 24, 2009 @03:05AM (#28804245)

    I agree. After their last stunt [keloland.com] I really don't see why anyone should listen to them.

    Good job, Greenpeace. Get everyone's attention by defacing [scoopthis.org] a public monument.

  • by bky1701 ( 979071 ) on Friday July 24, 2009 @03:15AM (#28804291) Homepage
    While this is not really the place for another pointless discussion on global warming, I would say we have plenty of proof it is indeed going to happen. It is a fact that CO2 in the atmosphere increases global heat. It is also a fact humans are adding massive amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere. We cannot predict the outcome, but there will certainly be one. It's not just going to go away.

    It will be gradual, and perhaps even reversible with better technology. However, we're still betting a lot on that by doing nothing. If it turns out to be less gradual than expected (and as you say, we've never observed this happening before, so we cannot be sure how fast it will be), we could be looking at a disaster, as we won't have time to come up with ways to mitigate the damage.

    I've never seen anyone suggest that water levels could rise astronomically overnight. But the fact is, we can only guess how fast they will rise. 50 years before major land losses? 30? 10? How long will it take to prevent mass death from flooding, starvation, exposure? How much will it COST?

    Like so many else, you only look at here-and-now. Like a CEO running a company into the ground for short-term profits, unchecked CO2 will, in some form, hurt the human race some day. And for what? Cheap gas, air conditioning, and irrational fear of the alternatives?

    It's not a happy situation, that's for sure, but hiding your head in the sand and yelling "hoax" is not going to do anything to help people when it happens. I for one am glad there are enough people out there that don't ignore facts because they are inconvenient.
  • by tolan-b ( 230077 ) on Friday July 24, 2009 @06:36AM (#28805129)

    I'm guessing you saw the 'Green' in their name and just thought 'damn hippies'.

    http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/about/how-we-work/scientific-research [greenpeace.org.uk]

    Greenpeace aren't saying we can't use plastic, they're saying that companies can use less polluting materials and processes.

    Electrical appliance waste is a serious problem, many of the materials used are extremely toxic and causing serious problems where they're dumped.

    That's why Europe has the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive for example:

    http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/topics/waste/32084.aspx [environmen...ncy.gov.uk]

  • Re:Screw Greenpeace (Score:3, Informative)

    by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday July 24, 2009 @09:56AM (#28806427)

    Quote from Greenpeace:

    [quote]Apple has not responded directly, but we check our mailbox every day for some sign from Steve that he's listening. We don't actually mind if he *never* answers us, just as long as he does the right thing and greens Apple.

    Apple has made a few reactive comments in the media when questioned about the campaign. Often it refers to the environmental section of its website which our ranking already highlighted the lack of timelines and transparency in that section. Also it has made a pretty lame references to its ranking from the US EPEAT tool.

    US Environmental Protection Agency's new electronic product environmental assessment tool (EPEAT):

    But Apple is patting itself on the back with a kid glove. The EPEAT criteria are less stringent than the Greenpeace criteria. EPEAT does not require elimination of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) or Brominated Fire Retardants -- two types of toxic chemicals that other manufacturers have already agreed to phase out. [/quote]

    Right, except for the fact that on those very website pages from Apple they have *already stopped using* BFR's and PVC, and have been phasing it out for years. Nothing like being deliberately obtuse eh, Greenpeace, and making it look like Apple are merely holding themselves up to a "weak" standard when in reality they're doing much more. But that doesn't make for good rampant technology bashing.

    I am a green-loving, save the planet, renewable energy, recycling, reduction in pollution, kind of guy, but Greenpeace is only hurting the rest of us.

    And Apple was "greening" itself very effectively all on its own - it's not any reactive move due to Greenpeace, as much as they'd like to infer.

  • by FireFury03 ( 653718 ) <slashdot@@@nexusuk...org> on Friday July 24, 2009 @11:43AM (#28807885) Homepage

    Like most people you didn't read up on Nuclear power before you posted.

    Seems you didn't either...

    Nuclear power isn't available in abundance.
    The TOTAL amount of Nuclear fuel on this world can sustain the current energy hunger for about 3-5 years.

    Utter bullshit. The currently known reserves of U235 are enough to last around 80 years at current rates of consumption. Reprocessing the waste can greatly extend that, and those figures ignore reserves which haven't yet been discovered.

    Those figures also ignore U238, which can be bred into Pu239. Known reserves of U238 are enough to last us tens of thousands of years.

    Problem with this is that mining and processing the stuff actually cost lots of energy (and creates greenhouse gases).

    Like most other power generation technologies. Did you think that mining coal took no energy?

    In the short term this is a problem for most technologies. In the long term, much of the energy used for mining can come from nuclear power itself.

    So a big part of the fuel will actualy cost more than it produces

    Complete rubbish.

    Combined with the massive amount of energy needed for building a Nuclear power station is neither green or any sort of real alternative.

    Compare it to the amount of energy needed to build thousands of wind turbines, or enormous hydroelectric projects. Pretty much any large scale power generation project uses vast amounts of energy for construction - if you're going to damn nuclear on these grounds then you can damn pretty much everything else too and we'll all go back to living in caves.

    It is not without reasen the government needs to put in massive amounts of money for a Nuclear station it cannot compete on costs.

    Finally, a point with some truth. Yes, nuclear can't currently compete with the cost of fossil fuels. So the choice is that we either keep burning fossil fuels (potentially trashing the environment until they run out and then we'll have no choice anyway) or bite the bullet and decide that we can no longer afford to keep plugging away at the cheapest option.

    (so it probably neither can on energy efficiency compared to fossil fuels)

    I don't even know what you mean by this point. Efficiency of what exactly?

  • by Reziac ( 43301 ) * on Friday July 24, 2009 @12:38PM (#28808639) Homepage Journal

    http://www.activistcash.com/organization_overview.cfm?oid=131 [activistcash.com] concludes with this quote:

    Writing in Canada's National Post in October 2001, [Greenpeace founder] Patrick Moore offered the following critique: "I had no idea that after I left in 1986 they would evolve into a band of scientific illiterates... Clearly, my former Greenpeace colleagues are either not reading the morning paper or simply don't care about the truth."

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