The day dawned dry, again, and when Koko and I, out for our morning walk, ran into my neighbor Andy, he said, “If this is the start of global warming, we’re in trouble here in Hawaii.”
That reminded me of an article sent around by Light Line News that noted, in reporting on the prospects of algae as a jet fuel source, that the U.S. military is the nation's single largest consumer of energy.
And that got me wondering, pond scum aside, could the solution to global warming be peace? If so, then we’re sunk, because that’s an even tougher sell than giving up your car for the bus.
As we watched, Waialeale started flushing lavender in the light of the rising sun, giving meaning to the lyrics “for purple mountains majesty,” which is not to imply that I accept Hawaii as a rightful part of America, and Andy pointed out the place where a tunnel, which we both had been through, connects the Wailua and Hanalei valleys.
Since it was built in 1924, it might have been constructed by the Japanese, or even the Filipinos, Andy said, because the Chinese had pretty much moved off the plantations by then and Hawaiians didn’t like to do that kind of work.
“Have you ever run across anything in your historical readings to indicate that perhaps Hawaiians were opposed to such work because they believed the mountains were sacred and shouldn’t have holes drilled in them?” I asked.
“Oh, Joan, where do you come up with these things?” he asked, and that led to a discussion about the deification of animate and inanimate objects, the ways in which the ancient Hawaiians altered their environment — and the rituals, prayers and chants that accompanied their interaction with it — pre-overthrow land redistribution, sovereignty vs. independence and the prominent role that venereal disease played in decimating the Hawaiian population by inhibiting births.
“Of course, if they hadn’t been so promiscuous, none of that would have happened,” said Andy, tongue planted in cheek.
“And since women contracted it from Cook’s crew and spread it to the rest of the population, we can once again blame women for all the ills of the world,” I added, as we parted company.
It was far too fine a day to go inside, so Koko and I headed down to the beach, where we were the first to walk upon fresh sand. The surf was high, but the tide was low, guaranteeing that I’d be able to take a swim.
As I sat facing the sea, to my left was a mosaic of white foam and green water and the reddish-brown of reef, while to my right, it was all blue shimmer and sparkle, as far as the eye could see, with spray blowing off the tops of silver-backed waves. Ahhhh. And not a person in sight.
Btw, did you know the name of the Iraq war has been officially changed from “Operation Iraqi Freedom” to “Operation New Dawn?” In a memo to Gen. David Petraeus, Defense Secretary Robert Gates wrote:
“Aligning the name change with the change of mission sends a strong signal that Operation Iraqi Freedom has ended and our forces are operating under a new mission.”
But as Democracy Now! observed:
Operation New Dawn shares the same name as the November 2004 US attack on Fallujah that killed hundreds of Iraqi civilians and displaced thousands more.
Do ya spose that duplication of names was just an oversight?
Call it what you will, it’s an occupation, and a dirty, deadly, debilitating one at that. As Nobel Economist Joseph Stiglitz noted in a Democracy Now! interview:
The fraction of those fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan that are coming back disabled is enormous. It’s now almost one out of two.
Wow, that's a lot of maimed young women and men. Wonder why we don’t hear much about those guys….
Just like you don’t hear much about how the world’s largest companies cause an estimated $2.2 trillion in environmental damage and would lose, poor tings, one third of their profits if they were held financially accountable, according to an unpublished study for the U.N. As the Guardian reports:
The report comes amid growing concern that no one is made to pay for most of the use, loss and damage of the environment, which is reaching crisis proportions in the form of pollution and the rapid loss of freshwater, fisheries and fertile soils.
Can it be that the world is finally waking up to how capitalism and the free enterprise system, as practiced in today’s world, works? You give billions of dollars in subsidies to the big polluters and allow them to ignore large portions of the true cost of the goods and services they provide so they can reap large profits.
The Guardian went on to report:
The true figure is likely to be even higher because the $2.2tn does not include damage caused by household and government consumption of goods and services, such as energy used to power appliances or waste; the "social impacts" such as the migration of people driven out of affected areas, or the long-term effects of any damage other than that from climate change. The final report will also include a higher total estimate which includes those long-term effects of problems such as toxic waste.
So what, then, do you suppose is the true cost of producing nuclear energy and making nuclear weapons, especially when you consider that, according to anti-nuclear activist Harvey Wasserman, it’s been confirmed that 27 of the nation’s 104 nuclear plants are leaking tritium, which is another name for radioactive hydrogen, H3, which is also a very important accelerant in global thermonuclear weapons, which have been detonated throughout the world, and being hydrogen, it mixes easily with water, and we are 70 percent water and fully 80 percent of the molecular bonds in our bodies are hydrogen bonds….
As a friend noted: "Soooooo, we are kinda the Target of interest here."
But hey, what’s a little radiation/mutation among shareholders, I mean, friends?