The storm that was predicted arrived in a dawn delayed and darkened by clouds, bringing rain that Koko and I ventured out into — me by choice, she by necessity; me with umbrella, she with tail up, but ears back and down. Needless to say, she did not want to linger.
It feels like a cobble together kind of day, a good chance to share some things that I found of interest, but just haven’t been able to work into a blog post, like a recent study on how the rocket emissions from space tourism — Spaceport America has opened its first runway — could end up altering wind patterns, raise temperatures at the poles and accelerate the melting of sea ice. Debris is another problem facing the industry, which comes as no surprise to us dealing with land tourism.
As study author Martin Ross notes:
"We have to come together to take care of the space commons.
But first maybe we should learn how to take care of the Earth commons. To me, this raises the question that no one wants to answer: So just how far will we let private industry go in destroying the planet?
On a related note, a judge earlier this month ordered Monsanto to destroy hundreds of acres of genetically modified sugar beet seedlings. The judge had earlier ruled that no GM sugar beets could be planted until an EIS is done, but the USDA allowed Monsanto to proceed with planting seedlings for a future Roundup Ready crop. This prompted a lawsuit by Earthjustice and the Center for Food Safety on behalf of a coalition of farmers and conservation groups. One big concern for the judge was the very real problem of contaminating non-GMO crops. Although Roundup Ready alfalfa also is banned pending completion of an EIS, this is the first-ever court-ordered destruction of a GMO crop.
While we’re talking about agriculture, I was extremely heartened by Gov. Abercrombie’s choice of Sen. Russell Kokubun to head the state Department of Agriculture. Though he’s been in politics for years, Russell used to grow zucchini on the Big Island, so he’s able to bring a farmer’s perspective into the state bureaucracy. I talked to him a few weeks ago for a story, and he said he’s still tilling his fields and growing cover crops, with the idea of returning to the farm when he leaves government service.
Moving into some breaking news, I found myself chortling as the “hacktivists” dished out payback in the form of cyber attacks against the Swedish government, MasterCard, VISA and PayPal, with Amazon reportedly next on the list, for their treatment of Julian Assange and Wikileaks. We’ve entered a whole new world, which this post explains well:
Yes, this time the revolution will be streamed. It will be digital.
Go Wiki go!
Speaking of streaming, I watched portions of a live web stream of the County Council meeting yesterday. Though I hear some folks experienced technical difficulties, I had no problem once I download the required application, which was very quick. I had to laugh at this reported comment from Council Chairman Jay Furfaro, who apparently didn't want the Council to be blamed for the kinks that disrupted service:
The Administration is having technical problems."
Which leads me to, have you noticed all the high-priced redundancy in the mayor’s Administration? I mean, why do we need Janine Rapozo administering the county’s risk management programs, or Kylan Dela Cruz overseeing Civil Defense Manager Mark Marshall or Tommy Contrades managing the capital improvement projects? It’s really discouraging to see the gravy train running full speed when the rank and file folks are still derailed by furloughs.
Moving on to the Hawaiian government, I just found out the Kingdom of Atooi ID, which reportedly got folks through TSA at the airport, is not accepted by guards at Nawiliwili Harbor. So don’t be throwing away your Hawaii driver’s license just yet, folks.
And I liked this observation: Hawaii isn’t in America. America is in Hawaii.
I’ve been reading a collection of Welsh short stories lately, and wanted to share this despair-countering excerpt from “The Teacher,” by Gwyn Thomas:
Remember what I told you. Mankind, one body. Even if it stumbles and mortally crushes you, remember that its limbs are still strange to one another, its brain in fragments, kept in fragments for aeons longer than has been strictly necessary. If it bleeds, clean the wound, let no dirt remain in it to rankle. If it falls, never snarl at it for clumsiness. Smile at it, lift it to its feet, tell it its legs are getting stronger, its directions surer.”
Finally, for those who complain — anonymously, of course — that I never say anything positive or offer any good news, here’s a seasonal video sure to warm even the hardest heart, unless you’re an animal hater, in which case there’s no hope for you anyway.