We go out walking beneath snakeskin clouds that crowd a blue-gray sky. Waning gold moon above, and the tiny white shell of a just-pipped egg below a Norfolk pine, speak to the inexorable passage of time. At the beach, the tide is low, and an iwa hovers, tail twitching, as honey bees work the heliotrope flowers.
On the surface, all seems right with the world, though some researchers warn we've already passed the environmental point of no return, as a recent piece in the generally staid Scientific American reports.
“Are you still worrying about that article?” asked the friend who forwarded it to me last week, when I raised some of its sobering points in a conversation the other day.
“Aren't you?” I asked.
“Nah,” he replied. “Technology will figure a way out.”
Ah, ye olde science to the rescue. Coincidentally, I was reading "The Week" the day after our talk and discovered, through the text on a full page ad, that Dow has already trademarked that belief through its updated slogan: “Solutionism. The new optimism.”
I guess “better living through chemicals" wasn't going over so well these days.
Speaking of which, 17 westsiders have filed a second suit against Pioneer Hi-Bred — the subsidiary of another seed-growing chemical company, Dupont — and its landlord, Gay & Robinson, over erosion and pesticide-contaminated dust from the GMO seed fields.
I find it disturbing that the defendants have gotten the first such suit, filed last year on behalf of 194 residents, moved to federal court — as in Honolulu, as in Kauai people will have to fly over to participate, as in the jury will more likely comprise city folk who don't really get what it's like to live surrounded by hundreds of acres of industrial ag.
Of course, the fields are only one part of the picture. Here's a little peek inside the Syngenta facility, another GMO seed-maker:
Meanwhile, as I report in the Honolulu Weekly, the state is moving to adopt new rules for regulating pesticide use in and around waterways. Conservationists are concerned that those who use pesticides played too great a rule in drafting the regulations. DOH's Gary Gill says "stakeholders" often participate in such sessions, and it's nothing out of the ordinary.
Perhaps not. But it does seem just a tad unfair that some folks get to sit at a table and schmooze with the government officials as they draft the rules, while others get three minutes at a public hearing to respond to them.