The anti-agriculture movement in Hawaii is akin to a group of spoiled toddlers: give them what they beg for, and still they want more, throwing temper tantrums when things don't go exactly their way.
A perfect example is the Mahaulepu dairy on Kauai. Opponents demanded an EIS, even though none was required. Hawaii Dairy Farms acquiesced, despite having gotten the green light from the state Department of Health for its animal feeding operation, and county building permits.
As we all know, an EIS includes scientific studies and opportunities for public comment, as well as a process for revising the plan in response to those studies and comments. HDF even agreed to let the DOH serve as the reviewing agency for its EIS.
But no. That is not enough. Just two weeks after HDF agreed to the EIS, the opponents mounted another attack. This time, they've made it plain that their call for an EIS was just a delaying tactic, and they have no intention of accepting its findings (unless they're bad).
“Our clear goal is to work from every angle possible to persuade this operation that a dairy of this size is wrong for this location,” Koloa resident and group member Bridget Hammerquist, an outspoken opponent of HDF’s plan, wrote in an email.
So in other words, HDF is just wasting its time and money on an EIS, because Bridget and her pals will never be convinced that the dairy is anything but totally unacceptable. It doesn't matter what the scientific studies may show, or if other citizens support the dairy. They in their ultimate wisdom already know best.
Hammerquist said the Friends of Mahaulepu group wants there to be no doubts about the level of concern by residents, visitors and business.
Believe me, Bridget, none of us have any doubts about how freaked out you are by a fricking dairy, since Chris D'Angelo has dutifully reported your every speculation and unsubstantiated allegation. In fact, we are so aware of your continually uttered concerns that many of us would like to say, “STFU already and let the process YOU demanded work.”
Of course, we also now have no doubts that you folks are entirely unreasonable, and will be satisfied with nothing less than a total shut down, regardless of what the EIS reveals.
How are agricultural enterprises supposed to deal with this sort of dishonesty, these bad faith negotiating tactics? How are they supposed to work with people who have absolutely no intention of budging a bit? How are they supposed to present facts to people who prefer to trade in anecdotes, speculation and fear?
Is it any wonder that ag interests throw up their hands and say, fuck it, or else head straight to court? Meanwhile, the very same groups keep crying for sustainability, more local food production. But be sure to factor in millions of dollars for unnecessary litigation and environmental studies, and stay far, far away from their backyards — even though they did buy houses on or adjacent to agricultural land.
Oh, and don't forget their repeated calls for more “local control,” by which they mean only they, the opponents, should have any say in what goes down.
Which is why groups on Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Island will be waving their signs tomorrow afternoon to show how unhappy they are with the pre-emption rulings that have already overturned the crappy anti-GMO laws they pushed through on Kauai and Big Island, and how upset they are that Monsanto and DOW are challenging the equally flawed GMO moratorium on Maui.
They never mention that small farmers also joined the lawsuits on Maui and Big Island — to do so would challenge their mantra that it's them against the corporations, instead of them against their neighbors.
Some of their complaints don't even make sense:
"It is unacceptable that the citizens of Maui passed a GMO Moratorium and Dow and Monsanto did an end run around us," explained Autumn Ness of Maui United. "This is yet another incident of the government over-riding the citizens and it has people very upset."
Let me get this straight. Private businesses exercise their legal right to challenge a law and that is an example of government over-riding the citizens?
Of course, the rule of law doesn't matter, or if it does, it's only supposed to apply to them, not the other guys.
And though the Maui opponents are screaming for home rule, they somehow don't think the same should be granted to the residents of Molokai, who overwhelmingly rejected the moratorium.
Like I said, it's the mentality of a two-year-old: I want what I want and I want it now and if you don't give it to me, I'll scream and yell and hold my breath until I'm blue in the face because no one matters but me.
Fine. Go right ahead and cry yourself out. We'll just step over you while you're prostrate and blubbering on the floor.