Has anyone else noticed the schizophrenia of Hawaii's agri/enviro activism?
On the one hand, we have the Sierra Club suing to prevent the reclassification of 1,500 acres of ag land on Oahu for the 11,750-unit Hoopili housing project. It is arguing, in part, that the state isn't doing enough to designate Important Ag Lands, and this land meets all the criteria.
On the other, we have the Sierra Club and its attorney, EarthJustice, actively working with self-proclaimed “green” groups and “aloha aina warriors” to destroy agriculture on acreage already classified as Important Ag Land.
Through lawsuits and direct action, they are aggressively targeting seed operations on all islands, a proposed Kauai dairy and Maui's HC&S — the largest farm in the state.
So what, exactly, do they want? I mean, other than agriculture that yields sufficient food to end Hawaii's import-dependency without using any pesticides, chemical fertilizer or water, producing any dust or smoke or generating any waste.
Here's an example of how they want to reshape ag to fit their bucolic fantasies: “completely organic and self-sustainable...what do you think that would do to the tourist industry? You'd never be able to get a hotel here. Everyone would want to come.”
Is it any surprise these “green” movements have succeeded primarily in attracting greenbacks from high-end Realtors?
Welcome to the black-and-white, simple-minded, short-sighted delusional world of the “new locals” — folks who have all the answers, all the facts, and don't want any conflicting opinions to shake their fast-held views.
A case in point: last night's “sugarcane burn moratorium” meeting on Maui. Here's a shot of the “locals for local change” crowd.
Looks an awful lot like mainlanders who chose to buy homes in Kihei knowing HC&S was burning cane, but now they want it stopped.
The meeting was hosted by “community leaders and field experts,” but they failed to invite anyone from HC&S who might actually have first-hand knowledge about cane burning operations, alternatives the company has pursued or the fields green-harvested at great expense to minimize impacts on neighborhoods.
Similarly, though folks from the Department of Health's clean air branch traveled from Honolulu to attend, at the group's behest, they were not allowed to share their mana'o, only listen.
But Sen. Josh Green, a Big Island emergency room physician and political foe of Maui Sen. Roz Baker, was invited to speak, as was Maui Community College physics teacher Joe Ritter, who just so happens to be the boyfriend of Terez Amato, who is challenging Baker for her Senate seat.
Yes, Maui has its political demagogues, too — folks who cravenly try, like Kauai Councilman Gary Hooser, to build a voter base among the newcomer-mom-greenie crowd by deliberately distorting facts to create an agricultural demon and fan the flames of fear. For the keiki, of course.
Speaking of Gary, his pal Lance Collins has been hired to sue HC&S, with his fee to be paid through a crowd-funding campaign. Lance, you may recall, came to Kauai to make humbug over the use of pro bono lawyers to defend the pesticide/GMO Bill 2491. He dropped his complaint at the last minute, after wasting county money and time.
Though they protest against cane smoke, their tactics are smoke-and-mirrors. And as they rally against perceived poisons, they spread the poisons of propaganda and community divisiveness.
Yet all the while they remain oblivious to the contradictions in their words and deeds.