Sunday, January 1, 2017

Musings: New Year, New Conversation

As a new year dawns, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for reading, commenting and being a part of this blog, which is now entering its 10th year.

I also want to share a documentary that I've been working on for the past nine months as part of my work with the Cornell Alliance for Science.
It began as a videotaped conversation with papaya grower Ken Kamiya and his daughter, Joni, who writes the Hawaii Farmer's Daughter blog. From there it expanded to include the reflections of others who have been on the front lines of the acrimonious debate about GMO agriculture in Hawaii.

I'm hoping it can give voice to a fact-based point of view that hasn't been heard much in the last three years, as anti-GMO groups created a conflict based on misinformation, distrust and fear.

I'm also hoping it can encourage and inspire those of us who support agriculture, science, innovation and the concept of aloha to start speaking up. We need to deepen the discussion, broaden the dialogue and change the conversation to reflect what Hawaii election results have shown to be the majority view.

Let's make 2017 the year when the healing begins in Hawaii.

Happy New Year!

22 comments:

Stephanie Iona said...

Happy New Year Joan. May I add my gratitude to you for sharing your blog throughout these many years. I value your insights, your style that "tells it like it is" , and your genuineness! Let us pray for Peace in 2017 as we have our new President take office, and the many issues facing our island home. Knowing you are here reporting your blog...searching to share all sides of any controversy fearlessly, makes me thank God for YOU! Mahalo!

Anonymous said...

Pariah. Sold your soul to the chemical companies and big business. Was the previous life from 1980 until 2012 all a charade?

Joan Conrow said...

Thank you, Stephanie. I'm touched.

@8:43. Sorry, Comrade, but the world, and my life, are not that black and white.

Manuahi said...

Happy New Year, Joan! Thank you for another year of truth and common sense.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Joan for all your articles....love it..keep up the good work..Excellent video...Wishing you a great new year

Anonymous said...

Well done! Joan and mahalo nui. I hope it gets the distribution it deserves. I'm not sanguine that those who have based their 15-minutes of fame on anti-GMO activism will be turned around, but it's important to see real farmers and locals talk about GMOs in the face of the mischaracterization of the Monsanto and Syngenta bogeymen. This documentary really keeps it local--from UH researchers to BI farmers--and it is a breath of fresh air after the posturing rhetoric (like the red headed "Monsanto fyuh" activist) from people whose biggest community effort is making a misspelled sign.

Anonymous said...

I keep thinking about the comments regarding the overwhelming support of biotech in Hawaii via local elections and I wonder if it should be looked at more like a warning sign. Sure Mel and Ross where top vote getters after 2491, but when I was a little kid (30+ years ago), I would imagine about 15 hippies fighting gmos on Kauai. It was such a different world back then, and I can only imaging the 30+ before that. My point is, I think the electorate on Kauai is completely shifting. It is not in the majority yet but with every new rich Haole (or broke hippie) that moves hear, we see more and more of the old ways fall away.

Anonymous said...

@8:43 Joan may be a pariah to you and the self-righteous North Shore slacktivists, but to many of us she is a hero for having the courage to examine her closely held views, admit when she was wrong and work tirelessly to educate.

I used to be on the anti-GMO side, but reading her blog and Joni Kamiya's led me to explore the counterarguments in a more balanced way. Now I am repulsed by my knee jerk "progressive" acceptance of Big Organic propaganda. Check out the GMO SkeptiForum where you will find a robust debate (without ad hominem attacks and childish name calling) among people with actual science backgrounds. Not just failed Kauai County Council candidates.

As for "selling her soul to chemical companies and big business," working for a nonprofit like the Alliance for Science hardly pays the big bucks. That's just funny.

For 2017 maybe you should resolve to be less hateful and to open your mind just a little bit.

Anonymous said...

8:43a typifies the kind of deceptive thinking where if you cannot articulate the content of the video, you disparage the messenger. This is the very kind of helter-skelter thinking have contributed to the sort of polarization we are witnessing in this debate.

Harold Keyser said...

What a great video, Joan! And so nice to hear from Hawaii's farmers and ag scientists.

Anonymous said...

In 2017, I would like Joan to take us back into the Kauai serial killer series and her battle during her time at the Honolulu newspaper that was covering the story. The alleged Kauai serial killer also sued Joan and the paper as well as others. The serial killer has never been caught and I have proof that if kpd really wanted to catch the perp then they easily could had done it. #iAmLegendary

Anonymous said...

Joan, I am glad you have taken the side of science and progress, rather than that of fear and hate( incited to leverage political and monetary power).
Now if only you could see global warming is the same sort of scam, and this GMO play merely a repetition by an envious clique. ;)

Richard Ha said...

Its all about integrity. And, you call it like you see it. I respect that and I respect you!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year ms. Joan. Cool commercial i just watched during the football bowl game

https://www.ispot.tv/ad/AmL2/land-olakes-the-farmer

Anonymous said...

So how does "The Hooser" get front page coverage in TGI on an ethics complaint filed about the Maui council? Guess we now know who has TGI in their hand.

Anonymous said...

Hooser and HAPA are joining with the Berners, environmentalists and native Hawaiian activists for aloha aina. This Maui move is just the start.

Joan Conrow said...

@11:49 That may be Hooser's dream for HAPA, but so long as he continues to use these same underhanded, smarmy tactics, he and his "nonprofit" will remain as marginalized as Hooser was shown to be on Election Day.

Anonymous said...

Joan, you have to watch the Maui inauguration. What a circus. Gary has divided Kauai, now he is trying to further divide Maui.

Anonymous said...

Kauai and all of the Hawaiian islands have always been divided.

Anonymous said...

9:48 what a stupid analysis! F-Hooser, 20 years ago he won, today he lost, so your analysis is bullshit, you are a hippie Haole either born or by injection!

Eric Toulon said...

Almost every plant on the earth has gone through numerous mutations in order to be able to survive just like all species, including our own. If we didn't we would have become extinct years ago as other species who didn't mutate in time did.
When I was in Scotland I went through quite a few cemeteries where family had been buried and it was so amazing. If the cemetery was old and the time frame was more than a hundred years ago about 50% of the people buried there were sixty and older, 10 to 15% were between 10 and sixty years of age and the rest were children, usually under the age of five.
The impact upon children's mortality was immediate with the advent of inoculation from disease.
We inoculate ourselves from disease as well as our animals to not do agriculture as well is idiotic.

dmarks124@ yahoo.com said...

The anti GMO crowd introduced all of us to the world of irrational ideas and 'alternate facts', fear mongering....we now call it the Trump world!!