Monday, November 19, 2012

Musings: Short-Term Gratification

The rains have returned, thankfully, restoring life to the island. For the first time in months, broad waterfalls creased the face of Makaleha this weekend, the pastures along the Kapaa bypass road gleamed green.

Seeds I planted duringTuesday's  Scorpio new moon have already sprouted, prompting me to recall a conversation I had with Farmer Jerry last week about the drought. He said that at one time people believed tillage brought rain. To which I replied, well, maybe through their efforts to prepare the soil they were calling the rain. I know I was, when I readied my garden beds. To which he replied, or perhaps the seeds are calling the rain: please come, and germinate me.

It's such a beautiful, complex and still mysterious world. If only we humans could find it within ourselves to stop destroying it due to selfishness, ignorance and greed.

Which brings to mind another comment I heard on the radio from the same conservationist who said, “We are turning nature into garbage” – some of which shoppers will be happily snapping up on Black Friday. He said, “How should you treat something that provides you with the oxygen and water that you need to survive?”

The answer, of course, is with a lot more respect and reverence. So kudos to the County Council for sending a resolution to the Prez and the head of the EPA calling upon the agency to reduce greenhouse emissions that are contributing to global climate change. Unfortunately, Obama has already said that addressing that pressing issue will take a back seat to pumping up the economy:

I think the American people right now have been so focused and will continue to be focused on our economy, jobs and growth that if the message is somehow that we’re going to ignore jobs and growth simply to address climate change, I don’t think anybody’s going to go for that. I won’t go for that,” he said.

Ironically, it's that very same preoccupation with growth and building the economy that has led us to the edge of this “environmental cliff.” At some point we have to get it into our heads that protecting the environment is a sound investment. The nonpartisan Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) is trying to advance that discussion with a detailed report that lays out policies that could help to create jobs and support economic growth while reducing emissions, saving money and reducing both oil imports and the creation of new domestic energy sources.

So much of it comes down to political will, and the decisions made by our elected officials.

Which brings me to the observation I had while passing Wailua Beach yesterday, where the surf wasn't big and the tide wasn't high, yet the water was washing right up to the vegetation. And I thought, why in the world is the county proceeding with plans to build the Path on the beach? As The Garden Island reported:

The makai edge of the path will be 11 feet makai of the current white shoulder striping on the beach side of Kuhio Highway,” [county spokeswoman Mary] Daubert said in an email. “The work on this segment will entail removing the permanent rock wall structure from its current location on the beach, and erecting a removable temporary wall between the makai edge of the highway and the path.”

The path will be constructed along this stretch as a temporary structure, which can be removed if necessary due to erosion,” Daubert said.

The erosion is already happening. The beach is currently so narrow in some places that there is no room for both a Path and a beach. Why are we jeopardizing this beach when there are other options for a Path? What will happen to the temporary structure? Will it end up in the landfill? Or will it be washed out to sea with so much other junk?

It's time to stop opting for short-term gratification and instead take a longer view when it comes to construction along the shoreline — indeed, to human activities of all kinds.


Anonymous said...

"And I thought, why in the world is the county proceeding with plans to build the Path on the beach?"

Beth Tokioka has most certainly advised the Mayor not to let any of those federal $$$ go to waste.

As well, with someone like her in the mayorʻs office is it any wonder he turns a blind eye to what is right?

Anonymous said...

Yhea we're trusting Lenny's wisdom on the environment (just like what happened in '78)because he handled the whole Morgan Pond thing so well and all. In Mayor Bloomberg's words in the aftermath of Sandy, its climate change stupid!

Anonymous said...

Any word on Shay's "Deep Cleaning"? Will there be a white glove test?

Anonymous said...

Anon. 9:15 -- Why the nasty attack on Beth?

Anonymous said...

Spare me. You folks here know so much about everybody, how come you donʻt know about her?

Anonymous said...

Relocating the highways in Wailua and Kekaha should be the priority, along with making sure future development along the coast takes into account global climate change.

Anonymous said...

"........why in the world....?"
Because they think they can walk on water.

They think they are infallible.

The highway is threatened, and they the "all knowing ones" should be planning on how to keep it from being washed away.

Dr. Shibai

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Island: land meets ocean. Limits are built-in. Yes? Rising sea levels. Shores. Get the picture? Are we really the "wise" animals who "knows"? What fools these mortals be. And all for what? Money? Good luck eating it.

Anonymous said...

The bike path on Wailua Beach issue will come before the County Council on Wednesday, November 28. (See the agenda item on the County website when it's posted by the end of the day on Wed. Nov 21.)
Please make every effort to attend the meeting and/or send email to Councilmembers and Council staff for inclusion as TESTIMONY:

This may be our last chance to stop the path from being built on the beach as they're ready to start in January. (The makai shoulder of the highway is still on the beach.)

Placing a bike path on the beach is an insult to Kanaka and risks further erosion of the beach. If the path erodes, the solution would most likely be to put up a seawall, which would save the bike path but destroy the beach.