It was amusing, in a cringe-worthy sort of way, to hear our nation's President claim, “Nobody knew health care was complicated.”
Really? Seems to me that just about anybody with a brain and a sense of how things work knew full well that health care is incredibly complicated, like every other system in our modern world.
And that includes food. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations recently released a report outlining the many challenges facing the world's agriculture and food systems.
These include: shifting weather patterns due to climate change, increases in migration due to military conflicts and extreme weather events, water and other resource depletion, the global spread of pests and diseases, increases in the number and intensity of natural disasters, and demands to use plants for more than just food.
The report noted that “major transformations” are needed to make production sustainable and said that “business as usual” is no longer an option in agriculture. Not when the planet's human population is expected to hit 10 billion 2050:
To meet demand, agriculture in 2050 will need to produce almost 50 percent more food, feed and biofuel than it did in 2012.
All without tipping the planet's carrying capacity or increasing agriculture's already sizable contributions to greenhouse gas emissions. And while dealing with food faddists who oppose new technology and embrace inefficient agricultural models.
It dovetails into a comment I heard Nobel laureate Venki Ramakrishnan make at the recent American Academy for the Advacement of Science meeting in Boston:
By 2050, we will be running out of food.
To further complicate matters, just as more food is required, there's increased competition for land, water and other natural resources as countries seek bioenergy alternatives to fossil fuels.
So it was interesting to see Maui anti-GMO activists Kelly King, Kaniela Ing, Alika Atay and Elle Cochran make big hay — pun intended — over planting sunflowers to produce biodiesel.
As Ing proclaimed on Facebook:
We just planted the first regenerative crops, sunflowers (with hemp coming soon), on old Maui sugarcane land!
Gosh, amazing how they managed to stay so clean....
And odd that they chose to grow a crop for fuel and cattle meal, seeing as how these same folks are always bitching about how the seed companies should be booted because they supposedly aren't producing any food.
But it is pretty striking to see the sunflowers coming up — along with a healthy batch of weeds — in soil that Ing and others have dismissed as “poisoned” and “toxic” after years of sugar cane production.
We'll just have to wait and see how this crop does, since it will depend solely on rainfall and the birds are known to feast on the tasty seeds.
Still, it was amusing to see them get all dizzy patting themselves on the back over how this 100-acre parcel will produce the equivalent of 800 barrels of oil per year — if all goes well and the federal subsidies promised by Sen. Mazie Hirono keep coming.
Meanwhile HC&S was using sugar cane bagasse to generate the equivalent of 500,000 barrels of oil per year to meet its power needs, and this went on for decades.
But doncha know that sugar is bad and sunflowers are good? So let's not let the real world get in the way of our Maui dreamin'.....
Speaking of real world, I found out what's happening on the upper fork of the Wailua River, where Tim and Hope Kallai indignantly claimed that “some unknown ecoterrorists dammned up North Fork Wailua and sent all the water into a ditch!”
Turns out the exact opposite happened: all the water was taken out of the ditch and put into the stream.
Yes, the state Commission on Water Resource Management and the US Geological Survey had asked KIUC for its help so they could measure stream flow on the North Fork of the river. As KIUC spokeswoman Beth Tokioka explained:
In order for them to get accurate flow measurements, they requested that the entire diversion be blocked to prevent any leaking of water over the spillway so they could use the diversion as a control point for taking measurements. Since regular maintenance activities were planned anyway, the ditch crew used the sediment to block leakage at the spillway rather than bringing in sandbags.
The material shown on the spillway in the photo is a combination of sand, gravel and some small rocks and will wash away easily when water tops the spillway. It is temporary and will not block the stream’s path long term.
Is it too much to ask that people seek out information before they jump to conclusions and rile folks up over nothing? Or in this case, something that is actually working toward gathering better stream flow data, with an ultimate goal of putting more water back in the stream?
I'm a big fan of biofuels. I always cheered for HC&S and all the great work they did in this area. It is disgusting to me however, that an elected official in our government (Kelly King) runs a business which receives huge subsidies and tax breaks from the government. A government, who is in turn, their largest customer. Interesting how the ethics of this are swept under the rug.
My understanding is that the sunflowers are being grown on Atherton's land (Maui Tropical Plantation), not on old HC&S land. I wonder what Maui Tropical Plantation did to that land to make Ing think the sunflowers are growing on 'chemical-laden' soil? Funny how those seeds sprouted anyway.
Don't worry, Joan, the folks in the pic will be joined by Oprah, Wayne Dyer, Walter Ritte, Fern, Gary, Jeri, Linda Bothe, Dr. Evslin, Felicia Cowden, and Marghee Maupin in sustainably keeping the field weed-free using hand tools. Yeah, yeah, that's the ticket!
“…our nation's President claim, “Nobody knew health care was complicated.”
(Joan said) Really? Seems to me that just about anybody with a brain and a sense of how things work knew full well that health care is incredibly complicated, like every other system in our modern world.”
So that’s why the Democrats demonstrated such care in drafting the ACA by not even reading before they passed it? Good show! Very astute!
If people can be so sure of the future disastrous effects of climate change, why don’t they have the vision to see the disastrous effects of the approaching world food shortages? I guess people only see what serves their jaded views.
Food is Healthcare
Gruber made it all crystal clear what Obamacare was about.
Progressive control of people lives.
this is amazing, i can post and not get punished for telling the truth! GMO can be a great boon to mankind but the GMO industry's first act was not to create better food but to develop a plant unique to the planet;a plant that can survive a toxic chemical that no plant in nature can survive - glysophat aka Roundup! that means the food crops grown with this type of GMO can be over loaded with a substance known to be toxic to humans!this is the reason that this GMO is so hated. it is a sinister evil plot! when GMO first came out what if they had focused improving health benefits instead of finding a way to poisoning humanity. please Joan , be honest in your views of The GMO industry.
11:38 AM, the first GE available crops were plants with Bt (Cry) proteins, which conferred in-plant resistance to pests and reduced the amounts of pesticides applied to crops by millions of pounds per year, and also allowed farmers to use 'softer' chemicals such as spinosads. Also, genetic resistance to glyphosate occurs naturally in non-crop species. So, be honest in your supposed pro-GE post which turned out to be laden with inaccuracies in your attempt to demonize GE crops.
Weed suppression is a major agricultural problem affecting yield around the world. It's not a small or insignificant thing to develop crops that can withstand herbicides. That's why these traits have been so well accepted by farmers. The crop residues are minimal and well below safety thresholds. No one is being poisoned by glyphosate on crops.
You weren't complaining when the whole west side of Kauai was planted in sunflowers? I guess only Big Ag an grow sunflowers
12:46 PM, no one is complaining, we just want to see if they can walk the walk, and hold themselves to the same standards by which they judge others.
800 barrels, its almost laughable. So now we are importing more oil, I hope the rates shoot up dramatically so they can wallow in their own creation. They will probably say hey its a start. It will take decades to get to a 500,000 barrel equivalent replacing what sugar was providing. Oh yeah and growing food we can eat, ha ha ha, so much for running with that banner. Now they are just walking and have the banner rolled up so no one will remember. Well we do remember, these guys make me sick.
Anything can be better than hiring migrant workers and spraying restricted use pesticides all over the place.
You're right and wrong.....the sunflowers are being grown on Atherton-owned land bt that land was previously leased by HC&S to grow sugarcane.
I agree with you on the lack of ethics concerning Councilmember King and her apparently heavily subsidized company.
@10:33 FWIW: the folks talking about Climate Change are very much aware of the food shortage problem that will be caused by climate change. Should they also be talking about Trump's inane Russian policies that are bringing us closer to the brink of Nuclear war? They've chosen their message. If you want to talk about the population bomb, ask the "right to life" crowd who want to defund Planned Parenthood.
@11:38, your views on GMO are way too simplistic. If you want to be against glyphosate (and there appears to be some evidence you should be) don't conflate that with "all GMO". Glyphosate was first marketed in 1974, long before the "Roundup-Ready" soybean was developed. And when that development was heralded as a "good thing". Now it is years and years later and so we have a history over which to judge the results better.
Joan's comparison of the 800 barrels from sunflowers to the 50,000 barrels from sugar is misleading since it does not address the barrels to acre question. I'm sure there is some "history" about this story I'm missing. (what else is new?)
If folks want to be upset about subsidies paid to the sunflower farmers, perhaps they should consider the perks the oil companies get through the Oil Depletion Allowance. The "free market" is being manipulated all the time by government. Sometimes that is a good thing (in the case of deployment of solar, IMHO) sometimes it is a bad thing. Heck, just now Trump promised to manipulate things to make drug prices drop -- NOW. (Yeah, I believe that, but I admit I think Trump is a fraud.) Just like a 'well-regulated militia' things only work well under a 'well-regulated market'. The concentration of wealth in the hands of just a few oligarch who have now purchased the Presidency should be a warning that everyone should be able to hear.
Lastly, growing the same thing year after year on the same piece of land is going to wreck that land in some way. I guess pineapple is especially bad for depleting the soil of nutrients. Our farm in Minnesota grows corn some years, soybeans some years and nothing some years. I'm sure Bradley can provide a much better "lecture" on the problem. Just like Trump's healthcare dilemma "Who knew farming was so complicated?"
Seems to me that most posts on these comments are just looking for Black or White solutions. They don't exist.
(Well, other than impeaching Trump of course. ;-) (That's suppose to be a joke that you can laugh at.)
One thing I've definitely learned reading this blog, there is almost always some "gotcha" when discussing anything more complicated than how to turn on the TV. Oh, wait, that's a horrible example. Turing on my TV is one of the most complicated things I do all day.
Hey 3:22 PM, You're probably drinking restricted use pesticides and spraying other pesticides all over your kitchen, bathroom, yard, garden, pets, etc. every day. Get educated on what a pesticide is.
And as for those migrant workers, if any Hawaii residents wanted to work on farms instead of just berating farmers for every damn thing, they wouldn't need workers from elsewhere. And it's not just seed company farms....it's the same on farms throughout the state.
Why don't you give it a try?
Trump will be taking away all of Hawaii's Fed dollars. Only the military will get the Bucks.
Hirano and Schatz always lie about Trump, so voila, all the free bucks will be gone.
Hopefully the money splurging ways of Hawaii government will end.
God bless our President.
It was 500,000 barrels not 50,000, John Kauai.
And that was from 15,000 acres of sugarcane per year, so if you want to compare acre per acre, the same 110 acres that they claim will produce about 800 barrels of sunflower oil was producing 3,300 barrel equivalents of bagasse from sugarcane per year.
Seems like if you want to grow boiler fuel, sugarcane was the better choice.
5:57 PM "You're probably drinking restricted use pesticides and spraying other pesticides all over your kitchen, bathroom, yard, garden, pets, etc. every day. Get educated on what a pesticide is."
Tell us more about how we have restricted use pesticides in our drinking water. That sounds pretty serious. So maybe you can "educate" us about it.
"And as for those migrant workers, if any Hawaii residents wanted to work on farms instead of just berating farmers for every damn thing, they wouldn't need workers from elsewhere. "
Typically, the reason ag companies bring in migrant workers is because they want to pay below market rates for backbreaking work with little or no benefits to employees with little recourse for unfair practices. You'd think these multibillion dollar corporations would be willing to provide jobs attractive to local workers.
3:43 "Tell us more about how we have restricted use pesticides in our drinking water."
It's called chlorine, the most widely used RUP in Hawaii, by far.
"Typically, the reason ag companies bring in migrant workers is because they want to pay below market rates for backbreaking work with little or no benefits to employees with little recourse for unfair practices. You'd think these multibillion dollar corporations would be willing to provide jobs attractive to local workers."
It's not a problem unique to multibillion dollar companies. Even the taro farmers can't get local workers. Migrant workers are given housing, pay, health care and transportation. It's a better deal than the coffee shops and health food stores offer.
3/1 @ 3:43 AM, the seed companies pay very competitive wages to contract workers as well as their full time employees. Contract workers receive benefits through their contracting agency, not from the seed company. If you have any evidence of unfair labor practices (by any agricultural companies besides the organic growers), I suggest you document that properly and bring it to our attention.
@6:36 AM, that's a story that is over 6 years old, about a labor contractor that was breaking the law, it had nothing to do with the seed companies. We all know about that case, just like we know about the organic farmers who exploit labor. Got anything else?
Want to be educated about restricted use pesticides and others in Hawaii....read this new and well-researched article by someone we can trust:
I had a water purifier that removed the chlorine from the water. They showed me the solution to test for chlorine in your water. After the water was purified, you use the solution and wala no chlorine. Used it on the tap water, wala get chlorine. Amazing....no RUP's
@6:54 I can do this all day. Your delusional if you think the practice of using illegal and migrant workers and not paying them properly and mistreating them isn't a standard industry practice to increase their bottom line.
The Kallai's are carping meddlers whose behavior and agenda are fair game. They weren't born here, so I'll accept that they are California transplants trying hard to "pass". There is nothing divisive about calling attention to their self-proclaimed antics and frequent knee-jerk bullshit. This blog is a great and topical public service in the news vacuum created by The Garden Island's transformation into a satellite of the Dwarf-Star-Advertiser.
@7:50 if you want to spend all day looking for articles about abusive third party contractors and independent farmers who got what they deserved, and prove that the system is working, go ahead. Just be sure to investigate what's happening on the North Shore of Kauai as well. As far as the article about Monsanto and DuPont, that is just more activist bullshit, those abuses were due to third party contractors. Just like what goes on in Big Organic, Big Construction, Big Real Estate, Big Activism etc. You're delusional if you twist facts, cherry pick cases, and give certain industries and companies a free pass.
Big organic is Big Ag they bought out the big organic farms
Moral Outrage Self-Serving, Say Psychologists...
They cheat and abuse their workers so big ag should be allowed, they use illegal workers so big ag should be allowed, they spray chemicals and pesticides so big ag should be allowed, they lie, cheat, and steal so big ag should be allowed... what kind of argument is that? If something is wrong it's wrong not ok because organic farmers do it or homeowners do it or sugar industry use to do it. ...
@ 10 am -- Big ag feeds the world. No other industry with that sort of reach is lily-white, either. Regulations exist to monitor and manage their activities, and there is active enforcement. It's not a perfect system, but it's working pretty well. We know you hate big ag, but I'm quite certain that if you looked at any other industry, including organic ag, you could also find worker mistreatment and environmental impacts.
Big Ag is the Big Brother to Big Food - that is feeding the world processed food grounded in high fructose corn syrup and red meat which increases illness and thus supports Big Medical and Big Pharma.
Blogger Joan Conrow said... " Big ag feeds the world. No other industry with that sort of reach is lily-white, either. Regulations exist to monitor and manage their activities, and there is active enforcement"
Hey, now we are getting somewhere!
So tell tell us again why you trust these giant corporations to voluntary report and voluntary comply instead of requiring them to report pesticide use and buffer zones etc?
Because they have given us no reason to believe their voluntary disclosure to this point hasn't been accurate, and the DOA pesticides branch is already monitoring their pesticide use. As for buffer zones, they are already clearly defined by the regulations governing pesticide use.
Having dealt with both Big Ag-Hawaii and the anti-GMO crowd, I can state unequivocally that I trust the people in Hawaii Big Ag far more than the Hawaii/mainland anti-GMO crowd.
And 11:32, just a tip: life becomes so much more interesting and nuanced when you stop regurgitating bumper stickers and Natural News and actually begin to think critically.
What if Big Ag owned an illegal vacation rental, would you still over look their transgressions ?
I'm not overlooking any transgressions now.
10 AM, if you were trying to repeat back what someone else is saying, you missed the mark. No one disagrees with wrong is wrong, what I have a problem with is attacking one industry and making conflated or false accusations, while turning a blind eye to more egregious wrongdoings elsewhere. It's hypocrisy at it's worst.
If the PA doesn't file for 1st Manslaughter then we need a new PA. I see a lot of people talking and texting on a daily basis. These Fuckers cross the center line like tourists.
Woman dead after fatal wreck on Kapaa Bypass Road
The Garden Island Updated: 5 hours ago
KAPAA — An Anahola woman died from injuries sustained during a head-on wreck that occurred on the Kapaa Bypass Road on Tuesday afternoon.
Yeah how about the guy leaving the other guy brain damage after an unprovoked attack at a bar. He only got 5 years? WTF. And he probably won't even do all 5.
I've always been curious how allegedly poisoned land can suddenly become unpoisoned the moment somebody decides to grow a token crop of organic or alternative something or other there.
Since Joan started with Trump, wtf is going on? Is our president controlled by the commies?
Sunflower plants require a load of nitrogen fertilizer, wonder what they are using, and it will be fun to see how they manage the weeds or if they don't bother. It's easy to criticize, harder to farm.
How do you sleep at night Joan? Selling out to the chemical companies, betraying people and the planet you used to be a champion for must make it hard sometimes. Even the few non indusrtry friends you may have in Hawaii are embarrassed to admit to that. You are a standing joke (an universally despised) within the environmental community.
Actually, I sleep just fine because it feels really good to be exposing the liars and phonies who claim to be environmentalists and "protectors" when they are actually the self-serving — as in gimme more money — sell-outs and betrayers of their communities. If I'm universally despised by the Hawaii enviros, it must mean I'm been doing a great job! And please don't pretend that you speak for any of my friends. That is the real joke!
Do you sleep with one eye open?
Nope! I'm not afraid of these kooks! They're not even brave enough to own their words.
@ 6:45 AM,
Joan is universally admired and adored by real farmers, small to large, throughout the islands because she's perceptive, honest, and brave, and states what we would like to, but we're not as articulate and are too busy working the farm. And we consider ourselves to be environmentalists too.
I heard from other Hawaii sunflower growers that bacterial and fungal pathogens are a huge problem for sunflowers. It's a feel-good crop.
Pythium disease is known in Hawaii on sunflower, but I didn't find any good Hawaii literature from a quick search.
Come back in 100 days and take a photo from the exact same spot, at the exact same angle, and the exact same time of day. That should give a meaningful illustration of whether this effort is going to succeed. I hope that good records are kept of irrigation, pest attack, fertility requirements, and weed control in order to determine if this is truly "sustainable" (which, by the way, should include a cost analysis, assuming that grant funds to prop up this type of effort are phased out). Finally, in this time of increasing photo-voltaic and wind generated energy, along with ever increasing ranges of electric vehicle batteries, please remind me why is it that we need a bio-fuel crop?
It's all about who you know and the Lauren Kagawa murder and the Kauai serial killer proves that.
They've been doing that for years. That's why sugar left Hawaii to third world countries. Cheaper sugar, labor and bio fuel. Look It Up Brazil and .....
But it is ok for your buddy Joni to post as "Joni Rose" Joan? She admits it in her video. Go to 2:35 of this video to hear it. https://youtu.be/MR-yy1yqhu8
@7:36 That is Joni's married name, and I don't think anyone could accuse her of not standing behind her words. If you actually listened to that video, it recounts her process of getting over her family's concerns about her speaking up.
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