Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Musings: Dishonest Debate

Even as the GMO battle still rages, a new brouhaha is brewing. This time, it's all about water.

We've already seen it bubbling up on Maui, where folks are challenging A&B's longstanding diversion of East Maui streams, in part through litigation that exposed deficiencies in the revocable permit process that the Legislature addressed last session.

Kauai activists have also tried to pump it up as an issue, first with unsuccessful attempts to have Lihue declared a ground-surface water management area and later through vandalism and false claims about the Wailua diversion.

Now, in a throwback to the 2013 Earth Week “pollinators and pesticides” panel that gave Kauai anti-GMO activists Gary Hooser and Fern Rosenstiel a platform for pushing Bill 2491, Kauai Community College is hosting a Thursday afternoon panel discussion on water.

It's not completely clear who is actually sponsoring the event, though Josh Fukino, an instructional support specialist at KCC, sent out the emails solicting speakers. What is clear is that it's not intended to be an honest debate:

There will be only one question presented for discussion and the goal is to come up with some solutions that all stakeholders can agree upon.

The waters of Wailua, Waikoko, Ili'ili'ula, Wai'aka, "iole, and Waiahi are taken and used by a few entities. But the public at large, and certain people and places with standing, have constitutionally protected rights to those waters in their free flowing state and for other uses. What do you reccomend [sic] be done to assure that these constitutional rights are fullfilled, within the lifetime of some of the kupuna asking for them (<5 font="" years="">

Sorta like asking, when did you stop beating your wife? Is everybody supposed to agree, with no debate, on the premise that people have constitutionally protected rights to waters in their free flowing state? What's more, it's not likely to “come up with some solutions that all stakeholders can agree upon” because the key stakeholder — Grove Farm — is not participating, largely because they correctly perceived it as a witch hunt.

Other participants include Adam Asquith, who was a player in both the water management area bid and inflammatory emails that were circulating prior to the Wailua diversion vandalism.

The week's events began yesterday with a talk by defeated state House candidate Tiare Lawrence, who was billed as a “Maui Aloha 'Δ€ina warrior and HAPA Community Organizer” speaking about “Maui water struggles and protection of coastal resources.”

Never mind that she has no expertise on those topics. This is all about pushing an agenda, a particular point of view, at a publicly-funded community college. And how, exactly, does that help students develop critical thinking?

Speaking of which, Big Island Sen. Josh Green — a foe of modern agriculture — is eying a run for lieutenant governor. Is he seeking the job because it involves so little work that the current occupant wants out due to boredom?

Whatever, it seems like a great idea to get him out of the Senate, where he takes bizarre anti-science positions, such as “fixing” farming by restricting its access to agricultural chemicals.

Hmm. Maybe he could work on classifying homelessness as a medical condition, so doctors can prescribe housing. How might that work? (And parenthetically, how much would it cost?) That should keep him busy with something useful for a while.

And finally, Jan TenBruggencate has an interesting piece on mosquitoes in his Raising Islands blog. As he noted:

Mosquitoes are not native to Hawaii, but we’ve got them, and new evidence is that they’re growing increasingly dangerous.

Hawaii now has eight mosquito species, he reports, and they're spreading a number of diseases, including dengue and Zika, which has already caused severe birth defects —most commonly, a deformed brain — in dozens of American babies. And Hawai`i has had 16 reported cases of Zika, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

In other words, real danger, real threat. Yet as Jan notes:

Not to make too much of this, but two key weapons in attacking mosquito-borne illness are targeted insecticides and genetic modifications to impact mosquito populations. And in Hawai`i, both insecticides and genetic modification are being targeted by activists for entire bans or limitations on use of these products and technologies. Thus far, the Legislature and the courts have held off these movements.

So does it really serve the public interest to highlight these misguided movements with lop-sided presentations at KCC? 


Anonymous said...

How are people who live in the central and west, usually drier sides of most islands supposed to get water for residential and farming uses if streams aren't partially diverted?

Why does it alays have to be my way or the highway for these antis?

Anonymous said...

12:11 It's all about your elitist Haole attitudes. Local's are sick and tired of you arrogant Haoles. Instead of just blending in, you yap, yap, yap, as if you think you know everything about anything. Be humble, work with the locals, if not don't expect us to embrace you. We're over it, look at Hooser, Bynum, Felicia, Yukimura (almost), all losers. Yeah Joann is haole, by injection and Tayor Camp Hippy Cultivatation.

Anonymous said...

People who are against pesticides Make me sick. They are safe! Get it through your thick skulls. The government would not let anything dangerous be approved. Don't think to much, all is fine!

Anonymous said...

@ 12:25

Am I being elitist if I point out your ad hominem attack?

Anonymous said...

You funny. I'm 12:11 and yeah sick and tired of arrogant haoles too. Especially anti everything ones.
So what's the answer to my question?
And how can you farm without water?

Anonymous said...

Like the rest of us locals, use water from the hose, feed your family. You like everything for free? Stupid question, how the heck would I know, I don't own property next to running water?

Anonymous said...

You think all the farmers at the farmer markets have access to running water? Sure it would be nice but what? You see them sitting on their butts asking anonymous people to give them water so they can farm? They stop with the excuses and work, local style, humble and effective.

Anonymous said...

Yay! Earthjustice stepped up 5 years ago and today water is now being restored to the Waimea River!

Anonymous said...

Some goofy comments here.

Anonymous said...

Earthjustice is good for shit! Thank you for nothing!

Joan Conrow said...

@1:39 Earthjustice is good for posturing. Which is how we this comment from David Henkin of Earthjustice:

"For too long, private interests have been allowed to take the public’s water and use it to reap private profits.”

So is he saying that any westside farmer who now uses that water can't make a profit? Or is it OK for some people to make profits, but not others? Or is he just spouting meaningless rhetoric to sound like a populist?

Then there's this kook:

"This is an example of the paradigm shift and the convergence of the sacred laws of the land with the ideals of democracy,” said Ana Mohamad DesMarais, a Kauai resident who is concerned about diversions from rivers island-wide for agriculture and private use. “All will be restored, it is in progress.”

So is she totally ignorant of how the ancient Hawaiians diverted water? Is she saying that there should be no agriculture on Kauai, other than whatever can be maintained by rainfall? And that people in Lihue who are getting their water from the surface treatment plant should be cut off? Or is she just another person mouthing off who is totally full of shit?

Anonymous said...

I am celebrating the very recent agreement regarding the Waimea River waters! Earthjustice did great posturing and helped with the result! Joan, you're smarter than to ask if it means that the water will not be used to make a profit---cheez! Do you all know the history about the wasted water, the use of the water by the 3 private entities? Waimea Valley farmers are happy and maybe now their profits will be greater and the silt won't be such a big problem.

Come on, let's celebrate this recent victory for the locals and the River!

Joan Conrow said...

@2:17 "Joan, you're smarter than to ask if it means that the water will not be used to make a profit"

You should be directing your comment to David Henkin. He's the one who made that stupid remark.

Anonymous said...

The farmers in Waimea have never lacked for sufficient water for taro and other crops. Ask them. It was the farmers who are keeping things right in Waimea and not you malahini eco-bozos building houses and attempting to change the community for your personal vision. We don't need you. Go away.

Anonymous said...

It's good this was settled through discussion but I hope the Waimea valley farmers are prepared for the greater quantities of silt that will be coming down as a result.

The greater quantities of water that have been put back into the river over the past 15-20 years as the plantations wound down combined with accelerated erosion from goats has already had a visible impact. Even more water will make the problem bigger, but silting across the valley floor would at least be a reversion to something closer to the natural behavior of the river.

I do miss being able to jump off swinging bridge though, but those conditions will never happen again reliably without the full diversions in place like they were up to the 90s.

Anonymous said...

One big flood and Waimea silt is gone.
One big flood and who knows what it will bring.
The levees are there for a reason.
I went to the levee and the levee was dry.

Anonymous said...

Water Panel Discussion
on KKCR 91.9

check it out live @kcc

Anonymous said...

Should be attention all Haoles! They're the only ones who listen to that stupid KKCR. Bunch of hippies with stink B-O.

Anonymous said...

Agree 1:36 PM. But not all haoles.