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Your Views for July 6

Fear-mongering activists

The fear-mongering campaign is once again in full swing across our state, where people are equating GMOs to pesticides. It’s the same “chemophobia” message being launched against farmers by groups such as Earthjustice, PANNA and the Center for Food Safety that seek to “redefine agriculture.” Are people ready to quit their jobs and return our society to an agrarian one, just like the vision these green groups have in mind for our state?

I doubt it.

I find it odd that groups operated by environmentalists seem to somehow have a new-found expertise in agriculture and how it has evolved through the years. These groups are pushing the same fear-mongering message that “modern day” pesticides are suddenly all bad. When I asked my dad, who has farmed for his entire life, he said that what we have now is way safer than what he used to use, and he’s glad for it. Farmers know this, not the lawyers and activists who are feeding this kind of information to the activists.

In Hawaii, we are lucky to have mild weather, but that means we have more bugs and pests. If we listen to the activists demands to outlaw such inputs, what will we have left to grow our food with? Making bad policy touted by people far from the profession isn’t going to help meet our goals of food security and sustainability. Evidence and research will take us closer to our goals that activism and misinformation could ever.

Joni Kamiya

Kaneohe, Oahu

‘Toxic technology’

Three companies are bidding for the lucrative contract to provide Hawaii Island with a waste-reduction facility. Unfortunately, all three companies provide only “waste-to-energy” solutions. No other options are offered. This is unfair to the public. There should be an assortment of waste-reduction alternatives available for the county to consider, not only one.

Annie Leonard, executive director of Greenpeace and former director of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, says “waste-to-energy” incineration makes “no sense from a sustainable resource-stewardship perspective, because it forces communities to burn valuable recyclable resources.”

It also transforms plastics, chemicals and other toxins into poisonous airborne particles that are far deadlier to human health than if they were never burned up.

But one of the worst aspects of waste-to-energy is this hidden fact: These incinerator power plants function optimally only when there is a steady abundance of waste for them to burn. So, unless the island is continually producing plenty of waste, then the system cannot produce energy efficiently, nor make enough profit to pay off the public’s debt for the incinerator.

In order to make it pay off, we would instead be forced to forever produce more waste to feed the ever-hungry incinerator. What’s more, as the economy grows, develops and needs more energy, we would be forced to continually increase waste production.

Talk about backward thinking. “Waste-to-energy” destroys a community’s chances of ever enjoying sustainable development.

If the county is sincere in its desire to manage waste in a way that serves the health of the people and the planet, no method would be more disastrous than “waste-to-energy.” The only people who would benefit are the companies that sell this toxic technology and the politicians they influence. The big losers are the people and the planet.

Koohan Paik


Three questions

Why must everyone go to college?

Why is a blank vote a yes vote?

Why are traffic deaths on private roads not counted?

To those of you who wish to respond, I’ve heard most of the standard convoluted reasoning that politicians, bureaucrats and officials have said. I’m merely wondering in the realm of common sense.

Could it have to do with self-serving a particular agenda?

Chuck Sperry

Hawaiian Paradise Park


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