Your Views for June 4

Plant can be carbon neutral

Mr. Russell Ruderman (Your Views, April 30) is mistaken about Hawaii Island forestry and its effect on climate.


In the case of Honua Ola Bioenergy, using biomass as a fuel source does not necessarily put more carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, in the atmosphere.

The “net emissions” of carbon dioxide (CO²) determine if a project will contribute to climate change. The Honua Ola greenhouse gas analysis by Environmental Resource Management, the world’s largest sustainability consultancy, shows the project will be carbon negative in the years beyond 2045 and during several preceding years, if more trees are planted than harvested. In fact, ERM’s modeled scenario shows a realistic and attainable scenario in which Honua Ola could be carbon negative by 2030.

Dr. Bruce Mathews, soil scientist and UH-Hilo agriculture dean, noted: “Honua Ola has committed to plant and grow more eucalyptus trees than it harvests on Hawaii Island. Through photosynthesis, trees pull in CO² through their leaves and use the energy of the sun to convert it into plant biomass. Therefore, carbon from CO² becomes part of the plant and is stored in the wood and soil. The carbon sequestered by Honua Ola grown trees should be greater than the amount emitted during the facility’s operation.”

The trees Honua Ola will use come from crops planted in the 1990s for commercial use, not a natural forest. In addition to eucalyptus, Honua Ola will utilize invasive albizia trees removed by private landowners or the county or state.

The alternative to re-approving the Honua Ola Bioenergy power purchase agreement is allowing existing fossil fuel plants, which generate substantially more greenhouse gases, to continue operating indefinitely. This is my personal opinion based on my knowledge of and work in the areas of forestry and botany.

Orlo Steele

Hawaii Community College professor

Facilitating fraud

This is regarding “Democrats press for broader voter access” (Tribune-Herald, May 11).

Key provisions of the Democrats’ push to violate the U.S. Constitution and impose centralized federal control of elections are provisions to prohibit any form of verifiable voter identification, and to remove the act of casting and counting ballots from public scrutiny via “drop boxes” and “mail-in balloting.”

Democrats contend that requiring verifiable identification to vote in elections that can be reliably audited is “voter suppression.” Similarly, any restriction on counting unidentifiable mail-in ballots from unknown sources arriving days after the election is voter suppression.

It is an ancient and well-established fact that where there is no verifiable means of identification in granting access to an identity-based resource, fraud is inevitable and rampant.

The November election eve gaming of the system in Democratic urban strongholds that illegally removed identity verification requirements from so-called mail-in ballots is the cornerstone of the Trump argument that the 2020 election was fraudulent. There has yet to be an official investigation into these claims — merely a unanimous chorus from the media cabal that they are baseless lies.

There is no greater voter suppression than the installation of procedures designed to directly facilitate election fraud. The question the Democrats refuse to address, is that if elections are deliberately engineered to facilitate fraud, how is this not voter suppression targeting all legitimate voters?

If elections are fraudulent, what difference does it make how convenient the voting process is? If elections are fraudulent, what is the point of going through the futile exercise of casting a vote?


John Powers


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