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Letters | 4-7-14

April 7, 2014 - 8:37am

Reader questions selective outrage

Why is it that when anyone wants to stop any change to this island all they have to do is point at the site in question and yell “It’s sacred,” and no other explanation is needed to grind things to a halt.

The superstitious scream that telescopes on Mauna Kea’s summit deface a revered mountain, ignoring the fact that this entire island is one mountain. The debate about change should focus on the consequences of what is done or not done for the land.

A good example is the massive landfills that we entomb our garbage in. This is hardly a reverential activity. Why aren’t those who proclaim their love of the aina railing against the tons of toxic waste being rammed into the earth?

It was the Environmental Protection Agency that condemned the use of gang cesspits and is forcing their removal, not the activists who claim they are the champions of Hawaiian land. Our municipal sewage system has been pumping partially treated effluent into the aquifer for more than a decade in defiance of the Clean Water Act. Where is the outrage? We defile the source of our own water supply under us as a matter of routine and people crusade against a cluster of small buildings 13,000 feet above them?

Drive the new Saddle Road and count all the cups, bottles, bags and other detritus people blithely eject out their windows as they traverse the highway. I have seen and reported illegal dump sites on both the east and west sides where whole neighborhoods toss out everything from household furniture and rubbish, to cars and appliances.

All garbage should be recycled, all cesspits should be illegal. Reclaimed water is essential to our very survival. Clean energy is the new god, not some arbitrary piece of real estate that has been turned into a fetish. Passive acceptance of the river of consumer goods pouring into Hawaii only to be turned into a mountain of waste is what must be condemned, not a state of the art, environmentally friendly industry like astronomy.

Brian Lievens


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