Thursday, December 8, 2011

Why Doesn’t Columnist Just Come Out and Say It? ‘Molokai Is Subservient to Oahu Residents’ Needs’

The headline in Tuesday’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser – “Molokai cannot be allowed to isolate itself from Oahu” – was another way of saying Molokai residents’ preferences don’t count.

Read it yourself if you can; the newspaper’s login portal often is flawed. The writer’s upset with Molokai was triggered by the “blockade” of Molokai’s Kaunakakai port that prevented a tour boat from offloading its passengers there on several occasions recently.

The columnist is a former Coast Guard officer and practices maritime law; he presumably feels qualified to write on port blockades, but he then jumps to another issue involving resistance on Molokai.

“How different is this from barring Big Wind from Molokai? These things are all part of a continuing campaign to isolate Molokai from Oahu and keep it free of wind farms, cruise ships,tourism and a local economy. Secede from anything that smacks of Oahu, excpept for the social safety net, is a one-way isolationism…..

“Actually, it’s just as much our island as it is your island, and it’s just as much our harbor as it is yours. I am just as much a citizen and taxpayer of this state as you are, and this is my state just as much as it is yours. One island can’t wall off the others. That kind of thinking went out hundreds of years ago.”

Do Oahu residents truly have as much right to determine Molokai’s future as Molokai residents? Columnist Jay Fidell might as well have written, “What’s yours is mine, and since we on Oahu outnumber you over on Molokai, we get to call the shots.”

The state’s energy administrator still seems determined to push through the Big Wind energy project that would plant 200 MW or more of wind power on Molokai. He recently told Civil Beat that “moving the inter-island cable network forward” is one of his three top priorities.

Well and good, but does that mean community-wide opposition to Big Wind on the Friendly Isle will be disregarded in order to achieve the state’s renewable energy goals? The tail is wagging the dog here;  the Legislature set energy goals, and they seemingly could to take precedence over opposition to environmental impacts that would be enormous on an island like Molokai.

Legislators created those laws and they can change them if achieving them would extract too high a price. Better to do what other island societies are doing – pursuing ocean thermal energy conversion as an off-island energy source that Hawaii’s leaders still can’t bring themselves to pursue equally as hard.

At least state energy administrator Mark Glick seems supportive. If only his superiors would band together as determinedly as leaders in the Bahamas, Guam and Indonesia seem to be doing (Google “ocean thermal energy conversion”).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

They also started promoting false information about PV tax credits to scare people into supporting "big cable"
Big cable= big kickbacks, big corruption.
Decentralize PV on every house, take away the control of energy from the criminals.