In yesterday’s Star Advertiser, Senator Brian Schatz came out in support of the expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. It’s interesting that he’s claiming to support Native Hawaiian rights. It’s good and dandy that he is supporting the Hawaiians, however, he is a United States senator, elected by the people of Hawaii. Should he not be representing the entire state of Hawaii, not just one class of people?
What’s even more disturbing is how many activists have stated that the expansion would not affect the fishermen. Even Paul Achitoff of Earthjustice had replied to one of my comments on Civil Beat claiming that the monument expansion would not affect the fishermen. Now the latest announcement is that the Kauai longliners will be able to access the area they use. Now wait a second, wasn’t the environmentalists claiming that no fishermen were going to be affected and now they’re saying something else? Where does that leave the Oahu longline fishermen? High and dry?
As I look closer at the funders behind this monument, it’s clear that this is yet another well funded, outside organization attempting to influence our ways of living here in Hawaii. The Pew Trusts are a huge proponent of the closure of these areas.
Just who is the Pew Trust? It’s big money to the tune of $800M and it’s once again corporate made money that has turned to saving the earth. The money that funds the trust is from oil. Yes, it’s the environmentalists’ biggest enemy, oil, that is funding these ocean closures worldwide. The activists conveniently don’t disclose these facts about it.
Should we be surprised that a person voted by the people is using big oil money to deny local people the right to fish the oceans? Nope. Senator Schatz has taken to rejecting evidence based policy before when he had a press release on the bogus Monsanto Protection Act.
My husband and I had a discussion about environmentalism the other day. He donates to a group and I refuse to. He said who is going to protect the earth? He, like so many others, is operating under the false assumption that any industry is guilty of not being environmentally friendly and that one must pay someone to protect it.
Environmentalism sprouted in the late 60’s as a protector of the earth. The reality is that industry, like farming or fishing, are under very strict regulations that are science based. I’m surmising that once these regulations became strengthened, these non-governmental organizations risked losing their sustainability. Their next move was to form legal defense funds to use the courts and loopholes to fund themselves.
After seeing the tactics being used, this industry is unregulated, not transparent, and not accountable for what they do. When I see the Sierra Club jumping on anti-GMO events, big money is at play here. Instead of supporting access to technology that can create a cleaner world, they want to take it away.
There needs to be educated environmentalism here in Hawaii and globally. Is taking the very technology that can reduce inputs an educated stance? Is taking away ocean access from the very people who know it best a good thing while allowing foreign fleets access the wisest way to manage the area? Why does modern day environmentalism focused on extracting humans out of the lands and water?
When Washington, DC and California elites come to Hawaii, they don’t understand how much we are intertwined into our environment. The local people love the beaches, the mountains, and forests. Saving the environment by taking us out of it isn’t reflective of even the ahupuaa system. The Hawaiian people even understood this but mainland groups don’t. What we are in dire need of is educated environmentalism that every person understands their place in this system.
Environmentalism isn’t about creating work for people and helping locals make a living. Its focus is on shutting down farmers and fishermen and yet they talk about sustainability and self sufficiency. They very people they attack are doing that work but are becoming more and more impeded by the aloha aina attitude.
As an elected official voted in by the people of Hawaii, Senator Schatz owes everyone in Hawaii fair policies based in evidence. President Obama also needs to include the people’s voice in his decision. America was the land of opportunity where we have liberty to live freely. Oppressing those who feed us and tying their hands without good reason, is the very thing we fought against.
When saving the environment becomes intent on stripping access to resources and tools from people, we are losing our freedoms as American. A democracy was formed by many people working together to address issues. The anti-GMO, anti-TMT, anti-fishing and other anti movements are clearly anti-democratic.
A vote for anyone who celebrates progress as taking away livelihoods, is launching a greater attack against the local people. The fishermen and farmers do more than just bring in food or grow Hawaii. They provide local food for everyone. They rely on others for supplies to do their work. That’s more people put to work. The fish turns to poke and helps chefs and restaurants showcase Hawaii’s unique flair. Simply closing one industry does not come without affecting others.
The trickle down effect isn’t obvious but it’s there. Even more people are provided work through a fish or farm with their own employees having incomes to use at other businesses. Families will be affected without doubt.
Hawaii families are already struggling here with the rising of living. Nearly 50% of people here live paycheck to paycheck and we are one of the worse states to do business in. Should we be surprised that we have so many homeless and one of the highest rates of poverty at 1 in 5? Should we be shocked to learn that meth use is rampant and having stuff stolen is common? The lack of funding for education will continue when there’s no taxpayers providing that income. No income means less tax funding for social service programs to help the elderly and homeless.
Not caring for the people is not indicative of a progressive society. Being dishonest and unfair is not progress. Outsiders tend to mock “plantation mentality” but it was that mentality that helped get people cared for with medical benefits before it was a thing. However, that same mentality is keeping the local people from wanting to speak up.
Let our Senator know that taking away jobs and local food is not okay. Every time you eat that poke bowl, just remember who helped make it for you. One day, you might only talk about eating it because no one will be fishing anymore and it won’t be because of no fish.
Tell Senator Schatz now that we want fair access to resources and fact based policies. The local folks deserve it!