Impressed by HCC
On Wednesday, Feb. 26, I was one of a number of community members who participated in Hawaii Community College Day.
Along with dozens of intermediate and high school students, we toured a number of the HCC programs and talked with faculty and students.
The students enthusiastically demonstrated everything from virtual auto painting to recycling oil, to caring for a simulated patient, to all aspects of designing and building a house.
The breadth of programs was very impressive.
The faculty and student interactions and their demonstrated skills were even more so.
It was a great opportunity to see all the skills (many “non-exportable”) our students are gaining.
Kudos to the staff, faculty and students.
It was a very worthwhile morning!
Progress and consequences
Whenever and wherever you see progress, you are bound to also see some consequences — some good, some not so good, some bad.
Nonetheless, if not for progress, where might human civilization be today?
Pollution, climate change, inequitable distribution of wealth and resources between the “haves” and “have-nots,” and perhaps even some infringement upon religious beliefs — are all caused by progress.
So, in spite of the side effects of degradation, destruction and even some violence brought about through progress, we should learn to cope with progress with empathy, patience and acquiescence (for the sake of advancement for humankind).
A nuclear problem
Homo sapien means the thinking being, but one should wonder how we could be the thinking beings when we create and use elements so hazardous to life we cannot control them when the system used to contain them fails?
We have meltdowns such as Fukushima, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. And then there is the nuclear waste disposal problem.
I consider the use of depleted uranium to be waste for which nuclear facilities and munitions manufacturers avoid paying hazardous material fees.
The munitions manufacturers get nuclear waste free and then sell the reshaped waste to the government.
Talk about a sweet deal! Industry didn’t have to pay anything; we picked up the bill and some poor souls on the other side of the world, plus a few sites in Hawaii, get to suffer the health consequences.
When I was trained to load nuclear ordnance many years ago, we learned the phrase, “Strike first, strike hard, strike fast, nuke ’em till they glow, and shoot ’em in the dark!”
We no longer need to strike first, hard or fast, as all we have to do is wait for natural disasters to do that job because incompetent planners enjoy building nuclear facilities on earthquake faults, the last places on Earth they should be!