Saturday | October 01, 2016
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Your Views for Sept. 20

Fracking ignorance

The willingness of politicians to stoke the “fires of ignorance” in Hawaii to generate publicity — without regard to factual preparation — gets pretty discouraging at times. The recent County Council bill to “ban fracking” on the Big Island is an unfortunate example. Some of the “knee-jerk” opposition to any GMO research falls into the same category.

“Fracking” (hydraulic fracturing) is a proven industrial drilling technology that’s been around for over 60 years — a widely-used method to improve the circulation of fluids (water and petroleum)in underground rocks.

Recent use of this technique to facilitate petroleum extraction in shallow shale deposits in the Northeast have resulted in lamentable groundwater contamination and environmental damage.

But these serious problems have nothing to do with Hawaii. We have no shale deposits in Hawaii, nor is there any reason to consider “fracking” technology for Hawaii’s already highly permeable volcanic rocks, except possibly for circulation improvement in very deep geothermal wells, far below sea level and any groundwater resources.

Some advice to the knee-jerk crowd: Please research issues before needlessly alarming the public. “Ready-Aim-Fire” is a much better sequence than “FIRE-AIM-READY”!

John Lockwood


Equality for all

I support marriage equality in Hawaii for the same reasons I support other civil rights — liberty and justice for all. Today’s marriage equality fight is one more step in the march which brought equal rights to women and minorities. At each step of the way, there is contention mostly because of our resistance to change. Looking back on these transitions, it seems obvious that such progress is the right thing to do. In a few years, we will look back on this time of change, and the reasons for opposition to civil rights will seem trivial and close-minded.

Let’s look at the arguments used to oppose marriage equality. If marriage is only for procreation, shouldn’t infertile men and post-menopausal women be denied the right? If our laws are to be based on the bible, then what do we make of biblical passages justifying slavery, subjugation of women, and putting people to death for not observing the Sabbath correctly? Do we pick and choose which biblical passages should apply, or do we recognize, as our founders did, the strong need for separation of church and state?

Freedom of religion can only work in our diverse society if it is granted equally to each citizen. No single religious interpretation can be justification for our laws, lest we deny religious freedom to all other citizens. Our civil society is ruled by laws, based on reason and our constitution, and not based on one particular religious interpretation.

Russell Ruderman



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