Our beautiful island of Hawaii is home to our families, dreams and comfort. A comfort that is threatened according to others’ experience, islandwide and not just the mainland as many seem to think, because of fracking.
A recent PBS television program addressed farming, as well as food production in Hawaii. On the show, half a dozen farmers from different islands discussed the fact that 95 percent of the produce we consume every year on the islands is imported from the U.S. mainland to subsidize our local farmers because, and I quote them, “We, on the islands of Hawaii, don’t have enough underwater supply or rainfall for farmers to grow all of our own food on the large enough scale for the islands’ needs.”
I was honestly shocked, 95 percent seems like such an unbelievably high number, until I really paid attention to the shelves at the grocery store. For the first time in my life, I felt like a dependent big baby being bottle-fed by the mainland. Hawaii, and not enough water was hard to compute, yet the heart of the matter is that the Department of Water Supply cannot produce enough water to give tap water to every home in Hawaii.
Fracking practices use millions of gallons of fresh water taken from aquifers and municipal water supplies, but we don’t have enough water to grow our own food and create a solid yet sustainable industry through farming in our islands, for ourselves to keep our grocery store’s shelves filled with locally grown food, as well as our money in our island home.
What kind of sense does this make to you? We don’t have millions of gallons of water to grow even 30 percent of the food we need on any given day, especially when it is hot and it does not rain. But we have water to spill by the millions of gallons on fracking? And not to mention the millions of gallons of precious water mixed with toxic chemicals that are poured back on the aina and threaten to pollute our nearby ocean waters and fish life already hanging on a string.
Either we unanimously reject fracking or we as a community become participants in the destruction of property and life in our beloved island by allowing this form of alternative eco-destructive energy source to set foot on our Big Island.
Judith Mura is a resident of Kona.
Viewpoint articles are the opinion of the writer and not necessarily the opinion of West Hawaii Today.