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Hawaii in Trouble

I first visited Hawaii (Oahu and Maui) in the early 1980s. The islands retained some of the glorious beauty of their pre-American life. I remember the mountains in Oahu. They are not tall. They are smooth, green, with deep ridges. It’s like the Hawaiian goddess Pele drew her fingers over a soft matter at the moment of creation. 
Wounded Hawaii
Nevertheless, the wounds of foreign occupation and forcible conversion to Christianity and American culture were everywhere. The remnants of Hawaiian life were tucked into the impenetrable Bishop Museum. Only fragments of the natural world survive. 
Hawaii is now primarily a vacation destination for Japanese and mainland Americans. Indigenous Hawaiians have been in hiding, intermarrying with Japanese and Polynesians. For the most part, they are invisible.
My second visit to Oahu took place in early April 2019. 
Kailua Beach
I walked daily to the miles-long beach of Kailua. I walked without shoes on the sand at the edge of the thundering water splashin…
Recent posts

Kleptocracy

There’s something in me that revolts against injustice and wrong. Like the genes that transmit our genetic inheritance, there are intellectual forces – call them Metis assets from the Greek goddess of intelligence Metis -- that define us as human beings no less than the biological markers of skin color, height, etc.
Metis inheritance
I received my Metis inheritance from my parents and Greek culture in both Greece and the United States. I cannot say how this transmission took place. But I can say immersing oneself in Greek thought, as I did for decades, helps to see the world with the eyes of justice, the beautiful and the good.
That is the reason I did not become a “team player” at the US Environmental Protection Agency, a prospect of higher salary and advancement. I saw the wrong embedded in the laws, regulations, and the sleazy behavior of industry lobbyists and senior EPA officials.
Billionaires undermine society and democracy
Behind this unseemly politics was money, lots of money in th…

Ecological Civilization: A Pie in the Sky?

Industrialized agriculture is threatening humanity with catastrophe. It feeds global warming and dissolves societies. In addition, its pesticides contaminate and poison drinking water and food.  Undoing rural America I reached this conclusion from working for the US Environmental Protection Agency for twenty-five years. I summarized my experience in my 2014 book, Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA. This essay reflects my knowledge from that experience. The industrialization of agriculture did massive damage to rural America, turning most of that beautiful land into medieval plantations. Instead of millions of small family farmers, we now have a few thousand large corporate farmers in charge of rural America and the growing of most food. Democracy and human and environmental health suffered a severe blow. Money and power triumphed.  Catching up Like many countries, China is trying to catch up with the agricultural superpower illusion of America. Yes, America produces…

Riding the Wild Bull of Nuclear Power

From atomic theory to nukes
I am proud the Greek philosophers Leucippus and Democritus invented the Atomic Theory, which says that everything in the cosmos is atoms and void. But who could have foreseen that, 2,500 years later, American “physicists” would turn such a glorious insight on the structure of matter into apocalyptic weapons?
The violence and hatred of WWII fueled and speeded the development of the atomic bomb. But why drop such a hideous weapon over Japan and, just as bad, create another giant monstrosity dubbed nuclear bomb? 
Nuclear experts say any nuclear war would doomed humanity. Exploding nuclear weapons would darkened the Sun, triggering global winter and famine. Humans, and probably most other life forms, would become extinct. 
There are thousands of nuclear weapons in the world -- the vast majority in the armories of the United States, Russia and China, lesser amounts in the UK, France, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea.
But why arming for apocalypse? Have world l…

Robots in the Vast Memory Palace of Myth

Greek myths
Greek myths are not fiction. They are extremely ancient stories that preserve memories and history. 
Ancient Greeks thought of myths and history as complementary narratives speaking to them about their gods, heroes, traditions and civilization. In fact, the Greeks understood mythology as early history. This early history (myths) explained their origins and the origins of the gods, and tied all that to the origins and workings of the cosmos.
Philosophers-scientists and poets fashioned their theories, models and dramatic plays from myths. In fact, myths include valuable insights on what the Greeks eventually did in politics, theology, and all fields of knowledge, including science and technology. 
Gods of science and technology
Myths exalt  the gods for being like humans but possessing virtue, beauty, goodness, immortality and immense power: everything humans would also love to have. Myths also reveal that some gods had special affinity and liking to craftsmanship and techne, sci…

Chemical Shock

What’s in the food?
Those who eat “organic” food are largely protected from synthetic pesticides. The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 forbids organic farmers from spraying synthetic chemicals and fertilizers and growing genetically engineered crops. But those eating conventional food sprayed with synthetic chemicals and fertilizers eat, necessarily, food contaminated by those chemicals and fertilizers.   
No restaurant menu or label in a food store says anything about chemical pesticides in food. 
DDT, parathion, chlorpyrifos, neonicotinoids, and glyphosate are a few of a myriad names identifying pesticides.
America hooked on pesticides
The US and other “industrialized” countries have been drenching themselves in pesticides – for decades. 
For example, in 1982, there were 30 companies in charge of the production and sale of pesticides in America. These major producers supplied 3,300 formulators who distributed their products to some 2 million farmers. There were also 100 other produc…