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No excuse for continued cane burning

July 5, 2012
Mike Moran , The Maui Weekly

I fell in love with Maui on first date, and wanted it permanent. More dates proved no infatuation. Being asthmatic caused concern with cane burning, but not overly so after L.A. Last visit was permanent one. Honeymoon over, I delved a bit deeper to determine what was contained in the smoke and took further precautions to guard my health. My commitment to Maui never wavered.

A self-described "haole-come-lately," I chuckle at the defenders of the cane burning, who fall back on the standards: "we have been doing it for generations," "it provides jobs," "it looks pretty," "respect the culture," etc. See, I can survive it just fine, but I ask what about your 'ohana, especially your keiki?

When I see statistics that almost 20 percent of Hawai'i kids have asthma, and worse 25 percent for those of Hawaiian ancestry, I ask how can you defend that?

No, cane smoke is not the only problem for breathing and lung afflictions. There are many others like vog, which is about impossible to stop, and secondhand smoke and other man-made pollutants that can be mitigated, just as cane burning can.

Claiming something is OK because it has been done for a long time is ludicrous. When other places eliminated this practice, new and modified business arose.

Think of your children.

Mike Moran




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