I was in traffic next to a Kahului school this morning. Black snow was falling on me and the schoolchildren. Some of them are sons and daughters of HC&S employees. Statistics say that some of those children have asthma, which is very likely exacerbated by cane smoke.
The idea that we live in a place that considers this normal behavior is insane. HC&S sends letters thanking us for understanding how important this all is. Really? Just to be clear, many of us don't understand.
The idea that this company hasn't chosen another path to harvest cane--or chosen other crops that might even be better for us than sugar--over all these years shows a tremendous lack of initiative and desire.
There is so much more that an intelligent, caring company could do with their land, or at least learn a way to improve the harvesting process to eliminate burning. I don't want to see any jobs lost, just progress made in a world that is different than it used to be.
Of course, it isn't really about the cane at all, is it? It's about a company in business to make money and worshipping that god over the people that live here.
Don't be threatened by the future--embrace it and make a difference growing food or fuel crops. You would be admired for being progressive and help us solve our food security issues at the same time.