I put up with all of that email from people saying I need to learn Hawaiian history…that I am condescending…that the people responding to my comments are smarter than I think they are. No they aren't.
I going to tell you why, and you won't be able to argue with it. What happened is that a bunch of elected people sat for hours watching a dog-and-pony show and they knew…and I knew…and everyone should have known…that the issue had been decided before they arrived. WHY should they have known that? Because the geothermal working group consists of the people who are going to build and operate the plant and no one else. Because the working group has made their recommendations to the council and the mayor and they are going with it. Everyone put on a nice show, but that's all it was.
By the time ANY measure comes up for public testimony, it has almost always already been decided. They put on the meetings so you can stand up and blow off steam and sound important for a few minutes, but the real reason for the meeting isn't to listen to what you want. or debate the issues. It's to see how much opposition there is to the idea and how much more money whatever company is going to have to spend to overcome it.
There have been a few times when public testimony caused the vote to be put off – but it always gets passed and the mayor always signs it. Because it has been arranged in advance.
Everyone in the county knew who was going to show up at that meeting in Pahoa. NO ONE from the 'PRO' side bothered to come. Do you smart people know why? It was not a meeting to debate the issues. It was a meeting to let the people who came think they have some input into a decision that had been made before Billy Kenoi went to the Phillippines.
So all these smart people did exactly the same thing they always do. Exactly. They displayed their box-of-rocks mentality. When I said that has never worked and never will and those tactics are not effective, I caught hell and I knew I would upfront. And I lost some friends I didn't want to lose because they don't want to believe that their opinions and health concerns and, in some cases, religious beliefs, don't make a damn bit of difference. But they don't.
Here is the bottom line. This issue has been decided. All the people who are locals or have been here fifty years or whatever other excuse they have for dissing me for bursting their bubble have one thing in common. They can't learn. This happens, time after time, EVERY time, and they can never understand what happened. Even when someone TELLS then what happened they still can't grasp it.
You tell me how smart you are. You tell me I don't understand the issues and don't know anything about Hawaiian culture. And you watch as that new geothermal plant is built. It is a done deal. I have just told you the future of geothermal in Hawaii. I won't be here to see it, but there it is.
A smart person would have polled the council members present and asked them why they came. Do you know what the answer was? “We want to make sure everyone gets to have a say”. And if you asked them whether they would vote against the new plant if they heard compelling new evidence, they said the same thing. “We want to make sure everyone gets to have a say”.