Coffee's candidacy offers voters a choice
Hawaii can only benefit with Jerry Coffee as our U.S. senator. He has demonstrated the courage and personal skills to work on behalf of all of us.
Coffee's impressive strength of character and proven leadership skills under the most dire of circumstances absolutely make him the right man for the job at this most difficult period in our nation's history. Clearly, he has the "right stuff."
I applaud his selflessness in electing to challenge the status quo. Coffee's entrance into the Senate race provides an exciting choice other than Tweedledum or Tweedledee. Let's see what he has to say!
Akaka should rethink position on ANWR
Last year Senator Akaka testified in favor of the McCain-Lieberman Climate Change Bill. He focused on the rapidly melting glaciers and ice sheets that are causing sea levels to rise, threatening our Pacific islands.
Al Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth" underscores this growing crisis and presents additional data relevant to Akaka's stand on opening Alaska's North Slope to further oil and gas development. Namely, while such development depends on driving equipment on frozen roads, the number of days that the Alaskan tundra is frozen solid enough for such activity has declined from more than 200 in 1970 to about 80 in the year 2000. With the tundra warming faster than any place on the planet, this trend is set to continue.
Akaka has maintained that developing oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is an indigenous rights issue. But the people are divided on the question. Numerous wildlife species -- including millions of migratory birds from around the world -- depend on the National Petroleum Reserves Lands (already opened for development by the Bush administration) and ANWR. Clearly far more is at stake than the rights of the relatively tiny number of indigenous people who favor oil development (in opposition to the indigenous people who do not).
How wise is it to pursue a strategy that is financially and environmentally risky, with a minimal payoff in future oil under the best of scenarios? It's time for our esteemed senator to re-examine this issue.
Nothing 'humane' about killing whales
Regarding the July 10 letter
"Humane whaling aids Japanese research," by Makoto Hinei, senior consul at the Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu:
Just because an animal (i.e., the minke whale) is not on the endangered list, does that makes it fair game?
"Humane" is a funny word. Some humans should not be allowed to use the term "humane." There's nothing humane about killing for groundless, useless research. I wish for the day when the more intelligent and more gentle than humans whales can do "research" on heartless, brainless wretches who think like the Japanese general consul. Who is running this planet?
Second book explains Bishop Estate scandal
Attorney Ted Hong
makes a cheap shot in his July 4 column. He states that prior to the book "Broken Trust" by Sam King and Randy Roth, "the dots in the (Bishop Estate) scandal consisted only of rumor and speculation.
My book "Lost Generations, A Boy, a School, a Princess." also published by the University of Hawaii Press, was in book stores six months before "Broken Trust." It is far from speculative.
J. Arthur Rath
Ethanol isn't saving money or the planet
If you've been wondering if the ethanol mandate is saving you money, a recent news article says that "current market prices (are) about $4 a gallon for ethanol." Since ethanol has only 70 percent of the energy per gallon of gasoline, it would take about $5.70 worth of ethanol to replace the energy in a gallon of gasoline. Add in the taxes at the pump, and that 10 percent ethanol added to each gallon costs about twice as much as the gas it replaces!
But some might say, we're saving on fossil fuels and helping the environment. Isn't that worth paying a lot more? Well, that's not true either. If you look in the July issue of Harper's magazine -- the Harper's Index -- the ratio between the energy from corn-based ethanol vs. the (fossil fuel) energy required to produce it is 1:1. So ethanol isn't really a renewable resource -- we're just taking fossil fuels and converting them to ethanol without any gain in energy.
I understand that our legislators want to placate the environmental lobby even if doing so harms the public, but this 10 percent ethanol mandate is stupid and costly. It's time to scrap it. If the oil refiners want to add ethanol to gasoline, that's their choice, but let's not force them to do it even if it doesn't make economic sense.