Monday, July 13, 2009
Don't Sacrifice Our Native Forests Because Syd Singer Likes the Taste of Strawberry Guava
Damon published this "open letter" to Mayor Kenoi from Syd Singer, who calls himself a "Medical Anthropologist." Singer claims to speak for "thousands" of residents opposing release of a scale insect to control strawberry guava because they "enjoy" the fruit. Apparently the "thousands" are under the impression that the scale insect has wiped out strawberry guava in Brazil. It hasn't. People in Brazil are still able to enjoy the flavor.
Singer says "As the current economic recession drags on, more and more people will come to appreciate and rely on our wild foods." If Big Island residents become roving bands of hunter-gatherers, foraging for food in the forest, I submit that a few scale insects will be the least of our problems.
Despite his being a medical school dropout, Singer's website features medical advice galore. I have to admit I have some sympathy for his crusade to persuade women to stop wearings bras. I, uh, support his efforts in that regard for purely, uh, aesthetic reasons.
Hawaii's native forests are a treasure, in our hands to preserve for future generations. If we permit them to be destroyed, turned into impenetrable thickets of strawberry guava because we like the taste of the fruit, what superficial, selfish, spoiled little brats we would be. It's an infantile position.
One of the great things about this island is the tolerance of the off-beat, unconventional, and bizarre. That doesn't mean we should have pseudo-scientific cranks and charlatans setting our public policy, though.