Writing & Speaking

The Agrochemical+GMO Industry in Hawaii. Published by West Viginia University Press, Radical Natures Series. 2022.

Situating Monsanto and Gang’s Occupation of Hawai‘i. Food, Culture & Society, 19(3): 587-614. 2016.

Capitalism Nature Socialism, 27(1): 68-86. 2016.

Documentary about pesticide use and environmental injustice in Hawaii.

Austerity while people are hungry and jobless is just the latest in the state’s decades long support of policies and an economic design that bolster the wealthy class at the expense of the working class. Withholding desperately needed social safety nets in the name of “balancing the budget” is another way of saying that the budget will only be balanced on the backs of working people.

These treaties aim to lock-in policies that make it easier for the most dominant corporations and banks to rake in profits, and harder for people and democratic governments to decide their own fate. It amounts to more regulation and bureaucracy facilitating the profits and property rights of the mega-rich, and less protections for workers, indigenous rights, farmers, health, the environment, and smaller businesses.

Common Dreams: Horror and Hope 

Hope, the belief in better possibilities, lies within one another and collective struggle. Let's allow our hearts to be broken by the horror we witness everyday, but let us also remember that the depth of our pain is the depth of our love. That love, in ourselves and reflected in others, should be all the evidence we need that the fight for a better world is never futile.

Whether one is skeptical, hopeful, or a mix of both about the science and technology of genetic engineering, we must differentiate between what is good for Dow, DuPont, Monsanto, Syngenta, BASF and Bayer, and what is good for farmers and farmworkers.

Food production and distribution are not inherently destructive. Agriculture can also be a major source of carbon sequestration and a builder of biodiversity and ecological resilience. But moving in the direction of a sustainable and equitable food system requires reining in the power of transnational corporate agribusiness.

We are on the verge of forcing insidiously powerful corporations to disclose what kinds of toxic experiments they are conducting on our land and people. And this is just the very tip of what is happening on Kauai, and what is increasingly happening around the world.

 There is a powerful and growing movement in Hawaii to protect our land, water and people's health from the impacts of the agrochemical-GMO industry -- corporate giants Dow, Pioneer DuPont, Syngenta, Monsanto, BASF. They pollute our environmental commons as they pirate ("patent") our global genetic commons in order to make massive amounts of wealth for a very few.

Those committed to building a more just future must question the taken-for-granted “truths” that support the beliefs that capitalism is the only common-sense possibility and that there is no alternative. We can’t leave this task to the pages of peer-reviewed journals and classrooms of social theory—these conversations can start with family and friends but must spread until we create a new common sense. Here are conversation starters to address some standard defenses of the status quo.

The organic and fair-trade industries are booming, Farmers Markets are the new norm, the word "locavore" was added to the Oxford Dictionary, and Michelle Obama even planted a White House garden. But agribusiness continues to consolidate power and profit, small farmers worldwide are being dispossessed in an unprecedented global land grab, over a billion people are going hungry, and agriculture's contributions to climate change are increasing.

Taking climate action NOW. An interview with Gonzaga students on social change for a livable planet.

Debate on Insights PBS: From Kauai to Hawaii Island, our state has become Ground Zero for the debate over GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. Some farmers and ranchers say they can't survive without GMOs and the associated pesticide use. Many consumers and residents are concerned about their health and what they're eating. What do GMOs mean for our crops, for our food...for Hawaii?