Buffer Zone

I push the alarm back another hour. Let myself rest.

It was a fitful night of rain and wind. Moodah the dog just kept waking. Whining to go outside, then barking in the dark at shadows, not coming back inside when I called.

My sleep was stitched with remnants of dishonest corporation heads and buffer zones against toxic pesticides. I must have been digesting the segment I saw before bed. Twenty minutes of film footage taken from the twelve-hour county council session that dedicated a portion of ‘dialogue’ with the representatives of some of the largest agrichemical┬ácompanies in the world: Syngenta, Pioneer, Dow, and BASF.

When asked basic questions by council member Gary Hooser, such as “Could any of you disclose to me the amount of general-use pesticide that you use on an annual basis?,” the seed company representatives sat silent.

Council member Hooser resigned, “I’ll take your silence as a ‘no.'”

Their silence remained through multiple questions that tried to find some sort of common ground with an industry that has taken up 15,000 acres of Kauai land and turned it into an experimental test ground for genetically modified organisms and the exorbitant amount of pesticides that go along with them.

With an annual amount of 18 tons of restricted use pesticides being employed (not including the undisclosed amount of general use pesticides), the 500 foot buffer zone proposed by Bill 2491 seems less than adequate to protect school children, hospitals and waterways. In my opinion, 500 feet is not going to stop the drift carried on our island’s trade winds, or limit the seepage into our water supply.

And yet, these companies, when asked if the Bill were to compromise by removing the provisions for buffer zones in certain instances, they responded, yet again, with silence.

Before giving birth to my son, ten years ago, I used to host a call-in talk show. I followed the news, I got passionate with causes. But after giving birth, everything shifted. All of my energy wanted to funnel into raising my son. I traded in newspapers for non-violent communication parenting workshops.

So I am a bit surprised to see this issue seep into my dream time. Maybe because I know it’s one which has such farther implications than just the health of my island. It certainly affects the future of our planet, the future of generations to come.

We may appear as grown ups at the helm, but why does it feel like we’re toddlers that were just given a lighter and a tank of propane? Do we really have the wisdom to hold these tools of technology in our hands?

Today there is the anniversary of one surreal morning when planes crashed into gleaming towers. There are now cell phones that no longer need passwords, just your fingerprint. Someone has created a gun with their printer. The president wants to strike abroad against the use of chemical weapons, while American doctors won’t be told the names of the toxic chemicals used near the playgrounds of our own children.

This is why I stopped tapping into to current events and started hiding out in the garden.

This morning, I’d really love a buffer zone (for us all).

2013-09-11_water garden leaf