Lack of foresight ensures dire future for Maui

When I remember that Brooklyn was mostly farmland 150 years ago, that my father swam in a clean Hudson River, that California had a population of 7 million in 1941, that the population of the United States has doubled in 50 years and that many heavily populated areas are even more prolific, I wonder why the planners of Maui are so shortsighted, so feverish about development and so captivated by the demon of money.

Maui is a tiny island in the path of a gigantic tsunami of traveling humans. Venice has now had to enact restrictive measures on tourism, as the visitor count has grown into tens of millions each year. Tens of millions of Chinese regard Hawaii as a mythical, mystical place that must be visited. And yet, we continue to promote tourism.

In several years, Paia will resemble a Pakistani commercial district. The roads will remain clogged. Water will become an issue of contention. Rents will impoverish the people who already live here.

It is not the fault of the mayor or the council members that they cannot see the details of the future, the fault lies in their inability to understand simple mathematics and the fact that the future is not defined in decades but centuries.

The inferior official prioritizes the desires of those present. The superior official prioritizes preservation for those yet to come. Or, as grandma used to say, “Only a fool kills the goose which lays the golden egg.”

Raphael O’Suna