Entrenched tourism to drive our economy?

Summer 2020 may be remembered as a decision point for Maui and Hawaii.

Will we allow the interests of the tourist, hotel and airline industries to push us to reopen our economy and schools? It’s clear how many people want and need to get back to work. Everyone knows “paradise” doesn’t come free. We see how easily evictions and foreclosures could spike.

Do we see what is now happening on the Mainland and how easily that can happen here?

Here on Maui we are in a bubble, somehow protected from what is occurring most everywhere else. Do we really think this bubble won’t burst if we open up too soon or too quickly?

Many of us have seen that our culture’s definitions of “normal” and “progress” are killing the world.

These days, reports of uncrowded roads and beaches also include how many more fish are being spotted, signs of coral restoration, and on. At what price to our quality of life and the health of the natural environment is an economy that crowds the landscape with more development, the roads with more congestion, an economy still based on importing most of its food and fuel.

Do we really continue to be entrenched in tourism to drive our economy when we’ve now witnessed how fragile that is? Do we really think this won’t happen again?

It’s no small thing to look beyond our current pressing needs and take steps for the future we wish our children and grandchildren to have.

Rev. Bodhi Be



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