Archive for August, 2013

Respect Pele: No More Geothermal!

Friday, August 16th, 2013


August 15, 2013 comments on “Geothermal Public Health Assessment” Draft V-3 7/23/13

(Background:  Mayor Billie Kenoi contracted Peter Adler, PhD at a cost of $50,000 to form a volunteer study group to do a “Geothermal Public health Assessment.”  That Assessment draft can be viewed here

My testimony at the Pahoa Community Center 3:30PM  Public Hearing are below.

by Jim Albertini for Malu ‘Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box AB Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawai’i 96760 Phone 808-966-7622 Email


1. I commend the members of the study group for all their hard volunteer     work and good faith efforts in preparing
the assessment. I support the findings and recommendations in the assessment but with some additions.

I also support the points raised about the assessment by members of Puna Pono Alliance in an email sent out by the group yesterday

  1. A main point I want to speak to is that despite good faith efforts, we sometimes lose sight of the forest for the trees. More than 20 years ago in the struggle to save the Wao Kele O Puna rainforest from destruction by 500 MW of geothermal planned for that area, a very important video was put together by the Pele Defense Fund entitled “Pele’s Appeal.” I know that many of you in the study group have seen this video. Besides the importance of saving the forest, the video raises profound questions. What are the psychological health impacts to Native Hawaiian practitioners of geothermal drilling into the Hawaiian deity – Pele? Everyone in this room knows that Pele is the Hawaiian goddess of fire, the goddess of the Volcano. How does geothermal drilling into Pele affect the health of an entire race of people when their spiritual beliefs are not respected, but in fact, desecrated by geothermal drilling into Pele. In the Geothermal Public Health Assessment p. 33 Section 4 General Findings. It states the sole focus of the assessment is “what health stressors have been created by geothermal?” Well, the psychological health effects of geothermal drilling on native Hawaiians religious belief in Pele as a deity was grossly overlooked.
  2. I note that no Native Hawaiians, especially Pele Practitioners, were on the Study group. Dr. Maile Tuali’i, PhD from Honolulu was suppose to be a member on the study group but had to withdraw leaving no one to represent a native Hawaiian cultural and religious perspective. Surely, there were others that could have been invited: Palikapu Dedman of the Pele Defense Fund, Dr. Emmett Aluli, UH Dept. of Hawaiian Studies, many of Puna’s Hawaiian Cultural practitioners, etc.
  3. My main recommendation is this: Include as a separate recommended action on page 8 the need for a comprehensive study of the psychological health effect of geothermal drilling on Native Hawaiian religious belief in Pele as a deity. Put this at the top of the list of your 7 or 8 other recommendations. By putting this at the top of the list of recommendations, you would be showing respect for Hawaii’s host people and culture. You would be saying clearly that respect for Native Hawaiian religious beliefs is a top priority and the responsibility of all of us who now call Hawaii home. Also list the video “Pele’s Appeal” in the Bibliography resource list.
  4. I would further recommend that the study group calls for a complete moratorium on any new geothermal development until all the recommendations called for in this assessment are completed. It’s common sense. Before you cause impacts, you first need to study and understand the possible impacts of the proposed actions. Like the EIS process. You study first to eliminate or minimize the impacts. Otherwise the cart’s before the horse. The geothermal cart has been before the horse for over 30 years. Put a stop to that. Call for a halt to any new geothermal before your recommendations are completed.


Jim Albertini

Power to the People!

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

The Moral Imperative of Activism!

Today’s crises – endless war, environmental catastrophe, desperate poverty and more – can seem so daunting that they paralyze action rather than inspire activism. But the imperative to do something in the face of injustice defines one’s moral place in the universe, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.

By Ray McGovern

     That America is in deep moral and legal trouble was pretty much obvious to everyone before Edward Snowden released official documents showing the extent to which the U.S. government has been playing fast and loose with the Fourth Amendment rights of Americans to be protected against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Snowden’s revelations – as explosive as they are – were, in one sense, merely the latest challenge to those of us who took a solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic….

After all the many troubling disclosures — from torture to ”extraordinary renditions” to aggressive war under false pretenses to warrantless wiretaps to lethal drone strikes to whistleblowers prosecutions to the expanded “surveillance state” – it might be time to take a moment … a “thinking break…”

This is our summer of discontent. The question we need to ask ourselves is whether that discontent will move us to action. Never in my lifetime have there been such serious challenges to whether the Republic established by the Founders will survive. Immediately after the Constitutional Convention, Ben Franklin told a questioner that the new structure created “a Republic, if you can keep it.” He was right, of course; it is up to us.

So let’s face it. The Obama White House and its co-conspirators in Congress and the Judiciary have thrown the gauntlet down at our feet. It turned out that we are the ones we’ve been waiting for. .. And as one of my favorite activists/prophets continued to insist, “Do not say there are not enough of us. There ARE enough of us!”

Besides threats to basic constitutional rights and gross violations of international law, there are other pressing issues for Americans, especially the obscene, growing chasm between the very rich and the jobless (and often homeless) poor. .. It seems we are guided far more by profits than by prophets. And without prophetic vision, the people perish…

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., warned: “A time comes when silence is betrayal … We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak…. There is such a thing as being too late…. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with lost opportunity…. Over the bleached bones of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: ‘Too late.’”

(See the complete article here: )

Speak Up & Act For Justice & Peace Now!

1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties. 4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, anti-Hawaiian, etc. 5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world. Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box AB Kurtistown, Hawai`i 96760. Phone (808) 966-7622. Email

Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet

(August 16, 2013– 621st week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office

Important Public meeting on Geothermal

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013
Important Meeting: Health Study Group meeting this Thursday August 15 3:30pm at the Pahoa community center. Public can testify (3 min.) Please come and support Bob’s point on the importance of including the psychological health impacts to Native Hawaiians from Geothermal drilling into Pele, goddess of fire, goddess of the Volcano. Those of us who are not Hawaiians need to stand in solidarity and show respect for Hawaiian religious beliefs.

Geothermal update 8/13/12 from Bob Petricci.  See below.

Health Study Group draft report attached. Please read the report and come give your recommendations to the Health Study Group this Thursday at the Pahoa Community Center.
One more last minute point I want to make for the Health Study Group meeting this Thursday August 15 3:30pm at the Pahoa community center.

I have been looking at and talking to people about something I believe the health study group including me overlooked and does not understand well.

As explained to me:

What is the impact to a race of people when you alter their theology and beliefs.

We use science to study bee’s, birds, bugs, plants, h2s ect. But when it comes to native people there is no study, where is the science for them. It’s not just geothermal where this happens, but in this situation it is.

In the case of Pele practitioners such as the Pele Defense Fund, they believe geothermal development is desecrating their goddess by drilling into Pele to tap her mana.

Below is a thirty minute video on the subject from the last geothermal battle over Wao Kele O Puna where in Pele Practitioners talk about the impacts to them.

As Dr. Emmit Aluli explained it in Pele’s Appeal:

When the next generation of Hawaiians grow up they will look at geothermal and say there is Pele.

What is the psychological impact on a race of people when you alter their belief system?

Some may feel this is not your Kuliana, however there is an impact here, and it is related to geothermal development. All the study groups before us have refused to acknowledge there are impacts to those who view geothermal as sacrilegious. We may not be able to fix that but we certainly should recognize it. Or are we suppose to single out Pele Practitioners for exclusion from our discussion of impacts?

I believe this should be included in the discussion and in the report. I regret not emphasizing this earlier. I now believe if we do not do it, no one will. Because I do recognize these impacts and they are not mentioned in the report recommendations for study, I am bringing them forward now even if rather awkwardly. This is to important to me to ignore. Historical and future impacts of geothermal development on traditional Hawaiian beliefs has been swept under the rug. We can not say we are not aware that it is happening, we know, therefore IMO it becomes our responsibility to at least recognize it.

The report recognized other physiological impacts on area residents  but we did not do the same for those who still practice Hawaiian traditional religious beliefs as they relate to the goddess Pele. I think that those impacts are real having known Palikapu for 30 years I have seen the impact to him personally of fighting for recognition of what he believes is his right to practice his religion. I believe that the report should recognize those issues are real. The recommendations on these impacts should meet the same criteria we used for the other physiological impacts.

Mihael R. Edelstien, wrote a paper on the subject that was omitted from our draft Report V-3. The study published in Society and Natural Resources, Vol. 8, February, 1995, by Michael R. Edelstein and Deborah A. Kleese titled Cultural Relativity of Impact Assessment: Native Hawaiian Opposition to Geothermal Energy Development.  Dr. Edelstein is a Professor of Psychology in Environmental and Graduate Sustainability Studies at Ramapo College of New Jersey.  The study “proposes that the conflict over geothermal energy development represents two belief systems holding opposing views of the environment. Western attitudes toward nature regard the environment as a series of natural resources to be managed. In contrast, Native Hawaiian beliefs regard nature as sacred. Specifically, geothermal energy development threatens perhaps the most sacred space in all Hawai’i, the home and body of the fire goddess Pele. The lengthy administrative proceedings in this matter are instructive of the marginalization of native peoples and their difficulty in gaining recognition for cultural impacts in a decision-making process that is built around the rationality of the dominant Western world view.”

I believe Dr. Edelstein proposed a follow-up study as part of the health impact review that is being considered by this health study group, but no mention of this aspect of health is seen in the draft. I believe that is a mistake. Geothermal impacts to Hawaiians cultural beliefs and to them psychologically have been ignored for to long and it would be wrong for this report and Health Study Group to also ignore theses impacts.

I look forward to seeing you and hearing what you think of the report this Thursday, at the public meeting.


If you are not already, become an activist. Otherwise it may be too late!

Monday, August 12th, 2013
Below is a very important, in depth, article by a former CIA analyst on the ethic of resistance.
The Moral Imperative of Activism
By Ray McGovern
Never in my lifetime have there been such serious challenges to whether the Republic established by the Founders will survive.

Good article by former CIA man Ray McGovern on need for activism

Saturday, August 10th, 2013