Maritime Disaster in Hawaii

            Whatever you do, don’t miss the blog of our colleague Robert Thomas, specifically his post of March 17, 2009, about the Hawaii Supreme Court nixing the new Hawaii Interisland Superferry on environmental grounds. See Sierra Club v. D.O.T., No. 29035, March 16, 2009. The controversy, in Mr. Thomas’ immortal words was

“A certain segment of Hawaii’s population has from the get-go considered the interisland vehicle ferry as nothing less than the Death Star: a whale-killer, a transporter of invasive alien species, and harbinger of a militarized imperialist government. (Others don’t view it so malignantly, just as a much needed and long overdue alternative to interisland transportation, or as a refutation of Hawaii’s reputation as a horrid place to conduct a business…)”

        As far as we are concerned, the 216-page Hawaii Supreme Court opinion, plus the 11-page dissent, amount to a case of never-has-so-much-been-said-by-so-many-in-defense-of-so-little, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, and maybe someone should sue the Hawaii Supreme Court for contributing to global warming certain to increase after laying waste to the forests that had to be chopped down for the paper used thus far in that controversy.

           In case you aren’t keeping this in mind, Hawaii is an island archipelago in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, which means that most of the stuff the Kanakas and their Wahines consume has to be brought in by ship. And, though claiming no seafaring expertise, last time we looked, transpacific freighters were pretty hefty vessels, probably bigger that that ferry. So why they would pose no threat to the environment as they shuttle from the mainland to the islands or among islands to unload their cargo, while the Superferry would do so is beyond our meager intellectual capacity to parse.

          But, hey man, this is 21st century America where nothing of substance can get done without judges’ say so. What the hell, it keeps lawyers gainfully occupied.