As a permaculture designer I find myself in agreement with the June 23 Viewpoint representing Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co.'s point of view.
In the early 1990s, the company followed up on my contact with the Australian who had success with the green chop practice. The HC&S representative went to some trouble to let me know why it wouldn't work on Maui.
Sugar is a sustainable crop - it requires low inputs, gives us green open space, and sugar is not genetically modified. Can anyone come up with a better crop? Would you prefer GMO beet sugar in your coffee?
We don't like the smoke. We don't like the vog, either. The smoke lasts a little while - that's the price we bear. The green fields of cane rippling in the sunshine are the compensation.