Friday, January 2, 2009

Hawaii Poised for Revolution in Energy Policy, plus: Will Sea Level Change Be Faster than Predicted?

The island-wide blackout one week ago today is still a warm (if not hot) conversation topic and won’t soon be forgotten by residents – even temporary ones like the President-Elect – who went without power for 12 hours or longer. It was the second such outage in just over two years.

On the plus side, the blackout hit less than a month before the opening of the 2009 legislative session and is sure to be a fresh memory in the State Capitol. Jeff Mikulina, executive director of Henk Rogers’ Blue Planet Foundation, lays out “five steps to a greener tomorrow” in an editorial page piece in today’s Advertiser, timed for our legislators’ benefit.

Mikulina notes that today’s relatively low energy costs provide “some breathing room for us to take actions to prepare for the inevitable: skyrocketing prices.

“Let's not squander this opportunity. Replacing incandescent light bulbs with CFLs, putting in a solar water heater, swapping out an old, inefficient fridge, driving less — all go a long way to keeping oil in the ground and money in your pocket. And although the cost of oil is down, its cost to the environment hasn't changed one bit. Each of us doing our part really makes a world of difference.”

Mikulina’s five-point manifesto is must reading for legislators, utility commission members and everyone who is concerned about Hawaii’s unique oil dependency and hopeful for the state’s renewable energy potential.

"Abrupt Client Change" Report

Jan TenBruggencate of Kauai writes on his Raising Islands blog that a new federal government report predicting much faster sea level rise has received no media coverage in Hawaii since its release on December 15.  Among the report's unsettling conclusions:

"...inclusion of these ice-sheet and glacier processes into future modeling experiments will likely lead to sea-level rise projections for the end of the 21st century that substantially exceed those presented in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change fourth assessment report (IPCC AR4)."

Jan's blog has links to several documents that may disrupt your sleep cycle.

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