Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Catching Up with the News: Volunteers Will Draw a Disturbing Blue Line

This site has taken a back seat while we traveled to a time zone 12 hours distant from home, but we’re catching up with a compilation of energy-related items. Thanks for visiting over the past week despite the sameness of our material here.

Blue Line Project

Hawaii hasn’t held any cabinet meetings 20 feet beneath the waves like they just did in the Maldives, but we have as much motivation as those islands to fight against global warming and sea level rise.

Every island does – especially those that have chosen (as Hawaii has) to build right up to the coastline. One meter of sea level rise in this century – the IPCC’s conservative estimate – will create big problems for our grandchildren. We do care about our grandchildren, don’t we?

Thousands of volunteers of all ages will “draw the line on climate change” Saturday, October 24 throughout Hawaii. The blue line they’ll chalk will mark the high-water incursion where the likely impacts will be for one meter of sea level rise. Sign-ups are still being taken at the project’s website.

HPR’s “Energy Futures” Show

The inspiration for the Blue Line Project might well be Professor Chip Fletcher of the University of Hawaii. Fletcher studies sea level rise at home and around the Pacific and has had an impact on public consciousness with his computer-generated graphic. Yes, the computer draws a blue line – at many places far from the beach – to show locations of the high-water impacts.

Before leaving for France, we recorded a Hawaii Public Radio Energy Futures program with Fletcher and Associate Professor of Law Maxine Burkett, who directs the Center for Island Climate Adaptation and Policy at UH’s William S. Richardson School of Law. The show will be broadcast at 5 pm HST October 26 on KIPO-FM (89.3) and streamed on the Internet at that hour on HPR’s website.

HECO Promotes Electric Cars

Lastly, word comes today from Detroit that Hawaiian Electric Company has joined with 18 other utilities in the nation to promote the development of electric vehicles.

HECO President and CEO Dick Rosenblum said Hawaii “is a natural laboratory for developing and testing plug-in electric vehicles.” With relatively short commuting distances and new sources of renewable energy that can be used for off-peak battery charging, “we can be the place people come to see and experience EVs in action,” he said.

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