Global warming and the question of climate change is no longer a debate in the war room. It is documented, it is factual, it is here. The predominant outcome of climate change is sea-level rise. Sea levels on Kauai have risen 6.6 inches in the past century, according to researchers, and are predicted to rise up to 96 inches by the end of the century. Add heavy rainfall to rising sea levels and you get flooding, which we are all too familiar with on Kaua`i.
As an island, we have no other choice but to react to the stormy consequences. We must address Climate Change from a two-sided perspective: preparation for extreme downfall and adaption to changing shorelines, as well as the preventative measures of limiting gas emissions and protecting our natural resources by increasing protected ecosystems.
- I believe the highest priority is the most vulnerable issue – which is our island’s food security. Kaua`i must reflect back to her tradition of sustainability.
- We must limit greenhouse gas emissions and cutting the County’s footprint by banning new fossil fuel vehicles sounds like a reasonable attempt; until we figure out a way of providing a low-cost solution to replace and recycle batteries from electric vehicles, we are just substituting one problem for another.
- Island nations that are surviving despite shoreline changes have relocated to higher ground and assimilated the new shorelines. We cannot overpower the ocean … but we can move out of its way.