Richard Ha writes:
Two years ago, oil hit $100 per barrel and I wrote the blog post The Kahuna Not Going Save Us. I was the only person from Hawai‘i who had attended the Peak Oil conference in Houston a couple months before.
Fast forward: Aloha Airlines is gone. Hilo’s O’Keefe Bakery is gone. The Middle East is in turmoil. Our county, state and national governments are saddled with enormous debt.
Our fundamental problem is that for more than 30 years now, the world has been using twice as much oil as it has found.
In Hawai‘i, though, we have a solution that can take us all the way to prosperity, relative to the rest of the world.
We have the gift of geothermal, and we need to use it. We only need a small amount of the energy being used to create our islands, a process that has been going on for millions of years, almost from the time humans started to walk upright.
We need to determine our desired outcome. It is not just getting off oil. We need to think bigger.
How about we think about moving to a place where the aloha spirit thrives? How about arming our future generations with the tools they'll need by using our brains now? How about giving people the ability to get off the streets and to a place where they can support their families in their own homes?
The folks on Kino‘ole Street understand this very clearly. They are ready to go.
We need to close our oil-fired electricity generating plants and start making these changes now. We need low-cost, stable electricity relative to the rest of the world. Capital loves stability. If we do this, capital will be clamoring to come here. The folks on Bishop Street understand this clearly.
In a world filled with instability, we will have the attention of Wall Street.
The kahuna not going save us. Tutu Pele can, though.