Richard Ha writes:
James Woolsey, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and a board member of Ku‘oko‘a, was in Hawai‘i recently to deliver the keynote address at the Asia Pacific Clean Energy Expo and Summit in Honolulu.
His keynote speech is here; forward ahead to 37:00 to hear it.
A recent Civil Beat article starts:
Hawaii needs to take decisive action in moving away from its dependence on foreign oil and capturing local renewable energy sources to power its energy needs, according to James Woolsey, former CIA director under President Bill Clinton and board member of Kuokoa, the local start-up company that wants to take over Hawaiian Electric Co.
“This will not work, this moving Hawaii into a position of leadership and saving Hawaii from its terrible energy dependence — it will not work without decisive action,” said Woolsey. “One can’t halfway do it.” Read the rest
Though he delivers a very sobering message, Jim also has a great sense of humor. While here he also spoke in Kona, and during that Q&A session, he turned his back, unbuttoned his long-sleeve dress shirt, and untucked it. Then he turned back around to face the audience to reveal his t-shirt.
His t-shirt shows a cartoon figure with a gas nozzle in one ear, which is blowing his brains out the other ear. The audience screamed laughing.
Also while he was here, we took the opportunity to make sure he became culturally familiar with who the Hawaiian people are, and how much importance we at Ku‘oko‘a place on all our people having a good cultural grounding in how the people think.
Greg Chun, president of Kamehameha Investment Group and an expert on the Keauhou/Kona area, met us at Keauhou to give us an orientation.
Left to right: Ku‘oko‘a Board Member Noe Kalipi; daughter-in-law of Jacqui Hoover; Board Member Jim Woolsey; Jacqui Hoover, President of the Hawai‘i Island Economic Development Board; Kamehameha Schools' Greg Chun, and Ku‘oko‘a President Ted Peck.
We went up on roof of the Keauhou Outrigger, because from there Jim could see a paranomic view of Keauhou – from the bay to the heiaus and to the hillsides, large expanses that were formerly terraced and planted and which supported many people in pre-contact Hawai‘i.
We have had a lot of conversations with Jim about these things we are so grounded in, but to actually see it all and walk it is different than just talking about it. We walked to the heiaus, and out to the ocean.
Before Jim was a lawyer and high up in government, he studied history. So he knows a lot about civilizations and this was not foreign to him; he understood it immediately. He gets it.
Noe Kalipi, Ted Peck, June and I had a very fun dinner with him the night before his speech. He is a really good guy!
He sees that Hawai‘i is a place where you can scale technology to demonstrate that these things can be done. His whole idea is that we can do this here in Hawai‘i.
He’s like us: We are all committed to making this happen. It’s not an “if.” We must do this.