Richard Ha writes:
The high cost of Paradise is making us less and less food secure.
From the Economic Research Organization at the University of Hawaii:
An Insight on the Cost of Paradise
Whether visitors or residents in Hawai‘i, we are all aware of the high cost of living in paradise. One major contributing factor is the cost of energy. Households in Hawai‘i pay 4 times more than the average US household and nearly 7 times the households in Utah, where the residential energy cost is the cheapest in the nation.* While the US average for April 2013 hovered at 12 cents/kwh, Hawai‘i paid 37 cents/kwh for electricity in the residential sector.** ... Read the rest here
Hawai‘i uses oil for more than 70 percent of its electricity, while the U.S. mainland uses oil for only 2 percent of its electricity. Any food product from the mainland that uses lots of electricity in its processing has an increasing advantage over Hawai‘i food producers and manufacturers.
The U.S. mainland is both our supplier and our competitor. The mainland’s use of cheap natural gas versus our usage of expensive feedstock for electricity production makes all the difference. It’s all about cost. There is no free lunch. Subsidies are not free.
Agriculture and energy are inextricably tied together. Energy helps us do work. Since no one in the world has found a solution for liquid transportation fuel, we need to look to electricity.
On the Big Island, we do have a solution. Geothermal is the cheapest way to generate electricity. And with the throwaway electricity at night, we can generate ammonia, which is a nitrogen fertilizer as well as a hydrogen source. And when we generate cheap electricity, we can run electric vehicles as an alternative to using liquid fuel.
Stable cost for fertilizer for farmers, low-cost electricity for the rubbah slippah folks, clean transportation and a low walk around cost for tourists. We can have the best of all worlds.
Not no can! CAN!