Hawai‘i is at the top of the leaderboard in the fight against climate change. Join our mission to save the planet and our island way of life.
Hawaiʻi was the first state to sign the Paris Climate Agreement into state law when the Trump Administration withdrew, the first to set progressive clean energy goals which quickly led to strong, cutting-edge carbon capture goals. Honolulu has a strong Office of Climate Change, Oʻahu is close to shutting down its last coal plant and is cutting down on gas while Kauaʻi is running off of 50% renewable energy.
Our close knit communities, down to earth mindsets, and authentic values make Hawaiʻi best suited to model the best climate saving policies because we are island people, we care about our neighbors, and we are experienced in living within our limits as the most isolated islands on the planet. The people of Hawaiʻi are creative, tenacious, and genuine. The world is looking to us and we are up for the challenge. It is our classic, grounded way of living that will lead our islands and beyond into a clean and equitable climate future.
We’ve made it through the fundamentals but now it’s time to—level up.
A comfortable, livable planet with a stable climate and equitable society. Along the way we will adapt to the climate changes we are already seeing, mitigate what is yet to come, and leave no being behind.
Meet the Villains: Carbon barons
Big oil and gas knew as early as 1968 that their products would cause destructive, global changes in climate.
Not only did they know and choose not to act, they:
launched a propaganda campaign to reframe climate science as inconclusive,
funded research into alternative climate theories,
spent hundreds of millions of dollars to lobby against climate policies,
reinforced and relocated their refineries and infrastructure to protect their assets from climate change impacts.
continued to receive subsidies while earning billions of dollars a year
The Challenge: Cost of climate change
The economic impacts directly and indirectly due to climate change. Costs such as, but definitely not limited to: infrastructure repair, relocation, and/or new construction, severe weather event preparation and/or recovery.
Bottom line: the costs of preparing for the worst of climate change and mitigating the impacts that are already here are extraordinary, although vital. We must ensure the safety, health, and wellbeing of all of Hawaiʻi’s communities are taken care of as we mitigate and adapt to the new climate.
The carbon barons made billions of dollars off of the demise of our environment and communities. They knew exactly what their products would do to the health of all and they used their power and money to lie to decision makers, the government, and the people. This is not ethical nor fair. The carbon barons deceived us for their own profit while leaving us to suffer the worst effects of climate change.
We should not have to pay for the costs of climate change alone. The carbon barons caused this and they should be held accountable.
End Game: System Change Not Climate Change
It’s not enough to solely move away from fossil fuels. We must remain flexible and look at the problem holistically—to change everything we need everyone. This means stepping out of our comfort zones and joining forces to work towards a future that is fair and livable for all.
Climate change is the result of our current economic and industrial system.
Capitalism has deepened the divide between the wealthy and the poor, driven our markets to exploit natural resources beyond repair, polluted our waters and air, alienated native peoples, and hooked us on to fossil fuels. This economy has left behind millions of people—padding the pockets of corporate polluters and billionaires, exposing working class families, communities of color, and others to stagnant wages, toxic pollution, and dead-end jobs.
Now it is not impossible to mitigate climate change impacts and stay within the 1.5 degree global temperature increase under our current systems but it is very close to it, it would be extraordinarily difficult. We need a bold, innovative, equitable, and thoughtful shift to keep this planet livable.
The Green New Deal is an example of just that.
At the intersection of the climate change and inequality crises is the opportunity for a complete shift away from the status quo system that got us here. To tackle the climate crisis at the speed that justice and science demand, the Green New Deal will upgrade our infrastructure, revitalize our energy system, retrofit our buildings, and restore our ecosystems. It’ll cut climate pollution while creating millions of family-sustaining jobs, expanding access to clean air and water, raising wages, and building climate resilience. To counteract inequality, those benefits would go first and foremost to the working class families and communities of color that have endured the brunt of the fossil fuel economy.
Obviously, a shift like this means we must become comfortable with the uncomfortable: building alliances with unlikely partners while locking arms tighter with those we already hold close, looking beyond our typical scope of work and integrating cross-sector initiatives. It really will take everyone. But everyone shares this planet, right?
Health Booster: Nature & Tradition
We must remember that nature does not need humans—but humanity needs nature.
The natural resources that we depend on for survival existed (and flourished) long before our civilizations. And indigenous and traditional communities supported large populations while living harmoniously with the environment. We know it can be done. The reality is that the natural environment is resilient and humanity can live sustainably if it chooses to. This hints at the past being the key to our future.
Nature-based solutions are actions that work with and enhance nature while also helping to keep our communities safe and adapt to climate change and its related disasters. Examples of nature-based solutions include a wide variety of actions such as native reforestation to increase carbon capture and forest resilience, restoring natural sand dune and wetland systems, farming coral to replenish damaged coral reefs, to embracing native food systems.