Hawaii Is Owning the Rest of Us On Climate Change

Illustration for article titled Hawaii Is Owning the Rest of Us On Climate Change
Photo: AP

Just over a year after President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. will jettison the Paris climate deal, Hawaii has set the most ambitious climate goal of any state: carbon neutrality in just 27 years.


That goal was outlined in a bill signed Monday, along with a bill to create a carbon offset program and another requiring environmental impact statements for new building projects to consider sea level rise.

For Hawaiians, climate change is no longer a distant threat. “We’re on the forefront of climate change impacts,” Scott Glenn, who heads up Hawaii’s environmental quality office, told Fast Company. “ People feel the trade wind days becoming less. They notice the changes in rain. They feel it getting hotter. Because we are directly exposed to this, there’s no denying it.”

Hawaii has not shied away from its commitment to climate action. Last year, it was the first state to adopt a law to keep its emissions in line with the Paris agreement. By 2045, the state expects to reach its goal of 100 percent renewable energy, according to Climate Change News.

House bill 2182 aims to achieve carbon neutrality by that same year. It also sets up a “greenhouse gas sequestration task force” that works towards policies that can further curtail carbon emissions. The bill cites an estimated $19 billion in state-wide economic losses due to creeping sea levels brought on by climate change.

House bill 1986, also signed on Monday, creates a carbon offset program to help the task force meet its target. House bill 2106 requires environmental assessments prior to new building projects to include the impacts of sea level rise, a measure which Hawaii’s Governor David Ige refers to as “just plain common sense” given how vulnerable buildings near the coastline are, per Hawaii News Now.

Ige took to Facebook after signing the bills: “Climate change is real and we’re seeing its impacts right now in our island state. Taken together, this suite of bills establishes policies and programs that acknowledge and address this reality.”


At least someone’s acknowledging reality these days.

I was born a while ago and now I'm here. Pretty rad.


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We all have state pride for our states of domicile. I’m glad you’re beaming with Hawaii pride right now. I wake up each morning and sing my state song, “Illinois” every morning and rub the nose on the Abe Lincoln replica bronze bust statue placed in the middle of my living room. Here’s the first stanza:

By thy rivers gently flowing, Illinois, Illinois,
O’er thy prairies verdant growing, Illinois, Illinois,
Comes an echo on the breeze.
Rustling through the leafy trees, and its mellow tones are these, Illinois, Illinois,
And its mellow tones are these, Illinois.

Illinois also owns the rest of the country as far as political corruption and is number 2 behind Florida as far as states that look like a penis.

Hawaii is a temperate island in the subtropics. It has little to no industry. Also, the carbon footprint from planes flying tourist to the island isn’t counted - as is the destruction of carbon sinks by industrial agriculture. In other words, Hawaii would have to be a total fuck up of a state to not be able to keep its greenhouse gases emissions very low. Chiefly due to limited heating and cooling needs for the entire island - except for the NOAA climate station way up on top of that high mountain.

Here’s per capita carbon emissions (energy only) for each US state. Hawaii sits at about number 32. Even fucking New York State (NYS) has a lower per capita carbon footprint than Hawaii. That’s New Mother Fucking York!!!!! Even with newly drafted legislation - it will fall around the same ranking since other states are implementing similar programs. Even corrupt as fuck Illinois. Who btw is ranked about 22 - and that’s with industry and a cold as fuck winter and hot as sweaty balls summer.

Source: EIA Environment

Hawaii has a lot of wealthy landowners. Several of them are tech titans. Some are wealthy farming families. Even the great Bette Midler owns a shitload of land. Lots of environmental blogs tout the wonders of Hawaii as far as being environmentally woke. Some are doing integrated marketing communications for the above to polish industrial family farming and tech turds.