Global Warming is a Local Issue


Molokai residents gather to make a difference

The world imagines Hawai`i is Paradise, and in many ways, it is. The music of Hawai`i is the music of Paradise – it has no dark side. In the center of the Hawaiian Islands is Molokai, the Friendly Isle, filled with music and beauty and all the complexities of a population of 8000. A small group of 45 concerned Molokai residents gathered together on Saturday, April 14th at Coffees of Hawaii in Kualapu’u to express concerns and begin to share education on the issues related to Global Warming. At least 1400 similar events happened simultaneously all over America, encouraged by a grassroots organization called StepItUp2007.

The island of Molokai's populace is becoming aware of the evidence presented earlier this month by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) regarding the likely high human costs of global warming. "We are in agreement about one basic principle: we need quick, dramatic cuts in carbon emissions, cuts that will continue for many years to come. In particular, we need legislation that commits the United States and the World to cut carbon emissions 80% by 2050, an amount which turns out to be about 2% per year", said Molokai artist and conservation activist, Anna Fuernsteiner.

"Even though we are a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, farther away from any continental land mass than any other place on Earth, we know that we are connected to all humanity by the air we breathe, the land upon which we walk and the waters that flow around us. It is our hope to join all humankind in 'unity of purpose', bound by our support of the changes necessary to bring our planet Earth back to health." said one of the rally's organizers.

"Because the risk is so high, and the time to act so short, we are very hopeful that our political leaders won’t make unnecessary compromises in the debates and negotiations that lie ahead. It is a time to 'be satisfied' with what we already have, to be 'celebratory' in appreciation of family and friends, a time to 'share' across political, religious, economic and ethnic lines." spoke George Benda for the musical ensemble, Na Ohana Hoaloha.

"When I saw it on a bumper sticker in Santa Cruz, California, 'Let's Mend our FUELish Ways!', I thought, that's worth rallying around", remembered Dakota Blair, who is visiting friends here on Molokai.

"In Paradise, we share aloha because it's all we really have. It is the lesson of the place and our kuleana." said Pua Naeole, Retail Manager at Coffees of Hawaii and rally organizer. "This is a good turnout for a first rally. Raising awareness will surely be followed by political change, isn't that what democracy is all about!"

"It's great that we can have some new ideas on how to conserve based on Reducing Carbon Emissions. We know that the real polluters are the big corporations. But we need to educate ourselves on what we can do as individuals and families", said Herbert Hoe, local educator and activist.

Flyers on how to change personal lifestyles to significantly reduce impact on climate are available at Coffees of Hawai`i.


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