Phase 1 – Kauai Global Warming Commission

(This document creates a new Kauai County Commission.
This draft is now under construction;
your ideas and input are welcome and appreciated.)

  1. BECAUSE,
    1. Global warming changes everything.
    2. Global warming is unfolding faster than expected.
    3. Physics doesn’t negotiate: We won’t get any credit for a effort.  If we are too slow in lowering green house gasses, we will pay with lives lost and species gone extinct, including perhaps our own species given we are at the top of the food chain and what we will be destabilizing is the food chain itself.
    4. After many years of advance warnings, unfortunately very little progress has been made to stop global warming or to prepare for it’s impact.
    5. Global warming has huge ramifications for Kauai’s younger residents.
    6. Both the public and private infrastructure require enormous changes.
    7. A comprehensive full time commitment and sharply focused effort is required.
    8. Global warming needs to be met with a sufficient effort, which allows for a margin of error, to assuredly lessen it’s impact so that it is survivable.
    9. Both short and long terms plans need to be developed and implemented for our island.
    10. No existing commission or board could reasonably give sufficient focus, attention, breadth, and continuity that this commission will bring.
    11. Further, all other existing commissions are now focused on other important matters, and probably many conflicts of interest would compromise the work of this commission, as it endeavors to work at what is probably the most important of issues: the future survival of life on earth.
    12. We are joining together with others, e.g. see: State of Oregon Global Warming Commission

 II. Title

This new commission should probably be called the “Kauai Global Warming Commission“, or Kauai’s GWC for short.  However, it could also be called the Kauai Climate Change Commission.  (Some see the term “Climate Change” as the watered down version of “Global Warming”, but either would work.)


III. General Mission

To advise the county regarding the best solutions and measures to avoid unnecessary global warming, and to mitigate impacts of unavoidable global warming.


IV. Members

Initially there should be at least 5 qualified voting members.


V. GLOBAL WARMING INDUCED KAUAI PUBLIC TASKS

(Commission tasks to work on, not in any particular order)

Emission reductions – to lessen future temperature increases from further accumulation of green house gases

— Prioritize tasks.
— Make an inventory of all internal combustion engines on the island, and what they are used for, and formulate a plan for how Kauai will obsolete them and replace them with other options.  Include heavy equipment, mowing and trimming, pumping, etc.
— Assist with the replacement of internal combustion engines on the island
— Evaluate our transportation infrastructure to increase the ability for people to use more walking, bicycles, equestrians, sail, or other modes of travel.
— Education: Prepare materials to educate the public about the coming changes
— Incentives: Advise the Mayor and County Council  on climate credits, Carbon taxes, or the like to meet the Commission’s goals.

Impact mitigation – to better deal with the effects of unstoppable warming

— Prioritize tasks.
— Develop a long range plan for land acquisitions for new overland roads and routes as the ocean rises compromising our existing roads
— Evaluate global coral bleaching and it’s impact on further fish stock declines
— Evaluate fish stock reduction rate and help build local fish farms into our habitat for protein
— Plan new and better support for warmer summers
— Plan long term for a new economy with tourist travel arriving by more environmentally friendly ships


VI. Global Warming Induced Kauai Public Issues

(Issues to review for severity and possible solutions – in alphabetic order)

Coral die off

– Increased food scarcity; Increased food cost

Financial instability and decline

– A factor making ALL of our solutions much harder to obtain!
– More Homeless
– Possible decreases in taxes collected — Due to less work being done in summers

Further ocean fish stock depletion

– More dependence on land and mainland produced food

Increased disease threats

– Dengue Fever, etc.

Increased human stress

– More addictions. More medical issues. More attachment wounds in babies.

Increased hurricane intensity and frequency

– Increased insurance costs, loss of human life, added human stress

Increased transportation costs

– Increased cost of air transporation — As governments put laws in place to reduce the fossil fuels being used
– Increased cost of container ships; Further increase in food, medicine, and other costs — As governments put laws in place to reduce the fossil fuels being used. Currently container ships worldwide contribute a surprisingly huge fraction of the CO2 being produced.

More crop failure due to climate instability

– More food scarcity; Increased food cost, More international migration; further increases disease threats, More international military conflict

More hydroelectric production variability

– Less night time power available at times

Rainfall instability

– More risk of crop failure
– More risk of flooding
– More risk of water shortage

Sea level rise

– Cemetery at risk of being flooded
– Existing landfill at risk of being flooded and washing out to sea
– Low lying businesses and homes flooded out and hauled to landfill
– Low lying roads flooded and abandoned; Higher elevation roads need to be built.
– More ocean debris washing up — Because as sea levels rise, and communities are flooded, and also as heavy storms produce flooding much more stuff washes into the oceans. Also as more poverty sets in there are less resources and observable human nature is to walk past litter and not pick it up if you are poor and hungry.
– More severe beach erosion
– PMRF (Pacific Missile Range Facility military base) becomes unusable

Warmer summers

– Fire risk goes up when it gets hot
– Increased crime — In the summer there is more human irritability and if people work less there is more scarcity
– Less construction and maintenance productivity, and less taxes — Already people who work outdoors at times can only work 2 hours because of the heat and humidity
– Less tourist revenue and associated taxes


VII. Funding

Because living within our means is living responsibly, this new commission will not add to county expenditures.  Rather it will be funded by sharing a portion of the funds now already used to fund boards and commissions, making the others a bit smaller, so this new commission can be funded.


 

One example of a long range future plan, is this very early plan for San Francisco’s freeway system.  — Anything involving major changes need to be looked at very early, a long time before the needs are there, so when it needs to be built we don’t have to tear down too much else to implement it.