Testimony of Kat Brady re HECO CIP T-1 (2006)


Testimony of 
Kat Brady
Vice President for Social Justice
Life of the Land


My name is Kat Brady and I am the Assistant Executive Director and the Vice President for Social Justice at Life of the Land, Hawai`i's own environmental and community action group advocating for the people and the `aina since 1970. Our mission is to preserve and protect the life of the land through sustainable land use and energy policies and to promote open government through research, education, advocacy, and litigation.


I have been with Life of the Land since August 1995. My work at this amazing nonprofit entails reviewing and commenting on environmental assessments and impact statements, monitoring state and county boards and commissions on behalf of the community, providing some advocacy through testimony at the Hawai`i State Legislature, representing Life of the Land on various agency task forces and groups, and helping communities understand and navigate the quagmire of state and county rules and processes. In my work, I research and analyze the social and cultural impacts of proposed projects and advocate for Hawai`i's self-reliance by advocating for the promulgation of thoughtful and holistic land use and natural resource policies and the preservation of Hawaiian culture.


I have worked for nonprofit organizations most of my career. I managed the New York branch of Screen Actors Guild, the union for film actors, for twelve years. After moving to Hawai`i twenty years ago I taught in the Weinberg Village in Hale`iwa, a transitional housing program for homeless/houseless families for approximately 5 years. The injustice of people being houseless in their homeland was staggering to me and this began my study of Hawaiian culture and research to find out the true history of Hawai`i. I'm proud to say that all my students worked for and successfully obtained their GEDs, entered the workforce and got jobs in their areas of expertise, and the majority of my students and their `ohana moved out of Weinberg Village and into their own homes.


I also coordinate a community initiative working on prison reform and criminal justice issues involving both adults and juveniles, which has operated out of Life of the Land's office for almost a decade with the full support of our Board of Directors.


I have been recognized for my work in all these areas by several organizations:


2005 - Recognized as the Friend of Social Work awarded by the National Association of Social Workers, Hawai`i Chapter


2005 - Honored on the Floor of the Hawai`i State Senate Hawai`i Senate and received a Certificate of Recognition for my Social Justice Advocacy


2004 - Received The Interfaith Alliance of Hawai`i's Community Mobilization Award


2003 - Recipient of the National Association of Hawaiian Civic Club Kako`o o Kalaniana`ole Award as the Outstanding Non-Hawaiian for Service to the Hawaiian Community


1985 - Honored by the New York Branch of Screen Actors Guild (SAG) for "Loving New York Actors" - an award that had been previously given to Woody Allen and Sidney Lumet


1985 - Recognized by the Ethnic Equal Opportunities Committee of SAG for promoting diversity and advancing the goals of minority actors.


1985 - Recognized by the Conservatory Committee of SAG for the developing an in-house studio for actors to use as rehearsal/audition space


My presentation today will outline Life of the Land's case regarding PUC Docket No. 05-0145 -HECO's proposed 2009 power plant at Campbell Industrial Park.


Life of the Land's case will open with an overview of what is currently happening across the globe. We will enter as exhibits reports and data from various scientific studies and reports, including:


EXHIBIT 1: The Pentagon - "An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security" dated October 2003 (LOL-EXH-GW-1)


EXHIBIT 2: The New Economics Foundation report entitled, "Mirage and Oasis - Energy Choices in an age of global warming" released in June 2005 (LOL-EXH-GW-2)


EXHIBIT 3: Lloyd's of London "360 Risk Project", the insurance industry's report on the consequences of climate change (2006) (LOL-EXH-GW-3)


EXHIBIT 4: Union of Concerned Scientists - Global Warming Facts - Human Fingerprints (LOL-EXH-GW-4)


EXHIBIT 5: The Hadley Center - Results from Carbon Cycle Experiments (LOL-EXH-GW-5)


EXHIBIT 6: Charts and Graphs and Visual Aids on the Impacts of Global Warming (LOL-EXH-GW-6)


EXHIBIT 7: Climate change and the greenhouse effect - A briefing by the Hadley Ctr-12/05 (LOL-EXH-GW-14)


EXHIBIT 8: Stabilising climate to avoid dangerous climate change - the Hadley Ctr. - 1/05 (LOL-EXH-GW-15)


Life of the Land will show that the course that we are on, and the proposal before you, is an unwise choice for Hawai`i and the planet. We will bring forth witnesses who will share their expertise in the areas of science, environment, economics, and social justice. 


We will then ask the Public Utilities Commission to review the science and data we have presented and consider the responsibility inherent by this docket in determining Hawai`i's energy future. Life of the Land asks that we all our collective responsibility to each other as neighbors and our individual responsibility as good global citizens living on a planet that human activity is heating up and that is facing numerous social, economic, environmental, and human catastrophes. Hawai`i no longer has the luxury of looking only at a proposed project. We must see this project in the context of what is happening right now and what impacts any project will incur. Scientists have concluded that human activities are contributing to global warming by adding large amounts of heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere. Our fossil fuel use is the main source of these gases.


Life of the Land urges the Commission to take the long view and, as indigenous peoples throughout the world advocate, look seven generations down your family line to determine the impacts of any action before any such action is commenced. This is responsible leadership and good global citizenship and we urge the Commission to consider all the facts before deciding what Hawai`i's energy future will be - clean, renewable, and self-reliant or dirty, imported fossil fuel, creating even more dependence on unstable fossil fuel producing nations.


Life of the Land's case will prove that we have little choice in light of all the scientific data and evidence that human activity, especially the burning of fossil fuels, has placed our planet in peril.


The temperature is rising:
The following graph illustrates the planets' temperature over the last 200 years - note the strong warming that has taken place over the last 30 years.


HEATING UP
There has been a strong warming in the past 30 years. Global average surface temperatures were generally higher after 1989 than they were earlier in the century. The temperatures represent degrees Celsius above and below the 1951–80 average temperature. The black squares represent annual mean temperatures, the red line shows the five-year running mean, and the blue bars show 95% confidence limits to account for incomplete spatial sampling, meaning there is only a 5% probability that the true temperature values lie above or below the blue bars.
Source: http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/8150/8150climatechange.html


Global temperature 1 record:
This graph clearly shows the global temperatures for the last 146 years. The earth has had some of the highest recorded temperatures in 2005 and 2006.


Global Temperature Record*
Phil Jones

* Last updated: August 2006, Phil Jones
Source: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/link/


Northern hemisphere temperatures:
The next graph illustrates temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere from the year 200 to the year 2000. The yellow shading indicates the 95% confidence interval, meaning there is only a 5% probability that the true temperature values lie outside the yellow region.



OUT OF BOUNDS


In the Northern Hemisphere, the temperature in 2000 was higher than it had been at any time in almost two millennia. The dashed line shows the mean temperature for the period 1961–90. The different colored lines represent various estimates of Northern Hemisphere average temperatures based on slightly different subgroups of proxy data or on different methods of averaging the data. The yellow shading indicates the 95% confidence interval, meaning there is only a 5% probability that the true temperature values lie outside the yellow region.
Source: Michael E. Mann [Geophys. Res. Lett., 30, 1820 (2003)]


The following excerpt appeared in the Sunday, August 13, 2006 Honolulu Star Bulletin – Nation page C-7:


Heat wave’s high death toll cuts across social spectrum
About 140 died last month in California during the unusually harsh 13-day spell.
By Jennifer Steinhauer
“…The length of the heat wave – it dragged on unabated for two weeks – overwhelmed county coroners, strained the state’s power resources and caused costly damage to crops and livestock, in addition to the human toll.”


Variations in the earth's global surface temperature for the past 140 years:
This graph from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows the variations in the earth's global surface temperatures for the past 140 years. The graph beneath it shows the variation in temperature in the Northern Hemisphere over the last 1,000 years.


Source: http://www.ipcc.ch/present/graphics/2001syr/large/05.16.jpg


Over the course of the 20th century global average surface temperatures have increased by about 0.6°C. This might not sound like much, but an average temperature rise of just 2°C is widely accepted as the threshold for unacceptable and unpredictable impacts on the planet.


New research has shown that the 20th century was the warmest period of the last 1200 years. Most of this warming has occurred since 1976 with the 1990’s being the warmest decade on record. 2005 was the warmest year on record, shortly followed by 1998. Sea surface temperatures were also the highest on record in 2005. Of the past ten years, only 1996 does not fall in the ten warmest, its place is taken by 1995.


Regions of significant warmth in 2005 were extensive and occurred throughout the world. Large areas of Africa, Australia, Brazil, the Russian Federation, Scandinavia, Canada, China and the south west United States all displayed significantly above average temperatures.


The largest temperature increases have been experienced at the very high latitudes of the world where changing reflectivity of the earth's surface has caused significant local warming (as ice melts less solar radiation is reflected back and more is absorbed). The Antarctic Peninsular has warmed by more than 2°C since the 1940’s and a similar warming has been noted in the Arctic where temperatures are at their highest for 400 years. Source: http://www.theclimategroup.org/index.php?pid=798


Effects on extreme temperatures:
These graphs, also from the IPCC, illustrates the effects on extreme temperatures -- the uncertainty we face as greenhouse gases are trapped in our atmosphere and change the weather patterns of the earth.
 Source: http://www.ipcc.ch/present/graphics/2001syr/large/05.22.jpg 


Projected changes in the Arctic climate, 2090:
The averages of the scenarios in the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) are presented in this figure, for the year 2090, with the surface temperatures over land, the size of the polar ice cap, and the outer limits of permafrost.


Source: http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/projected_changes_in_the_arctic_climate_2090


The many impacts of global warming:
The melting of the polar ice cap, rising seas, frequent and more severe storms, deforestation, loss of natural resources, diminishing biodiversity, displacement of people, droughts, famines, disease, extreme temperatures, and the loss of culture are just a few of the disastrous effects that global warming and climate change bring.


Melting glaciers:
I recently returned from a trip to Alaska where the impacts of global warming are painfully present. Glaciers that once crossed the roads in town across of Alaska have receded halfway up the mountains. There were photographs at some of these natural wonders to show the decline of the glacial environment over the last 30-40 years, but what was really astounding was the dramatic decline in the last 10 years, which in some cases almost equaled that of the previous 30-40 years.


Data from the University of Alaska show that huge glaciers on the West Coast of Alaska and northern Canada are melting rapidly. The melting of these large glaciers has contributed about 0.14 millimeters (0.0055 inches) per year in sea rise over the long term, jumping to more than 0.32 millimeters (0.0126 inches) per year during the last decade.


The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which estimated global ice wastage of only 0.3 millimeters (0.012 inches) per year probably underestimated the contribution of glacial disintegration to sea level rise because little data on the large maritime glaciers in Alaska was available. But this region is the largest contributor to sea level rise.


Greenland's glaciers are melting fast



Scientists have warned that the rate at which Greenland's glaciers are melting has doubled in the last five years. If the vast frozen wastes thawed they would release enough water to raise sea-levels by 6.5 metres worldwide. Measuring Greenland's melting icecap has until now has been inexact and largely based on estimating the speed its glaciers are falling into the sea. But scientists have used a pair of space craft - collectively called GRACE - which can measure the Earth's gravitational field for this latest study. In GRACE's eyes our globe is a bumpy mass according to where the densest bits of the planet are. High mountain ranges for example, have a greater influence on gravity than shallow oceans. Using GRACE measurements the researchers have effectively "weighed" Greenland and were deeply concerned by results. The measurements show that between 2002 and 2004 Greenland was losing between 50 and 100 cubic kilometres per year. That has gone up to between 200 and 250 cubic kilometres per year. What the scientists do not know is how fast Greenland's ice might disappear in future. They admit they need to know more about how it is melting now and what might cause it to speed up further.


A sea leave rise of six metres of will take thousands of years but the new consensus among scientists is staggering: they believe global warming will eventually lead to Greenland's ice completely disappearing whether we are around to witness it or not.
Source: http://www.itn.co.uk/news/headlines_cf47fa1bdc60bf517e471b725342d9d7.html


Thinning of the Arctic sea-ice:
Sea-ice draft is the thickness of the part of the ice that is submerged under the sea. Comparison of sea-ice draft data acquired on submarine cruises between 1993 and 1997 with similar data acquired between 1958 and 1976 indicates that the mean ice draft at the end of the melt season has decreased by about 1.3 m in most of the deep water portion of the Arctic Ocean, from 3.1 m in 1958-1976 to 1.8 m in the 1990s. In summary: ice draft in the 1990s is over a meter thinner than two to four decades earlier. The main draft has decreased from over 3 meters to under 2 meters, and the volume is down by some 40%.


The next visual clearly shows that Arctic sea ice is thinning. There is a dramatic change from the thickness measured during the 1958-1976 period to that measured during the 1993-1997 period. The Arctic is the proverbial 'canary in the mine'. The reports of receding glaciers, thinning sea ice, and melting permafrost tells of story of what we can expect if we continue on this unwise course of burning fossil fuels for energy.


How much sea ice will be left in 2050?
Climate simulations suggest continued rapid loss of Arctic sea-ice. The observations of indigenous peoples also indicate unprecedented change. The loss of the Arctic sea-ice will have vast impacts on climate, livelihoods and biodiversity.




Satellite observations of the polar ice cap 1979 and 2003:
This oblique view of the Arctic polar ice cap in September shows the significant reduction that has happened over a time period just over 20 years, from 1979 to 2003. Future predications shows even more drastic reduction of the ice cap, thus opening new area for natural resources extraction and marine transports.




Sea level rise due to the melting of mountain and sub polar glaciers:
Oceans change as a result of the impact of climatic variability on glaciers and ice caps that further contributes to fluctuations in sea level. Observational and modelling studies of glaciers and ice caps indicate an average sea level increase of 0.2 to 0.4 mm/yr during the 20th century. Since the Last Glacial Maximum about 20,000 years ago, sea level has risen by over 120 m at locations far from present and former ice sheets, as a result of loss of mass from these ice sheets. There was a rapid rise between 15,000 and 6,000 years ago at an average rate of 10 mm/yr. Based on geological data, global average sea level may have risen at an average rate of about 0.5 mm/yr over the last 6,000 years and at an average rate of 0.1 to 0.2 mm/yr over the last 3,000 years. Global sea levels are projected to rise by 15 to 95 cm over the next century . This is more than the sea level rise in the previous 3000 years. Even if greenhouse gas emissions are stabilised, sea levels will continue to rise due to such factors as thermal expansion and glacier retreat.



Sea level rise due to global warming:
Over the last 100 years, the global sea level has risen by about 10 to 25 cm. Sea level change is difficult to measure. Relative sea level changes have been derived mainly from tide-gauge data. In the conventional tide-gauge system, the sea level is measured relative to a land-based tide-gauge benchmark. The major problem is that the land experiences vertical movements (e.g. from isostatic effects, neotectonism, and sedimentation), and these get incorporated into the measurements. However, improved methods of filtering out the effects of long-term vertical land movements, as well as a greater reliance on the longest tide-gauge records for estimating trends, have provided greater confidence that the volume of ocean water has indeed been increasing, causing the sea level to rise within the given range. It is likely that much of the rise in sea level has been related to the concurrent rise in global temperature over the last 100 years. On this time scale, the warming and the consequent thermal expansion of the oceans may account for about 2-7 cm of the observed sea level rise, while the observed retreat of glaciers and ice caps may account for about 2-5 cm. Other factors are more difficult to quantify. The rate of observed sea level rise suggests that there has been a net positive contribution from the huge ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, but observations of the ice sheets do not yet allow meaningful quantitative estimates of their separate contributions. The ice sheets remain a major source of uncertainty in accounting for past changes in sea level because of insufficient data about these ice sheets over the last 100 years.


Will global warming put Waikiki under water?
What does climate change portend for Hawai`i nei? Steve Meter, a professor at the UH School of Architecture created a model to show the impacts if the sea rose only one meter. He found that the ocean would reach all the way to Mo`ili`ili - inundating Waikiki and the Hawai`i Convention Center. This data was presented to the Hawai`i Energy Forum and also at a recent conservation conference by Dr. Zoe Norcross-Nuu.


Original image


The image above is from the Honolulu Advertiser. "If sea levels rose in Waikiki, low-lying areas could be covered in water. Areas shaded in black would be covered by a 1.3-foot rise in sea level; if waters rose 3.6 feet, the area in white would also be covered. This depiction is based on digital elevation model data."
Source: Honolulu Advertiser Sunday, December 16, 2001

Beach Erosion - Maui:



Beach Erosion - Cape Hatteras, North Carolina:


Warming Winds, Rising Tides:


Coral reefs are probably the most complex ecosystems on the planet, home to hundreds of thousands of species. They protect and support the lives of millions of people around the tropical zones, and are a font of wealth from fishing and recreation. The damage being caused to reefs by warming seas is one of the most serious effects of global warming.


Rising sea temperature coupled with the strong El Nino of 1998 was devastating to much of the world's coral reefs. High water temperatures caused coral bleaching and subsequent death or adverse change to sixteen percent of world reefs overall and up to 46 percent in parts of the Indian Ocean.


Temperatures beyond norms causes coral to expel the microscopic symbionts, zooxanthellae, that also give them color. If this bleaching continues for days to weeks, the coral dies and algae takes over the reefs, changing the ecosystem. During another bout of bleaching in 2002, the international coral reef information network ReefBase reported 430 cases of coral bleaching, most of them on the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest.


Below are photographs of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The top photograph shows the reef in all its glorious colors and below is a reef devastated by coral bleaching from warmer sea temperatures.


More severe storms:


MEGASTORMS
Tropical cyclones, often called megastorms, are heat engines formed over the world's oceans. While they are the same phenomenon the world over, over the north Atlantic and East Pacific they are called hurricanes; over the Indian Ocean they are called cyclones; and over the West Pacific they are called typhoons. Many top experts say global warming may be to blame for more of these megastorms hitting Earth each year.


Typhoon Saomai kills 104, weakens
Friday, August 11, 2006 Posted: 1346 GMT (2146 HKT)  Residents in Fuding, China, attempt to salvage what they can from their demolished homes Friday.


BEIJING, China (AP) -- Typhoon Saomai, the strongest storm to strike China in 50 years, weakened to a tropical depression Friday but drenched the country's southeast after killing at least 104 people, blacking out cities and wrecking more than 50,000 houses. Another 190 people were missing after Saomai battered areas where more than 1.6 million people had evacuated before it hit late Thursday.
Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/asiapcf/08/11/asia.typhoon.ap/index.html
PUC DN 05-0145 LOL T-1 28


Hurricanes in Hawai`i:



All tropical cyclone tracks passing within ~200 miles of the coast of the Islands of Hawaii during the period 1949 to 1997. Prior to 1950, a general lack of wind data has resulted in a sketchy record. From 1832 to 1949 only 19 tropical cyclones were identified from scattered written records and ship reports.


In short, in the 117 years from 1832 to 1949 there were 19 tropical cyclones. In the next 48 years  (1949-1997) there were 10 tropical cyclones with 5 of them being hurricane intensity.


The following are photographs of Hurricane Iniki on Kaua`i in 1992 and Hurricane Fernanda on O`ahu in 1993.



Sheets of roofing iron, a pallet, broken plants and other debris fly through the air at the height of Hurricane Iniki in Lihue, Kauai (Photo by Bruce Asato, courtesy of the Honolulu Advertiser).



Large wave generated by Hurricane Fernanda impacting Koko Head, Oahu, September 1993 (Photo by Steven Businger). Fernanda caused major erosion on Oahu.


Forest composition case study in North America:
Current and projected Ranges of Beech Trees in the US. A warmer climate may have significant effect on the forests. Decidous forests will probably move northwards and to higher altitudes, replacing coniferous forests in many areas. Some tree species will probably be replaced altogether, jeopardizing biological diversity in several places.


The pleas of indigenous people around the world:
The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) <http://www.sidsnet.org/aosis/> has been sounding this alarm for many years, while the industrialized world has turned a deaf ear to their pleas.


Tuvalu:
The government of Tuvalu is in a quandary as salt water intrusion threatens their aquifers and as they witness the loss of their shorelines and their food-producing gardens to a rising sea. Tuvaluan officials have made arrangements with Aotearoa (New Zealand) to relocate their people, but not all of the people want to leave. Some fear the loss of their culture and would rather sink with the island than face the cultural genocide of assimilation. The issue for Tuvalu is how to slow the heating of the planet so that their culture will thrive in its homeland. Tuvaluans have not caused the problem, but are suffering the very real impacts. Global warming raises moral issues and health issues as well as scientific and environmental issues.



The 11,000 Tuvaluans live on nine coral atolls totaling 10 square miles scattered over 500,000 square miles of ocean south of the equator and west of the International Dateline. Tuvalu is the smallest of all nations, except for the Vatican. Tuvalu has no industry, burns little petroleum, and creates less carbon pollution than a small town in America. This tiny place nevertheless is on the front line of climate change. The increasing intensity of tropical weather, the increase in ocean temperatures, and rising sea level -- all documented results of a warming atmosphere -- are making trouble for Tuvalu. Tuvaluans face the possibility of being among the first climate refugees, although they never use that term. Former assistant Environmental minister and now assistant secretary for Foreign Affairs Paani Laupepa said he felt threatened. "Our whole culture will have to be transplanted."




Sea level rise is the greatest problem. Tuvalu's highest elevation is 4.6 meters -- 15 feet -- but most of it is no more than a meter above the sea. Several times each year the regular lunar cycle of tides, riding on the ever higher mean sea level, brings the Pacific sloshing over onto roads and into neighborhoods. In the center of the larger islands the sea floods out of old barrow pits and even squirts up out of the coral bedrock. Puddles bubble up that eventually cover part of the airport on the main island of Funafuti and inundate homes that are not along the ocean.


This February (2005), the tides were driven against the shore by unusual westerly winds, and there was increasing erosion. The main asphalt road is only about 10 km long, yet it runs right along the lagoon in many places and was covered in water and coral rocks thrown up by the tide. Hundreds of wood frame and corrugated metal roofed homes and several churches, built right on the lagoon, were drenched by the wind waves riding on the higher tides.



The islands are not going to go under immediately. Yet the effects accumulate, year by year. "Even if we are not completely flooded, " said Laupepa, "in 50 to 70 years we face increasingly strong storms and cyclones, changing weather patterns, damage to our coral reefs from higher ocean temperatures, and flooding of all our gardens." Not growing enough food and decreasing fish catch if reefs are damaged would mean "importing more food, more foreign exchange, and more health and diet problems, " he said. Source: http://www.worldviewofglobalwarming.org/pages/rising-seas.html


Canada, Arctic indigenous populations:
Depending on the definition of the boundaries of the region, the Arctic is home to some 4 million inhabitants. Roughly one-third of this total population is indigenous peoples, spread over numerous communities around the Arctic. The indigenous proportion of each polar region varies significantly from 88% of the regional population in Nunavut Territory in Canada (the Inuit), to 2.5% in the North of Scandinavia and the Kola Peninsula that (the Saami). Despite tremendous social and political upheaval, increasing pressure from industrial development, climate change impacts and pollution, many of these communities still maintain vibrant traditional - and sustainable- lifestyles closely linked to the natural environment.


Global Warming Photographs:
Below is a collection of photographs illustrating many of the points on the Global Warming Early Warning Signs map. Gary Braasch documents climate change through photographs. Many more examples of his work can be found on his web site, World View of Global Warming, http://www.worldviewofglobalwarming.org.


Life of the Land finds that a picture says a thousand words, so we include some examples of Mr. Braasch's poignant work for your review:







Florida
Melbourne endured 24 days above 95 degrees F; nighttime temperatures in Tampa remained above 80 degrees F for 12 days
Photo: Dry lake during drought in Orlando Florida.
Monterey Bay, California
Shoreline sea life shifting northwards. Changes in invertebrate species such as limpets, snails, and sea stars in the 60-year period between 1931-1933 and
1993-1994 indicate that species' ranges are shifting northwards, probably in response to warmer ocean
and air temperatures. Photo: Dr. Rafe Sagarin pointing out anemones, which are expanding their range northward.






Glacier National Park, Montana
All glaciers in the park will be gone by 2070 if retreat continues at its current rate.
Photo: A comparison of the size of Grinnell Glacier. The top image was taken in 1911; bottom image was taken in 2000.


Carbon Emissions Data:

Life of the Land presents the following data regarding carbon pollution and the increase in greenhouse gases, primarily through the burning of fossil fuels.


The graph below illustrates data collected monthly at Mauna Loa on Hawai`i island reporting carbon dioxide concentrations over a forty-year period - 1958-1998. As one can see, carbon concentrations are going off-the-charts.


Mauna Loa data on carbon dioxide concentration 1958-1998:
Source: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Library/Giants/Revelle/revelle_2.html


The Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research is part of the Met Office, one of the world's leading providers of environmental and weather-related services, located in the United Kingdom. This august body issued a report of carbon dioxide emissions measured in thousands of metric tonnes in 1996. They found that the U.S. was the largest polluter, followed by the United Kingdom. The burning of fossil fuels is the largest contributor to climate change and the United States is the largest supplier of these greenhouse gases as illustrated in the graph below.


The Hadley Centre's 1996 graph on carbon 1 dioxide emissions:




Despite the assertion of Hawai`i utilities that our trade winds take care of our emissions, the matter of global warming is a planetary problem, and Hawai`i must do its part to stem or slow down this dangerous and immoral trend.


Life of the Land submits, as EXHIBIT 5, The Hadley Center's report, "Results from Carbon Cycle Experiments" found at:
Source:http://www.metoffice.com/research/hadleycentre/models/carbon_cycle/results_trans.html


Patterns of change in the carbon content of soil (top) and vegetation (bottom) predicted by the carbon cycle climate model between 1860 and 2100.


United Nations Environment Programme data:
The next chart from the United Nations Environment Programme shows the emissions of CO2 -selected countries (1995). The rich countries of the world historically have emitted most of the anthropogenic greenhouse gases since the start of the industrial revolution in the latter half of the 1700s. Per capita, the significant emissions still are produced by the OECD countries.
Source: http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/emissions_of_co2_selected_countries_1995


United Nations Environment Programme, Global Resource Information Database (GRID):
The next graph from 1999 illustrates USA emissions of greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O) 1990 and 2010 projections. Emissions from human activities, and primarily fossil fuels, contribute to climate change, global warming and the greenhouse effect. This is primarily from industry, energy, transportation and related sectors.


Scientists are worried that politics is damaging science in the U.S. and the world. In 2004, members of the Arctic Council met to consider a new scientific report suggesting the Arctic is warming up much faster than the rest of the planet.


"Some delegates on the council, a respected international panel that advises governments on Arctic issues, seemed to blame their group's inaction on America's rejection of the Kyoto Protocol, which requires industrial nations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The Bush administration prefers voluntary measures to save the environment.


"We no sooner leave the science proper than we enter into politics," said Bryndis Kjartansdottir, speaking on behalf of the Icelandic ministry which chaired the one-day meeting.


The study, compiled by 300 scientists and released earlier this month, said the Arctic is particularly vulnerable to warming from industrial greenhouse gases. One reason is that when snow and ice melt, the exposed, bare ground absorbs more heat.


It projects that some animals could become extinct and people living in the region could be threatened by the thinning sea ice, melting glaciers and thawing permafrost.


Sea ice in the Arctic has already decreased about 8 percent in 30 years, resulting in the loss of 386,100 square miles of sea ice, according to the report.


Source: Thursday, Nov. 25, 2004, Associated Press article entitled, "Group Passes on Addressing Global Warming"


We know that is painfully true in Hawai`i, where the definition of renewable energy was compromised to include energy conservation, the heat captured from burning fossil fuels, and energy efficient light bulbs and toilets counted as 'renewable energy.' All this was done to meet the fake Renewable Portfolio Standards law - another political act to make it appear that Hawai`i is actually complying with our Hawai`i State Constitution by reducing our dependence on imported fossil fuel and increasing our use of indigenous resources. Closer examination, however, reveals that we have actually gone backwards in our use of indigenous resources since that 1978 constitutional change.


Now the planet is in crisis. Global warming can no longer be ignored. The science is in and the data is conclusive that global warming and climate change is primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels. We no longer have a choice. We must change or perish. The earth is in crisis and this proposed project does nothing to address the fact that global warming is real - the planet is heating up faster than predicted and the future is uncertain. This wrong-headed proposal, in fact, deepens our dependence on imported fossil fuels and increases our energy insecurity.


The Alyeska Pipeline:
The Alyeska (Alaska) pipeline was built on permafrost four decades ago and has been operating since 1977. At the time, no one ever considered that the permafrost would melt threatening the fragile Arctic environment as well as the health and stability of the global environment. But the permafrost is melting and the pipeline is leaking. (According the DEBDT, Hawai`i currently relies on Alaska for approximately 30% of our crude oil.) Source: AlyeskaPipeline.com


BP announces shut down of Prudhoe Bay pipeline:
On August 7, 2006, BP announced that its Prudhoe Bay facilities in Alaska will be shut down for weeks or months due to damage that will require it to replace 73 percent of a pipeline from the field. The shutdown, which drove oil and gasoline prices sharply higher on energy markets, removes about 8 percent of daily U.S. crude production. The troubles at the Alaskan oil field add to other problems for BP in the United States, where the company is the largest oil producer, following an explosion at its Texas City refinery that killed 15 workers in March 2005 and a trading scandal. The shutdown comes six months after the North Slope’s biggest ever oil spill was discovered on a Prudhoe Bay transit line. Some 267,000 gallons of oil spilled. BP installed a bypass on that line in April with plans to replace the pipe. Only one of BP’s three transit lines is now operating.


Evon Peter of Native Movement* responds, "We need to realize as a nation of people that our consumption of oil is not sustainable. Oil is a finite resource and the longer we rely on oil the more negative impacts we will bring upon human life and the environment. The oil industry practices are tied directly and indirectly to violations of human rights here and abroad. Furthermore, the burning of fossil fuels is the major cause of CO2 emissions that are resulting in global warming. Global warming is leading to shifts in the world environment that are resulting in a significant increase in devastation such as Hurricane Katrina. We have the knowledge, technology, and wealth in North America to make the shift to healthier ways of relating to each other and the earth. Incidents such as the March oil spill and connected shut down of the Prudhoe Bay oil field in Alaska should be taken as a sign that we need to change our ways," concludes Peter.


* Native Movement is a group dedicated to healing relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples as well as between human beings and mother earth. They work to implement projects that support the transition to sustainable and healthy livelihoods while helping to protect sacred sites and raise awareness about related issues.


Source: August 8, 2006 News Release "Indigenous leaders say that BP oil field shutdown is a wake up call to the Industry, US, and World: Energy Crisis, Global Warming, Environmental Devastation, and Indigenous Peoples Rights on the cutting board"



Interior Alaska
Permafrost thawing is causing the ground to subside 16-33 ft (4.9-10 m) in parts of interior Alaska. The permafrost surface has warmed by about 3.5 degrees F (1.9 degrees C) since the 1960's.
Photo: Dr. Tom Osterkamp at one of his permafrost measuring sites in Alaska.



Barrow, Alaska
Less snow in summer. Summer days without snow have increased from fewer than 80 in the 1950's to more than 100 in the 1990's.


Photo: Scientists record ground data to confirm NDVI readings in Alaska.


Change in permafrost temperature in Fairbanks (Alaska)
With a doubling of atmospheric CO2, it is likely that there will be increases in the thickness of the active layer permafrost and the disappearance of most of the ice-rich discontinuous permafrost over a century-long time span. This figure provides a good example of changes already observed in Alaska. Widespread loss of discontinuous permafrost will trigger erosion or subsidence of ice-rich landscapes, change hydrologic processes, and release CO2 and methane to the atmosphere. Changes in the cryosphere will reduce slope stability and increase incidence of natural hazards for people, structures and communication links. Buildings, roads, pipelines and communication links will be threatened.



2004 Pentagon Report:
The increase in disease, famine, diminishing water resources, and natural disasters are all impacts that face our planet. The Pentagon released a report in 2004 entitled, "An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security" stating that climate change could destroy us.


Key findings [for possible scenario]:
· Future wars will be fought over the issue of survival rather than religion, ideology or national honor.

· By 2007 violent storms smash coastal barriers rendering large parts of the Netherlands inhabitable.

Cities like The Hague are abandoned. In California the delta island levees in the Sacramento river area are breached, disrupting the aqueduct system transporting water from north to south.

· Between 2010 and 2020 Europe is hardest hit by climatic change with an average annual temperature drop of 6F. Climate in Britain becomes colder and drier as weather patterns begin to resemble Siberia.

· Deaths from war and famine run into the millions until the planet's population is reduced by such an extent the Earth can cope.

· Riots and internal conflict tear apart India, South Africa and Indonesia.

· Access to water becomes a major battleground. The Nile, Danube and Amazon are all mentioned as being high risk.

· A 'significant drop' in the planet's ability to sustain its present population will become apparent over the next 20 years.

· Rich areas like the US and Europe would become 'virtual fortresses' to prevent millions of migrants from entering after being forced from land drowned by sea-level rise or no longer able to grow crops.

Waves of boatpeople pose significant problems.

· Nuclear arms proliferation is inevitable. Japan, South Korea, and Germany develop nuclear21 weapons capabilities, as do Iran, Egypt and North Korea. Israel, China, India and Pakistan also are poised to use the bomb.

· By 2010 the US and Europe will experience a third more days with peak temperatures above 90F. Climate becomes an 'economic nuisance' as storms, droughts and hot spells create havoc for farmers.

· More than 400 million in subtropical regions at grave risk.

· Europe will face huge internal struggles as it copes with massive numbers of migrants washing up on its shores. Immigrants from Scandinavia seek warmer climes to the south. Southern Europe is beleaguered by refugees from hard-hit countries in Africa.

· Mega-droughts affect the world's major breadbaskets, including America's Midwest, where strong winds bring soil loss.

· China's huge population and food demand make it particularly vulnerable. Bangladesh becomes nearly uninhabitable because of a rising sea level, which contaminates the inland water supplies.

The report concludes that "Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life and once again, warfare will define human life."


Is this the world we want?


Lloyd's of London - 360 Climate Change Risk Report:
Businesses are also concerned about global warming/climate change. Lloyds of London recently released a report entitled, "360 Risk Project," which opens with this statement:


Fact: If the sea level were to rise just four metres due to climate change, almost every coastal city in the world would be inundated."


The report states: "ADAPT OR BUST
Until recently, world opinion has been divided: are current weather trends the result of long-term climate change or not? And what role, if any, has climate change played in the recent spate of weather-related catastrophes?


The facts are often confused by politics and by a wealth of different - and sometimes conflicting - evidence from a range of scientific and other sources. 


However, a growing body of expert opinion now agrees that the climate is changing - and that human activity is playing a major role. Most worryingly, the latest science suggests that future climate change may take place quicker than previously anticipated.


There will continue to be much argument, over both the extent of future climate change and its likely impact on society. But whatever the facts, there could hardly be a debate of greater importance to the insurance industry.


The past few years highlight bluntly the cost of weather-related catastrophes for the global economy and the insurance industry in particular. The industry's response has proven that it is financially strong and well-equipped to respond to these financial shocks.


It is equally clear that, so far, the industry has not taken changing catastrophe trends seriously enough. Climate change is likely to bring us all an even more uncertain future. If we do not take action now to understand the risks and their impact, the changing climate could kill us. In publishing this report, it is not Lloyd's intention to take a particular position, or to support its specific scenario. We simply aim to present the facts from the most reliable sources in a way which we hope will be helpful for those who trade in, and with, our market. We also want to generate debate about the specific steps which we might take as an industry to prepare for the increasing volatility of the climate."


What will happen to tourism?
Although tourism is touted by HECO as the economic engine of Hawai`i, seas rising one meter will wipe out Waikiki and the convention center, as well as most coastal areas (including Honolulu Airport). Despite the data, HECO is still proposing to build last century's fossil fuel burning power plant so that our children will be responsible for the huge debt, as well as the environmental mess it will create.


The New Economics Foundation Report - Oasis & Mirage:
The New Economics Foundation (NEF) is an independent think-and-do tank that inspires and demonstrates real economic well-being. NEF was founded in 1986 by the leaders of The Other Economic Summit (TOES) which forced issues such as international debt onto the agenda of the G7 and G8 summits. They are unique in combining rigorous analysis and policy debate with practical solutions on the ground, often run and designed with the help of local people. They also create new ways of measuring progress towards increased well-being and environmental sustainability.


Andrew Sims of the New Economics Foundation said, “We are about half a century away from being ecologically and economically bankrupt because of global warming.”


The summary of NEF's June 2005 report, "Mirage and Oasis - Energy Choice in an age of global warming" states, "Individually renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and geothermal could, in theory, meet of the worlds' energy needs. But the jump from theory to practice would face many obstacles. Practically, however, a broader combination of renewable energy sources, tapped into a range of micro, small- medium- and large scale technologies, and applied flexibly, could more than meet all of our needs."


The report further states, "The ability of renewable sources to lower greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to a secure energy supply has been downplayed, even though many are abundant in Britain. Sources like wind power are belittled as being 'intermittent' requiring additional capacity to compensate when weather conditions 'switch them off.' But, even in this case, research from the Oxford Environmental Change Institute says that an optimal mix of intermittent renewables, whose performance varies according to the time of day and season, together with domestic combined heat and power (dCHP) could provide most of Britain's electricity and obviate the need for nuclear power.


Combing the different strengths of offshore and onshore wind, wave, tidal and solar energies in a decentralised system creates a reliable and secure supply. It means that there is new hope that renewables can match 'real time electricity demand patterns,' making them a genuine alternative to conventional fuels and superior to nuclear power whose unchanging output cannot respond to fluctuation of demand."


This report also included this quote from Britain's House of Lords Science and Technology Committee 2004: "The sources of renewable energy, such as the sun, wind, and tides, are inexhaustible, indigenous, and abundant, and their exploitation, properly managed, has the potential to enhance to long-term security of the United Kingdom's energy supplies and to help us cut carbon dioxide emissions."


Life of the Land emphasizes that Hawai`i is blessed with every resource known to man to become energy self-reliant today. We implore the Commission not to give in to the 'intermittent power' argument proffered by HECO, but instead to look at Hawai`i's energy future as our energy self reliance secured by using a combination of technologies working together to create all the energy Hawai`i needs. Relying on any one fuel source is not secure, but sadly, that is what we have been doing for more than a century. We must change this thinking or we are doomed. The Commission has an awesome opportunity to change this paradigm and to truly move Hawai`i into this millennium.


As Mike Fitzgerald of Enterprise Honolulu stated in a meeting with the World Business Academy, "I am furious with Hawaiian Electric at how they have entrapped this place. We need to do everything now to get off fossil fuel."


The people of Hawai`i have always been told by businesses that whatever pollution comes out of their smokestacks is not a problem because of our prevalent trade winds. While our pollution may blow out across the ocean, someone else is getting it. Scientists at UH have found sediment from the Gobi Desert in the silt at the bottom of the Ala Wai Canal. Botanists have found dust from China in remote Waipio Valley on Hawai`i Island. We do not live in a vacuum. Things just don't disappear. They reappear in someone else's environment and impact their health and safety.


Life of the Land stresses that Hawai`i must act as good global citizens who are concerned not only for ourselves, but for the life of the planet. Our actions impact other people in other parts of the world, just as we will all be breathing in the emissions from the coal plants being built every day in China. Hawai`i must become conscious global citizens.


For too long, Hawaiian Electric has enjoyed rising profits in relative isolation. The planet is speaking now - and speaking loudly - WE MUST CHANGE OUR WAYS.


Life of the Land again points out that signing on to decades of debt to build a power plant designed for the last century in order to create even more dependency on the uncertain fossil fuel market is a ridiculous proposal in this high speed world. Centralized power is seeing its last days. It's a thing of the past.


The Industrial Revolution is over. Dirty, centralized power is a thing of the past. We are in the information age with fast transfer of data connecting the world through cyberspace.


The graphs below from the IPCC illustrate how human activity has influenced the atmosphere and why we must change what we doing and have done over the last century.


Indicators of the Human Influence on the Atmosphere during the Industrial Era:



Technology can change rapidly as IBM learned when they balked at the personal computer as a 'fad' and ultimately had to fight years later to regain their market share. IBM now produces the personal computers they once scorned.


General Motors learned the hard way that their customers really did want small, fuel efficient cars like those made in Japan. It took a major financial hit to convince them that their customers did not want the big, gas-guzzling hulks they continued producing.


When will Hawaiian Electric learn that their customers want clean energy that minimizes pollution and stops the flow of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere? The people of O`ahu have waged numerous battles against the dinosaur technology pushed by HECO. People want to be part of a high speed, clean energy network. We have constantly been told that HECO has 'learned its lesson' yet there is little evidence of change, despite overwhelming community opposition to the way they conduct themselves.


Sadly, this proposal shouts out the lessons that HECO has learned. It shouts out "Business as Usual." It is the classic design for the status quo. It is 'planning in a rear view mirror,' which will not move Hawai`i toward energy self-reliance and energy security.


The only obvious difference in HECO's actions are their full page color ads about how they are changing.


But spin does not equal change.


Action equals change.


The actions HECO has focused on are those that occur behind closed doors at the Legislature, where they rewrite the definition of renewable energy, push legislators to include lots of 'off ramps' in their pursuit of renewable energy, and install their paid staffers in offices of committee chairs. These actions do nothing to move Hawai`i toward a clean energy future. In fact, they keep us tied to fossil fuel and inhibit innovation.


Life of the Land again assets that investing $100 million to build technology for yesterday instead of something to meet Hawai`i's needs now and in the future will further stifle innovation and send another bad market signal that Hawai`i is not interested in a clean energy future.


Life of the Land's data and witnesses will show that HECO's proposed project does not even meet their own stated need - which they assert as being 170 MW. This proposal is for a 110 MW power plant.


The fossil fuel paradigm is over. The planet no longer has a choice, we have passed the point of no return. The planet is heating up and we are heading toward the disaster. We are in a new conscious age where we no longer have a choice about our future.


If we want to have a future, we can not even consider building another fossil fuel burning power plant in our archipelago.


If we want to have a future, we will listen to Mother Earth and use the abundant resources that she has blessed us with to become energy self-reliant.


All the answers are right here in Hawai`i. We don't need to reply on the unstable oil-producing nations to meet our energy needs. Hawai`i has every resource known to humankind to become energy self-sufficient. Hawai`i can become the secure and clean energy capitol of the world. Hawai`i can become a model for energy self-reliance.


The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change in its most recent report stated: 'most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.'


Global warming and climate change are no longer theories. The debate is over. We need action and we need it now.


Life of the Land will show that HECO's proposed project is not reasonable to meet their probable future requirements, that the locale of their generating unit is placing another undue burden on a community which already bears the brunt of the majority of public benefit projects for the entire island, and that HECO did not consider other feasible alternatives.


Life of the Land will show that there are a combination of reasonable alternatives currently available to put O`ahu on the path to energy self-reliance without building another fossil-fuel burning power plant.


Life of the Land will show the foolishness of investing in old technology to meet new demands, while the planet is heating up and life, as we know it, is threatened.


Life of the Land will present witnesses to prove the wrong-headedness of HECO's backward-looking proposal. Our presentation of data and witnesses will make the case for change.


Life of the Land witness, HENRY CURTIS, will discuss the reasonableness of HECO's proposed project, and the reasonableness of using biofuels in power plants.


Life of the Land witness, TRISH KEHAULANI WATSON, will discuss the principles of environmental justice and will analyze this project through the lens of environmental justice and the impact the proposed project would have on the largest Native Hawaiian population on O`ahu.


Life of the Land witness, TAD PATZEK, will discuss the use of ethanol through the lens of global warming and resource allocation.


Life of the Land witness, HENRY CURTIS, will return to discuss the many other feasible options available to Hawai`i. Mr. Curtis will cover energy conservation, energy efficiency, photovoltaic, wind, wave, ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), and sea water air conditioning (SWAC). Life of the Land believes that energy conservation and efficiency should always be considered first and we are intervenors in the PUCs energy efficiency docket to discuss ways of reducing energy demand.

He will also talk about other viable renewable energy alternatives such as solar, wind, wave, biomass, and ocean thermal. Life of the Land asserts that the solution is OTEC and SWAC for baseload power, a combination of wave energy systems, solar photovoltaic, and wind as intermittent sources of energy. The companies involved in these technologies will be supplying witnesses or data to explain their systems, the feasibility of their systems operating in Hawai`i, and their ability to move Hawai`i off fossil fuels and toward a clean energy future.


Life of the Land witness, DAVID REZACHEK, will discuss sea water air conditioning and the projects they are currently working on to reduce the energy load for Waikiki and Downtown Honolulu.


Life of the Land witness, REB BELLINGER of Makai Engineering, will explain the installation of sea water air conditioning projects.


Life of the Land witness, DR. HANS KROCK of OCEES will discuss ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), and the projects they are currently installing at NELHA and Diego Garcia. He will talk about his decades of research on this form of ocean energy, which is having a resurgence of interest because of a heating planet and skyrocketing prices for oil.


Life of the Land witness, CYNTHIA HENRY THIELEN, will give an overview on wave power, which she has been studying for years, as an environmentally friendly way to move Hawai`i out of the fossil fuel era and into a clean energy future.


Life of the Land witness, DENISE ANTOLINI, will discuss the legal and environmental issues surrounding wave power.


Life of the Land witness, TOM DENNISS of ENERGETECH, will discuss a wave energy system that is generated through a blow-hole-like process.


Life of the Land witness, HENRY CURTIS, will talk about the economics of renewable energy and the positive externalities resulting from Hawai`i's shift from fossil fuel to a clean energy future. Mr. Curtis will discuss the impact of the proposed capital expenditures on HECO's revenue requirements for ratemaking purposes and the reasonableness of their proposal in light of the options currently available. One of the most positive benefits would be the removal of the inefficient Honolulu Power Plant and creating underground parking for the businesses at Aloha Tower and a park on top to beautify the area and give the workforce in downtown a place for respite and reflection.


Life of the Land witness, JOHN WHALEN, a planner with decades of experience will discuss the enormous benefits of removing the eyesore known as the Honolulu Power Plant and replacing it with a parking area for Aloha Tower Marketplace topped by a passive public park for the enjoyment of a very dense downtown community.


This Public Utilities Commission holds O`ahu's energy future in its hands. This docket is a watershed event. Your decision and order will either put O`ahu on the track for a clean and secure energy future where we produce all the energy we need using our own resources or you will decide that the status quo is good enough for O`ahu's people and your children.


Life of the Land avows that the people of O`ahu deserve better.


HECO's ratepayers pay the highest electricity rates in the nation.


Hawai`i is the most oil-dependent state in the nation.


Hawai`i has the greatest abundance and diversity of resources for energy self-reliance, but is more dependent on one fuel source (oil) than any other state in the nation.


Life of the Land believes that HECO's proposal will keep Hawai`i tied to fossil fuels and will continue bleeding our economy of billions of dollars a years to buy fossil fuels from and jobs for other places.


Life of the Land believes that HECO's proposal will further stifle innovation and drive away independent power producers who are ready and willing to help us achieve energy self-reliance.


Life of the Land asks the Commission why we would even consider saddling our children with this huge debt and outdated polluting technology?


Life of the Land again asserts that Hawai`i can become the petrie dish for clean energy technology. Our closed market could become a great advantage as we work to make individual islands energy self-reliant - examples to other island nations of what can be done when there is a concerted effort to make it happen.


Our choice is not about building another fossil fuel burning power plant - that choice has already been made for us. Mother Earth has made it clear that that is no longer an option and it is immoral to even consider this proposal.


Life of the Land respectfully asks the Commission to first do no harm. HECO's proposal will contribute to global warming.


The exciting choice that awaits us is deciding which technologies we will use to meet O`ahu's energy needs today and tomorrow. We have it all. The Commission only has to choose the best options.


Life of the Land respectfully asks the Commission to issue RFPs to move Hawai`i into this millennium. The hopes and dreams of O`ahu's people for a clean energy future rest with this Public [Utilities] Commission.


Mahalo nui for this opportunity to present Life of the Land's case outlining the incredible possibilities for a clean and secure energy future for O`ahu.


Our future is in your hands.


#      #      #

No comments:

Post a Comment