Brodie Brodie, November 23, 2018

350Hawaii Members—

If ever we needed you, it’s NOW, whatever island you’re on. There’s a hearing Wednesday at 1:00 that may decide whether the Honolulu City Council does anything to fight climate change. We need as much in-person testimony as we can possibly get. If you can show up to testify, please email blockard@350hawaii.org ASAP so we can coordinate. We can supply the testimony if you like. It’s limited to one minute.

 

If you can’t come, PLEASE send email testimony before 1pm on Tuesday, November 27 (see below), and emphasize that you support 350Hawaii’s amendment and a 100% emissions-free Oahu by 2030. Mahalo for your kokua!

-Brodie

BACKGROUND
Councilmembers Fukunaga and Kobayashi have sponsored Resolution 18-221, for the purpose of “Urging the City Administration to Establish Goals for 100 Percent Renewable Energy and a Carbon Neutral Economy…” It’s the first, and critically important, step by the City Council to making the policy changes necessary to address climate change locally.

 

Councilmember Fukunaga—previously an opponent—has added “explore the potential for a major area of Honolulu to be zero emission by 2030” to the Resolution in her Committee Draft 1 (CD1), and strengthened it in some other

ways, like banning coal by 2022.  The Resolution (and accompanying CD1) has now been scheduled for a hearing before the Council’s Public Works, Infrastructure and Sustainability (PWIS) Committee this Wednesday, November 28 at 1:00 p.m. in the City Council Committee Meeting Room, on the 2nd floor of Honolulu Hale. (The Resolution is the fifth item on the meeting agenda, but we don’t expect the first four to take too long.)

350HAWAII’S AMENDMENT
As it stands, Resolution 18-221 mainly reinforces the State’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2045, though crucially, Councilmember Fukunaga’s new language could be the first step in Honolulu taking major, faster action on climate change. She says “zero emission[s],” not just “clean” or “renewable” or “electric power.”  This looks like a significant concession to 350Hawaii, as we’ve been pushing her to support 2030 this year, in various ways and for many reasons. We need to thank her for that, but insist on all of Honolulu. Here’s our proposed amendment:

 

A. In the TITLE of the bill, changes the phrase “to establish” to “to actively oppose all new fossil fuel infrastructure and to establish.”

B. In the last WHEREAS, changes “now, therefore,” to “and.”

C. After the last WHEREAS, adds

“WHEREAS, the October 2018 report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the planet will reach the crucial threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by as early as 2030, precipitating the risk of extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people, and

“WHEREAS, the November 2018 National Climate Assessment from 13 federal agencies argues that global warming “is transforming where and how we live and presents growing challenges to human health and quality of life, the economy, and the natural systems that support us,” and that humans must act aggressively to adapt to current impacts and mitigate future catastrophes “to avoid substantial damages to the U.S. economy, environment, and human health and well-being over the coming decades,” and that in a worst-case climate-change scenario, by the year 2090 annual losses could be $155 billion from labor-related causes, $141 billion from temperature-related deaths, and $118 billion from coastal property damage; and,

“WHEREAS, researchers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources found in October 2018 that island land affected by sea level rise may be double previous projections, and even some low-elevation areas a mile or two inland are vulnerable; and,

“WHEREAS, at least 37 other U.S. cities have committed to 100% renewable energy by 2030 or earlier, including Berkeley, Denver, Orlando, Minneapolis, San Francisco, San Jose, and Spokane, and five cities have already converted to 100% renewable energy; now, therefore,”

D. Changes the first “BE IT RESOLVED” to

“BE IT RESOLVED that the City and County of Honolulu will actively oppose all new infrastructure within its jurisdiction related to fossil fuels; and

“BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City and County of Honolulu commits to a genuinely bold energy agenda establishing a goal to meet 100% of energy needs for all the community, and all ground transportation fuel, with clean renewable energy by 2030 and establishes sector-by-sector targets within the next 12 months; and”

E. In the third “RESOLVED,” changes “2045” to “2030.”

ORAL TESTIMONY
In-person testimony is by far the most effective method of supporting the reso and amendments. Each person has only one minute, so we need to get all our points across without repeating ourselves.

WRITTEN TESTIMONY
Written testimony can be submitted here at least 24 hours in advance of the PWIS Committee meeting (by 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 27). Here is testimony you can copy and paste, and a pile of other arguments you can draw from.

If you’re on a sister island, please say something like, “I’m on XXXXX, but this resolution will set a crucial example for all of Hawaii’s islands.”

 

Here is the information you will need to fill out the on line form: 
*Meeting Date * 11-28-2018

Council/PH Committee *COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS, INFRASTRUCTURE AND SUSTAINABILITY

Agenda Item * 5.        • RESOLUTION 18-221

Your position on the matter * Support   • PROPOSED CD1 AND CD2 TO RESOLUTION 18-221

Written TestimonyTestimony Attachment
Only doc, docx, and pdf file format will be accepted. The maximum file size for attachment is 1MB.

Make sure you check the box at the bottom where you Accept Terms and Agreement * Secondary checkbox label.
then click on SUBMIT

SAMPLE TESTIMONY #1 (WE HAVE NO MORE TIME)
Honolulu’s clean energy goals should be moved far forward, based on last week’s National Climate Assessment from 13 federal departments, and recent reports from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Elemental Excelerator, and UH/DLNR.
Governments around the world must take “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” to avoid catastrophic levels of global warming, says the new IPCC report. It says the planet will reach the crucial threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels as early as 2030, precipitating the risk of extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people.
Hawaii has many issues, like rail and high rent, that can be solved in ten years without global catastrophe. Climate change does not offer that luxury. We cannot wait 27 years. We cannot wait two years.
I urge you to act immediately, not by 2045, including banning new fossil fuel infrastructure, like LNG, for ALL of Honolulu. We’re depending on you.
SAMPLE TESTIMONY #2 (SCIENCE)
The National Climate Assessment finds that the continental United States already is 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it was 100 years ago, surrounded by seas that are on average nine inches higher and being racked by far worse heat waves than the nation experienced only 50 years ago.
It suggests that by 2050, we could see as much as 2.3 additional degrees of warming in the continental United States. By that same year, in a high-end global-warming scenario, coral reefs in Hawaii and the U.S. Pacific territories could be bleaching every single year — conditions in which their survival would be in severe doubt. A record-warm year like 2016 would become routine.
The October UN IPCC report says 1.5 degrees can occur as early as 2030, and nearly every assessment of climate change shows that things are worse than the previous report’s findings. The Washington Post reports, “The world stands on the brink of failure when it comes to holding global warming to moderate levels, and nations will need to take ‘unprecedented’ actions to cut their carbon emissions over the next decade. … To avoid racing past warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius would require a ‘rapid and far-reaching’ transformation of human civilization at a magnitude that has never happened before.”
These unprecedented actions are only possible through legislation. I urge you to go beyond the CD1 language and commit ALL of Honolulu to 100% clean power and ground fuel by 2030.
SAMPLE TESTIMONY #3 (ECONOMICS)
April’s Transcending Oil report from Elemental Excellerator says Hawaii can produce 100% of the state’s electricity from renewable sources as early as 2030, and save money by doing so.
In a worst-case climate-change scenario, the National Climate Assessment finds, labor-related losses by the year 2090 as a result of extreme heat — the sort that makes it difficult to work outdoors or seriously lowers productivity — could amount to an estimated $155 billion annually. Deaths from temperature extremes could take an economic toll of $141 billion per year in the same year, while coastal property damage could total $118 billion yearly, researchers found.
Of course, mitigating climate change would also mitigate this damage, by as much as 58 percent in the case of high-temperature related deaths, the report finds.
Please do everything possible to move our whole island to 100% clean, renewable energy ASAP, and ban any new fossil fuel projects, like LNG.
SAMPLE TESTIMONY #4 (MORALS)
What we do in the next decade will determine the future state of the Earth, for hundreds of years, or thousands. Because of feedback loops—e.g., melting arctic ice turning to dark water which absorbs heat than reflecting it, melting more ice—climate change will become irreversible very soon unless we change. We cannot keep one generation comfortable in trade for the safety and survival of hundreds to come after. We must try.
Our Pacific Island neighbors’ homes are already sinking. Kiribati, our closest neighbor, has already bought land so they can relocate their entire population.
Our efforts should match World War II, when no American said, “We can’t fight this right now. It’s too expensive and it’s not realistic.” Instead, factories retooled, people grew victory gardens, and housewives became riveters. Winning was not guaranteed. Beating climate change is guaranteed, if we act now.
Women’s suffrage, civil rights and many other issues have seemed beyond reach, until leaders acted.
And those who face the most suffering? Society’s most vulnerable, including “lower-income and other marginalized communities,” the National Climate Assessment found.
Listen to your hearts. Honolulu—all of it—needs to lead in achieving 100% clean energy as soon as we possibly can.
SAMPLE TESTIMONY #5 (FEASIBILITY)
The City can do so much more to save money, energy, or both.
The Transcending Oil report has 11 policy recommendations for accelerating our 100% clean energy goals.
37 U.S. cities have committed to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 or earlier—Denver, Orlando, San Francisco, even Minneapolis.
If Minneapolis can do this, Honolulu surely can, with our sun, wind and sea. Don’t let this be someone else’s problem. It’s OUR problem, and we need to fix it, right now. And not with LNG. It’s a waste of time and money, and a distraction from our proper goal.

SAMPLE TESTIMONY #6 (GENERAL)
Honolulu’s clean energy goals should be moved far forward, based on last week’s National Climate Assessment from 13 federal departments, and recent reports from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Elemental Excelerator, and UH/DLNR.

2045 is much too late to fix our part of the climate change problem

The City is doing a lot, but there is so much more we can do. Hawaii has many issues, like rail and high rent, that can be solved in ten years without global catastrophe. Climate change does not offer that luxury. We cannot wait 27 years. We cannot wait two years. We cannot keep one generation comfortable in trade for the safety and survival of hundreds to come after.

As 350.org Founder Bill McKibben says, with climate change, winning slowly is the same as losing. We have no more time. And the changes we need can be effected only by laws and ordinances. A resolution is the first step.

Governments around the world must take “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” to avoid catastrophic levels of global warming, says the stark new report from the IPCC. It says the planet will reach the crucial threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels as early as 2030, precipitating the risk of extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people.

We’re counting on you to do our part in solving the climate crisis, ASAP.

FROM TODAY’S WASHINGTON POST:
Science and General Environmental Effects
The federal government on Friday released a long-awaited report with an unmistakable message: The effects of climate change, including deadly wildfires, increasingly debilitating hurricanes and heat waves, are already battering the United States, and the danger of more such catastrophes is worsening.

The report’s authors, who represent numerous federal agencies, say they are more certain than ever that climate change poses a severe threat to Americans’ health and pocketbooks, as well as to the country’s infrastructure and natural resources.

The congressionally mandated document details how climate-fueled disasters and other types of worrisome changes are becoming more commonplace throughout the country and how much worse they could become in the absence of efforts to combat global warming.

Already, western mountain ranges are retaining much less snow throughout the year, threatening water supplies below them. Coral reefs in the Caribbean, Hawaii, Florida and the United States’ Pacific territories are experiencing severe bleaching events. Wildfires are devouring ever-larger areas during longer fire seasons. And the country’s sole Arctic state, Alaska, is seeing a staggering rate of warming that has upended its ecosystems, from once ice-clogged coastlines to increasingly thawing permafrost tundras.

The authors argue that global warming “is transforming where and how we live and presents growing challenges to human health and quality of life, the economy, and the natural systems that support us.” And they conclude that humans must act aggressively to adapt to current impacts and mitigate future catastrophes “to avoid substantial damages to the U.S. economy, environment, and human health and well-being over the coming decades.”

“This report draws a direct connection between the warming atmosphere and the resulting changes that affect Americans’ lives, communities, and livelihoods, now and in the future,” the document reads, concluding that “the evidence of human-caused climate change is overwhelming and continues to strengthen, that the impacts of climate change are intensifying across the country, and that climate-related threats to Americans’ physical, social, and economic well-being are rising.”

The report finds that the continental United States already is 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it was 100 years ago, surrounded by seas that are on average nine inches higher and being racked by far worse heat waves than the nation experienced only 50 years ago.

The report suggests that by 2050, the country could see as much as 2.3 additional degrees of warming in the continental United States. By that same year, in a high-end global-warming scenario, coral reefs in Hawaii and the U.S. Pacific territories could be bleaching every single year — conditions in which their survival would be in severe doubt. A record-warm year like 2016 would become routine.

Key crops, including corn, wheat and soybeans, would see declining yields as temperatures rise during the growing season.

And those who face the most suffering? Society’s most vulnerable, including “lower-income and other marginalized communities,” researchers found.

Economic Effects
In a worst-case climate-change scenario, the document finds, labor-related losses by the year 2090 as a result of extreme heat — the sort that makes it difficult to work outdoors or seriously lowers productivity — could amount to an estimated $155 billion annually. Deaths from temperature extremes could take an economic toll of $141 billion per year in the same year, while coastal property damage could total $118 billion yearly, researchers found.

Of course, mitigating climate change would also mitigate this damage, by as much as 58 percent in the case of high-temperature related deaths, the report finds.

100% clean energy Oahu by 2030!

To be delivered to Honolulu City Council: "The City and County of Honolulu should ban all new fossil fuel infrastructure, and move to 100% clean renewable energy for all by 2030."

Fight the Wood-Burning Power Plant!

To be delivered to Hawaii Dept of Health: "I oppose issuance of the NPDES Permit No. HI S000557 for stormwater runoff. I urge you to hold a public hearing on this destruction of our valuable natural resources. In addition, for Hu Honua injection wells, please require a NPDES permit, and hold a public hearing." Details are in the Campaigns menu above.