We’ve been snookered!
On Wednesday the City Council’s Committee on Public Works, Infrastructure and Sustainability passed a version of our resolution that said, “explore the potential for a major area of Honolulu to be zero emission by 2030.” It also said “100 percent renewable-powered ground transportation system on Oahu by 2045.”
A floor draft (FD1) goes to the full City Council meeting at 10am on Wednesday, December 5. Unfortunately, those two key phrases have been removed from this draft!
SO, WE NEED TO RESUBMIT ALL OUR TESTIMONY FOR THE FULL COUNCIL, AND INSIST THAT THEY SUPPORT 350HAWAII’S AMENDMENT, OR AT THE LEAST, REINSERT THEIR 2030 LANGUAGE. Please do that here ASAP. New sample testimony and details are below. You can just add this to the top of your previous testimony:
I am very disappointed that the most significant phrase in Resolution 18-221 CD1, “explore the potential for a major area of Honolulu to be zero emission by 2030,” has been deleted in FD1. Another crucial phrase, “a 100 percent renewable-powered ground transportation system on Oahu by 2045,” was also deleted. I insist that you include the language from 350Hawaii’s amendment, or at the very least, reinsert the language from the hand-carried amendment, specifying “Honolulu” and not just “a major area of Honolulu.”
This slight of hand is one reason people don’t trust politicians. It was clear they were impressed with the turnout and testimony yesterday, but someone changed their mind—or changed someone else’s mind. Send this version of your testimony to Council/Public Hearing, Agenda Item “Resolution 18-221, CD1,” and click “I just wish to comment.” If you can attend again to give oral testimony, please do.
There are 22 resolutions and 18 bills ahead of us, so I will send an email when it looks like we’ll be up in an hour, probably mid-afternoon. They take lunch from 12:30 to 1:30. Looks like they’re now trying to bury this.
If you did not testify, please consider doing so. Even the sentence “Resolution 18-221 should make Honolulu zero-emission by 2030” will help. Mahalo for your kokua.
There was also what they call a “hand carried” amendment that said, “explore the potential for Honolulu to be zero emission by 2030” (without the “major area of”!), but it was NOT passed.
Yesterday, all the speakers were outstanding—23 of them, at least 13 from 350Hawaii. Wonderful job, all! Everyone was concise, articulate and convincing. The head of the Board of Water Supply was there for another matter. He and a friend of mine had not planned to testify, but were moved enough by the other testimony that they got up and testified spontaneously! Chair Fukunaga also mentioned that they’d received a good deal of written testimony. Mahalo Nui Loa to all the testifiers. No one opposed. And 53 individuals and 24 organizations wrote testimonies in support (with one opposition).
Councilmembers Fukunaga and Kobayashi 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—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 procuring only zero emission buses after 2025. The Resolution (and accompanying CD1) were heard before the Council’s Public Works, Infrastructure and Sustainability (PWIS) Committee on Wednesday, November 28.
Originally, Resolution 18-221 mainly reinforced 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 looked like a significant concession to 350Hawaii, as we’ve been pushing her to support 2030 this year, in various ways and for many reasons.
Between Wednesday and Thursday, the phrase “explore the potential for a major area of Honolulu to be zero emission by 2030” was deleted. Now the resolution is nearly worthless.
We need to insist on all of Honolulu. Here’s our proposed amendment:
A. Changes the TITLE of the bill to “URGING THE CITY ADMINISTRATION TO ESTABLISH GOALS TO TRANSITION HONOLULU TO ZERO EMISSIONS BY 2030 AND TO OPPOSE ALL NEW FOSSIL FUEL INFRASTRUCTURE.”
B. In the sixth WHEREAS, changes “losses)” to “losses), and a 2018 report from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources found 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”
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 Fourth 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, other researchers, including from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, found in November 2018 that society “faces a much larger threat from climate change than previous studies have suggested”; 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. Deletes from the “BE IT RESOLVED” the phrase “explore the potential for a major area of Honolulu to be zero emission by 2030.”
E. Adds after the “BE IT RESOLVED”:
“BE IT FURTHER 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 zero-emission energy by 2030 and establishes sector-by-sector targets within the next 12 months; and”
F. Deletes the third “BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED.”
G. In the sixth “BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED,” changes 2045 to 2030.
In-person testimony is by far the most effective method of supporting the reso and amendments. Each person has only one minute, so you’ll need to make only a couple of strong points. Rehearse and time yourself!
Written testimony can be submitted here at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting (by 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 4). 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.”
*Meeting Date * 12-5-2018
Council/PH Committee *Council/Public Hearing
Agenda Item * RESOLUTION 18-221, FD1
Your position on the matter * I just wish to comment
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 #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 THIS WEEK’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.
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.