Sunday, November 22, 2009

Will Next Generation Pursue Copenhagen’s Goals?

Hawaii has as much as any society hanging on the outcome of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, which convenes two weeks from tomorrow. Sea level rise assessments for this century range from 25 centimeters to a meter, and those are so-called “conservative” estimates.

Someone recently said sea level rise wouldn’t be a problem for Hawaii, since the state’s mean elevation is 3,035 feet. “We all can move to the Big Island,” he said – in jest. Obviously, anything approaching or exceeding a meter of rise will have profound effects on the islands’ population, most of whom either live or work in neighborhoods where even periodic high water incursion would be life-changing.

No matter what happens in Copenhagen, the current generation of grade school and junior high school students and those not yet born will have to live with the results. They’ll be the ones to carry the fight against climate change throughout this century.

They will, won’t they?

One would think so. The generation that’s convening in Copenhagen certainly expects that fight to continue long after they’re no longer on the scene. Energy Futures tomorrow will focus on what’s being done locally to prepare the younger generation for the effort their elders want them – actually, expect them – to pursue.

Our guests will be Carol Feinga from the Kokua Hawaii Foundation and James Koshiba of Kanu Hawaii. Both organizations have programs in place to instill a sense of ownership among young people for the century-long environmental issues they’ll face.

Energy Futures airs “live” 5-6 pm HST Mondays on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and is streamed at that time at Hawaii Public Radio’s website. Listeners can call in with their questions and comments at 941-3689 on Oahu and 1-877-941-3689 from the neighbor islands and beyond.

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