Many experts agree that the most critical environmental challenge facing the world today is global warming. Evidence is mounting on an almost daily basis – melting polar ice caps, rising sea levels, and deeper droughts. Greenhouse gases are increasingly linked to global warming and are seen as the primary culprit. The bulk of greenhouse gases emitted in Hawai‘i are associated with transportation (cars) and energy generation and usage.
In addition, many believe that the world has reached “Peak Oil,” which means that the global oil production has peaked, and from here on out, it will become less available and more expensive. Scientists predict that the world will run out of oil within 40 years.
What’s more,Hawai`i is currently almost completely dependent on oil, which must come from distant sources. Oil supplies about 90% ofHawai`i’s total energy and more than 80% of its electricity generation. Put another way, if the barges stopped coming, we would be almost completely powerless, in our current situation.
However, all of Hawai`i, especiallyMolokai, has tremendous potential to use our renewable energy sources – wind, solar, hydroelectric, and wave energy. Using such resources could allow us to kick our petroleum habit, and become energy self-sufficient, in addition to reducing the world’s greenhouse gases. One windmill running 5 hours a day can save the planet 15,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (one of the main greenhouse gases) per day. The windmills at Kaheawa on Maui saves Maui Electric 500 barrels of oil per day. And various areas of Molokai have been identified as having some of the strongest and steadiest winds throughout the state.
Molokai’s long-term plan for sustainability must include generating renewable energy for our entire island. In the meantime, if you are interested in lowering your electric bill, reducing your current electricity usage, and/or becoming energy self-sufficient, please use the resources below: