Letters for Friday — February 17, 2006

• Energy future for Kaua’I

• Loves the Winter Olympics

• There will be other candidates

Energy future for Kaua’i

It is easy to ignore the reality of global warming since change is gradual and spans many years. But like a slow growing cancer, disaster is inevitable unless we act quickly.

Hawai’i is particularly vulnerable to climate change. As we saw in the Caribbean this past summer the number and strength of tropical cyclones has increased dramatically. Hurricanes however, are only the most visible manifestation of climate change. Rising water temperatures are killing corals all over the Pacific and changing fragile ecosystems forever. Ice is melting in the Antarctic and there is strong evidence that the sea level will rise 10 to 13 inches by the end of the century.

In February 2005, the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement to address climate disruption, went into effect in 141 countries. Despite refusal of the Federal Government to adopt the treaty, a bipartisan coalition of state governors, mayors and legislators is working to reduce greenhouse gases in support of the treaty. On June 13, 2005, the Mayors Climate Protection Agreement was unanimously passed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and 172 mayors have already signed including Honolulu Mayor Hannemann, Mauai Mayor Arakawa and Hawai’i Mayor Kim.

The goals of the agreement not only reduce global warming but provide for economic and quality-of-life benefits that should be the goal of every leader on Kaua’i: preservation of green space, reduced traffic congestion, and less dependence on increasingly high-priced oil.

As the world community acts, so do local communities. Apollo Kaua’i, a recently-formed group addressing renewable energy options and reduction of oil dependence on Kaua’i , is working with local businesses, labor, scientists, legislators and educators to achieve a sustainable energy future for Kaua’i. With an ambitious timeline to achieve multiple goals, we have joined our efforts with the national Apollo Alliance to ensure success.

A unanimous resolution of the Kaua’i County Council supporting the Kyoto Protocol was passed on Sept. 22, 2005. This resolution urges you, Mayor Baptiste, to join in the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. Apollo Kaua’i also strongly urges you to sign the agreement and act quickly to implement its goals.

Apollo Kaua’i will work with you to achieve success.

  • Carl Wright
    Chair, Apollo Kaua’i

Loves the Winter Olympics

Allow me to be one of the many who disagree with the article written by your sports editor Mr. Duane Shimogawa Jr. to tell us readers how much he dislikes the Winter Olympics as they are presented today.

In fact we are almost totally of the opposite view as he presents it in his article. In his words “The games are as important to me as the type of socks I wear.”

We are only few days into the games in Turin or Torino ( Apparently that already bothers him — try Munchen and Munich) and what brilliant performances we have seen. The opening ceremonies — absolutely beautiful, with Italy at its very best, the come-from-behind win in the Downhill and in the Biathalon. The brilliant hockey played by Latvia against the USA. A little less Kwan and a little less Bode’s drinking habits would have made it even more exciting. Maybe we need a lesson in what Olympic games are all about. They are not about which country wins most of the medals — they are about the youth of this world competing to find the one that is the best.

I know, I saw Jesse Owens win one of his four Gold medals in 1936.

  • Fred Deckwitz

There will be other candidates

This is in regard to Stephen O’Leary’s letter regarding the Democratic Party’s big tent. Although the Democratic Party welcomes anyone who wants to join, do not underestimate the Democratic voters of District 15. Regardless of who endorses him, I do not believe that we will elect a self-serving opportunist who changed his party registration for the sole purpose of running for the Legislature.

There are going to be other candidates in that primary who know why they are Democrats. Hopefully, we will shoot a hole in the good old boy network and turn our backs on this blatant attempt to use our party to give someone a free ride to the Legislature who does not deserve it.

  • Linda Estes

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