By: Jeff Tadashi
Honolulu’s effort to implement a landmark state agricultural lands policy faces opposition from major players in the state’s renewable energy industry, highlighting a significant challenge Hawaii faces as it tries to produce more of its own food and electricity in an island chain with limited available land.
Governor David Ige has set a goal of doubling Hawaii’s food production. The state Legislature put in place a mandate of producing 100 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2045. Energy companies and farmers need the same thing — lots of flat land. The two priorities conflict and Hawaii needs them both but Hawaii does not have a lot of available flat land. We are after all a series of volcanic islands. You know, mountains? We are however surrounded by a big ocean, an ocean which is rising up to take even more of our land. Hawaii’s future is in the water, not on the land.
When I suggest that our future is in the ocean, I do not just mean fishing. Fishing is part of the future as it has been the past. We certainly must embrace fishing and fish farming here. We must also embrace aquaculture – farming underwater. Whether it is kelp farms or other, there is plenty of land under the waves on which to grow food.
Our land is shrinking, the ocean is rising, and our weather is changing. We are going to need fresh water to drink. If Hawaii does not need it, the rest of the world certainly will. Hawaii can desalinate sea water. If you say that desalinization cannot and should not be done on islands, please don’t tell that to Singapore where there are six times more people and a lot less land than in Hawaii. There are six huge desalinization plants in Singapore. We can use the salt byproducts from desalination for construction on the land.
The ocean can also provide us construction materials like salt and even trash. We are surrounded by the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Every day, the tide brings in more trash. We can and we should recycle that trash to make construction material which can be used on land and maybe even under the sea. We clean the ocean and we have construction materials.
If the state really wants to take care of its own energy needs, again the ocean provides some solutions. Underwater nuclear power plants operate safely in Hawaii every single day of the year on U.S. Navy submarines. There is no reason other than nuclear power largely being a Republican platform not to embrace nuclear power in Hawaii. Nuclear power allows us to completely cut out the need for fossil fuels for electricity generation.
For the animal rights and climate change activists amongst us, there is a solution for those agendas too. The world’s first 3D bio-printed and cultivated ribeye steak was recently made without genetic engineering. Created by Aleph Farms Ltd. and the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, the steak also did not require the slaughter of any animals. It was made using real cow cells and a 3D printer. There is no creation of greenhouse gases, no pasture land and water requirements. For the vegans and vegetarians, the 3D steaks can be printed using plant cells too.
There are also plenty of flat areas available already, but these areas are not predominantly used for solar or farming unless their owners can pay for it. Every house and every building should have panels and batteries and the state should pay for installation. Make each house a self-contained, self-sustaining grid. Why need Hawaiian Electric?
That’s just the problem. We won’t need Hawaiian Electric. Getting rid of Hawaiian Electric means our Democrat leaders won’t get rich that way anymore. In Russia, there is GazProm. In China, there is Sinopec. In the Democrat People’s Republic of Hawaii, there is Hawaiian Electric. Every communist state has such an entity. Selling commodities such as energy, utilities, and agriculture raises revenue for the elite political and financial oligarchs. Democrats in Honolulu won’t change for a while because doing so takes their immediate profits away before they have the time needed to replace them.
Our state government has awarded contracts for socialized housing only to have the awardees convert the land to solar farms. Again, a money-making decision between making energy at higher profits or getting subsidized rent payments? My monthly electric bill went up by over $30 in June. I do not even know why? It sure isn’t because that solar farm that is now installed on social housing land is cutting into my bill. I bet David Ige doesn’t have a large electric bill though.