Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Mini-rant (100x16)

There are more cars on Oahu than there are people. Why? The island is only 60 miles across. The bulk of the population lives in the Honolulu area, perhaps ten miles wide and five miles high. You rarely need to go more than 30 miles an hour, and you rarely need to go more than ten miles in any one direction. The weather is temperate 365 days a year. If ever there was a city that was built for bikes and electric cars, this is it. But there is no infrastructure in place, and no plans to build one. Why?

Process Reflection/Elaboration: This is the 100-word version of a longer rant that would reflect on Hawaii’s unique opportunity to become a world leader in energy sustainability. Solar energy, wave energy, wind energy, thermal energy: we’ve got the potential to develop them all. Instead, most of our electrical energy, more than 90%, is generated by burning petroleum which has to be shipped in. There are almost no bike paths or bike lanes, even though Honolulu is a small enough city that pretty much everyone could ride bikes and get to work faster than they do now in cars. And they’d be keeping the air clean and staying in shape. Instead, we keep importing cars and throwing up new construction like there’s no tomorrow. When the world runs out of oil, which is going to be sooner rather than later, we’re going to feel it harder than most. Assuming we’re not underwater by that time. Grrr.


Laura Davis said...

So true, so true.
We have such direct access to our governor and senators here in HI you would think these kinds of discussion would happen more readily. Just yesterday I sent an email to help ban styrofoam in HI and I got a response back from a senator.
That does not happen in Seattle, I can assure you.
Check out the website if you are interested,

Anonymous said...


For some reason, your writing reminds me Cormac McCarthy's work. Have you ever read any of his pieces?

Bruce Schauble said...

Well, that's a flattering comparison. Yes, I'm a fan of his work; he's one of my favorite writers. I wrote a post a while back (November 22, 2006) about The Road and No Country for Old Men, and All the Pretty Horses would probably be my nominee for Great American Novel. McCarthy is a writer who does not shrink from hard realities, but he's also a writer who is capable of writing with great sympathy and appreciation for the dark beauty of the world.