Global warming will affect crops
Richard Borreca writes about Chip Fletcher’s conclusion that global warming is already here, and that the governor should have his departments assess the impacts and plan accordingly ("Global warming should be on governor’s agenda," On Politics, Star-Advertiser, April 5).
That recommendation had been made earlier in response to the Legislature’s request that the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics evaluate the National Academy of Science publication "Changing Climate" with respect to Hawaii.
As I re-read Moberly and Mackenzie’s 1985 "Climate Change and Hawaii: Significance and Recommendations," I see nothing I would have changed.
We made one point, however, that is rarely mentioned. Continued global change is inevitable because of greenhouse gases humans have already added to the atmosphere. The Earth’s surface will continue to warm and sea level to rise even if all production of CO2 from humans stopped immediately. It is far more important to plan for the inevitable, through agricultural research for crops that will thrive under increased CO2, and through coastal zoning decisions, than to worry about photovoltaic versus windmills or if corn should be produced as a gasoline additive.
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Hiking mishaps bound to happen
My sympathies to the families of Paula Ramirez and Elizabeth Brem, the two women who fell to their death while hiking on Kauai. But making Hawaii taxpayers pay for this loss is not right. Any time somebody hikes a trail, whether it is an easy hike or a difficult one, there are risks assumed. People slip, trails get muddy, accidents happen.
What we need, perhaps, is to have every traveler sign a waiver form that if they plan to do any hiking or swimming while in Hawaii, they release the state from any claims, or cap the claims at $10,000. In other words, hike or swim at your own risk.
Hawaii has so many spectacular hiking spots, and it’s a shame to think they could potentially be closed because of liability issues.
Let isle residents invest in casino
In working with a group trying to enable a California Indian tribe for a casino, I have learned that casino developers and operators can pull out 35 or 40 percent of the casino’s profits.
Casino development and operation, often a combined function of a single company, would, in Hawaii’s case, probably take this money out of the state. But the functions can be separated, and the developer could be a local entity, even the state or city.
An interesting idea would be to fund a dedicated developer agency by selling $1 shares to Hawaii residents, allowing any resident to invest and reap the developer’s share of profits, so that all the profits stay in-state.
This could be equivalent to how Nevada residents benefit from casino income, or how Alaska residents benefit from oil income.
Oi paying $2.89 for a can of tuna?
Cynthia Oi’s column provides a balanced discussion of options for raising revenue to balance the state’s budget ("Seeking public input on tax options …," Under the Sun, Star-Advertiser, April 7). But, I would like to add two points to that.
First, removing the tax exemption for shipping to the islands would provide an incentive for shoppers to buy local produce. That, in turn, would boost the local economy.
Second, if one wants to reduce the cost of a "$2.89 can of tuna," I suggest shopping sales. A recent review for four Oahu grocery chains yielded two ads for brand-name canned tuna: one for $1.25, the other for 57 cents. Canned tuna has an excellent shelf life. Stock up when it’s on sale.