Last week was tough in a way that I hadn’t expected.
I had two events to go to: the first, a climate change conference put on by our state’s climate change commission, and the second, an agricultural bank board meeting. It was unexpectedly tough to think about the world in such disparate ways within a few days of each other. Tough to reconcile their differences, or not to reconcile but bear those differences when they were not reconcilable. That was the hardest part and it took a toll on me.
There were two different visions of the world that undergirded these two different meetings, two different ideological positions that were the common, unspoken background of most of the attendees at each meeting, and two different set of blindspots.
Hawaii has some of the most ambitious climate change and green energy goals in the US, which, admittedly, is not saying too much. The average person in Hawaii is probably more environmentally conscious than the US average. Even the most self-interested citizen here cares about the cleanliness of their favorite beach or other recreational area, and that translates into a generally high level of sympathy for environmentalism. Two-thirds of the citizens of Hawaii are concerned about climate change, said one speaker at the conference. The climate change conference, entitled Ha O Ke Kai (The Breath of the Sea) was attended by 150 of the most ardent climate change advocates in the state. It was a small conference, a single day, one keynote speaker and three panel discussions. I was there because after putting forward a proposal to create a climate change commission at the county government level, as well as mandating green house gas reduction goals by the county departments – which was, incidentally, voted down by my fellow commissioners –
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