A bit of Kauai shoreline outside our windows.
Arriving in Hawaii reminds me of national border crossings. Instead of a visa application, airlines hand out agricultural import forms to all passengers. The island state, though heavily dependent on the flow of tourists, struggles to prevent introduction of all sorts of foreign pests.
Isolated out here in the ocean, the state seems somewhat insulated from acrimonious debates about climate change in the political arena on the mainland. Hawaiian media know warming is coming; our best measurements of CO2 come from the observatory at Mauna Loa on the Big Island. The obvious threats here are sea levels rising, coral reefs bleaching leading to die-offs of fish species, and declining rainfall. All this suggests a bleak future for the tourism that provides much of the state's bread and butter.
But unlike most states on the mainland, the state government has attempted some pretty serious mitigation measures going back over a decade as well as moving toward less carbon polluting energy sources.
I guess it should be no surprise that the new Senator appointed to fill out Sen Daniel Inouye's term, Hawaii's former Lt. Governor Brian Schatz (D), immediately asserted