Hawaii’s state Legislature became the first state of the United States to pass an resolution which declares a climate emergency. Hawaii will pioneer a road that must eventually be taken on by all states. Hawaii state legislators passed Senate Resolution 44, joining more than 1,900 cities (in 34 countries). People of Hawaii will have to address its diminishing freshwater supply, rising seal levels that wipe out coast lines.

tropical leaves

Why Did Hawaii Declared Climate Change an Emergency?

America’s island is especially sensitive to changing weather. Hawaii happens to be the only land mass of America in the tropics. The resolution recognizes that Hawaii’s unique islands are fragile and dependent on favorable island conditions to support ecological diversity and for its citizens. Increased precipitation and more intense weather conditions make could spell trouble under in a tropical environment. Sea level rise would spell trouble for Hawaii’s coast line infrastructure.

State Senator Mike Gabbard, introduced the emergency resolution. The resolution was approved by the state’s legislature and is non-binding. Preserving natural environments through reducing carbon emissions and investing in the so called, “Clean Energy Revolution” is undoubtedly in Hawaii’s best interest. In doing so, Hawaii will not only be protecting its ecosystems and biodiversity, which it relies on for resources like food and medicine, but it will also be protecting its coastal infrastructure from severe storm impacts. However, Hawaii needs the cooperation of international policy makers and energy sectors to deliver on its environmental promises.

Should Hawaiian’s Be Worried?

The emergency resolution is, in fact, the appropriate response given the nature and severity of the global climate crisis. To paraphrase the Swedish climate change activist, Greta Thunberg, “our house is on fire”. When your house is on fire, you must treat the situation like an emergency, this requires being in a state of panic and acting with a certain sense of urgency.

With any luck, Hawaii sets a new standard within the United States. Assuming that other states follow Hawaii’s example, then reaching the goals outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement will become more plausible. The Biden Administration has enjoined America to the Paris Climate Agreement, which is an official legally binding document.

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