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Hawaiian Climate Changing

Island inhabitant recounts recent unprecedented storms. Says Bush needs to rethink his response to Global Warming and take it more seriously.

On Feb. 16, the Kyoto Protocal goes into effect. Unfortunately, the US has no intention of participating.

I know here in Hawaii, we have been having serious weather changes in the past few years which I believe are directly related to man-made pollution increasing the Greenhouse effect and severely impacting the climate.

About 3 years ago, we had 37 inches of rainfall in 24 hours which, needless to say, destroyed a number of bridges and about a mile of highway (Ka'u district, Big Island of Hawaii). We were told that this is a "once in a hundred year" disturbance.

Last October, the damage at the University of Hawaii from the Manoa Stream was so great that President Bush declared it a disaster area and released federal funds. Sixteen buildings had to be repaired.

Also, last year on Oahu, my daughter saw a tornado in the pineapple fields which was the first time in recorded history that this has happened. A tornado in Hawaii?? Fortunately there was no damage to homes.

This year just a month ago, our district had a terrible wind storm. I live in an area where there are Macadamia nut orchards up to about the 1800 foot level and then fast growing Eucalyptus trees (from New Zealand) planted to about the 2800 foot level. The Macadamia nut trees are protected by 150 foot high wind breakers spaced between adjoining orchards. The wind damage was the worst in history; some of the privately owned orchards suffered up to 50% loss of trees. Many Macadamia and 60 foot tall Eucalyptus trees were blown over with their roots pulled out, others were snapped at the base, half way up, or at the last 10 feet. After the storm, some of the ones that had been bent over fell down due to the fact that the subsequent rain had softened the soil.

I personally experienced the storm because, though it was windy that morning, I took a walk in the mountains up to the 2400 foot level (I live in Pahala at the 1000 foot level). On the way up, I passed through the Macadamia nut trees and there was no damage but upon passing the 1800 foot level, I noticed that Euchalyptus trees were beginning to fall on the road. I could hear popping noises as the tops of the trees snapped off but I continued walking up to about the 2400 ft. level, then went to an open field and had lunch with my dog.

Out in the open, things didn't seem too bad. On the way down, it was another story. I could hear the constant "popping" like fireworks and became frightened because in places where I had passed just seconds before, trees fell in more than one instance. I can tell you that I said my prayers because I feared for my life.

Now getting back to the ostrich-like passivity of President Bush, I would like to say that I think that he and members of his cabinet should be remembered by having future storms named after them. If weather in the last few years is any indication of what will happen later on, I think that the Bush administration should credited for their non-participation in the Kyoto agreement and thus for helping produce more violent storms on the face of our planet than have ever been seen in the history of our country. I also wish that there would be some way of holding them responsible for their pretended ignorance in this matter.