A while back we had occasion to comment on what’s going on in Hawaii, namely an ongoing, politically correct drumbeat of clean energy promotion on the one hand, and the quaint local custom of upscale Waikiki merchandisers keeping their front doors wide open even as their air conditioning goes full tilt. See What Carbon Dioxide Production?, July 25, 2009, go to http://gideonstrumpet.info/?p=268
Now, the New Yotk Times has taken this stuff a step further by reporting that Hawaii Tries Green Tools In Remaking Power Grids, by Felicity Barringer, September 15, 2009, at p. A17. That article tells us all about the diversity of Hawaii’s approaches to alternative power generation: Geothermal (using hot volcanic rocks ), waves in Maui, wind in Lanai and Molokai, solar panels in Oahu and eventually, if all goes well, biomass energy from crops grown in Kauai, as well as conversion of water into energy on the Big Island of Hawaii. Wow!
“These projects are just a slice of the energy experiment unfolding across Hawaii’s six main islands. With the most diverse array of alternative energy potential of any state in the nation, Hawaii has set out to become a living laboratory for the rest of the country, hoping it can slash its dependence on fossil fuels, while keeping the lights on.”
We stand in awe at all that creative energy at work, but we can’t help wondering: wouldn’t it be simpler and cheaper to give this commendable effort a hand by closing the front doors of all those upscale stores along Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki, thereby air conditioning only those stores’ interiors rather than trying to air condition the great outdoors? To say nothing of all those upscale hotels with their air conditioned lobbies that are wide open to the outside, and in some cases don’t even have any exterior walls on their ground floors.
And did we mention that Native Hawaiians are taking a dim view of all that haole desecration of sacred ancient sites with their power-generating machinery? It appears that the kanakas seek to prevent desecration of Pele, the native godess of fire and volcanoes. And Pele does not fool around — when visiting Hawaii a while back we were sternly admonished never to pick up pieces of lava as souvenirs. Never, never. Pele doesn’t like that and if you defy her you’re in for trouble unless you come back to Hawaii and replace the volcanic rocks where you found them. Witness the New York Times’ casual reference to “the detritus of past failures, like the dismembered and rusting wind turbines of a defunct wind farm near the southern end of the Big Island.” That’s what you get for defying Pele. So our advice is: don’t screw around with Pele. Just close the front doors and enclose the interiors of air conditioned buildings — it will save energy and propitiate Pele.