“Climate Change In Hawaii” story transcript
Ashley: Hey everyone, my name is Ashley and welcome to the very first episode of “1 Planet and a Pod.” This is a conversation about climate change, how it affects not only our planet, but how it affects us, the humans who are trying to save it. Did you know that at least 80% of the global population has been affected by climate change in some way? So I’m going to start by presenting you with a question: Do you know anyone who has been personally affected by climate change? I’ll give you a minute. It was kind of hard for me to come up with someone that I personally know as well.
Until I read an article about Hawaii, which talked about how climate change will affect nearly every aspect of life in Hawaii. And then it clicked: Menia Teasdale. She’s a school teacher, she’s an environmental activist, who not only lives in Hawaii, but she used to live next door to me. So, I reached out to Menia on Facebook and I wanted to get her take on this issue. Menia grew up in Waipahu, Hawaii. She moved to Michigan in the 80s when she fell in love with a surfer who was on vacation. Now, after 37 years of marriage and raising a beautiful family, her and her husband, Ron (yes- the surfer dude), made the big move back to the island.
Menia does everything she can to teach her students about climate change, from projects, to showing them documentaries, to informing them on how they can do their part to help save our planet. Menia, herself, does a number of things that contribute to sustainable living. Not only does she eat a vegan-based diet, she composts. She told me that she tries to live waste-free, hoping everyday that she can produce little to zero waste. Along with that she recycles any and everything she can. She got a little emotional during our conversation.
She loves Hawaii so much and she wants her family to be there for generations to come. However, studies show that the sea-level in Hawaii could increase by 40% come 2050- that’s only 30 years from now. Which in the grand schemes of things, is not that far away. Because Pacific Islands are almost entirely dependent on imported food, fuel, goods, the vulnerability of transportation, of airports, to extreme weather events such as sea-level rise and increasing wave heights, is a great concern.
Increased temperatures paired with a decrease in rain will also reduce the amount of fresh drinking water and crop irrigation. Increased temperatures causing warming oceans are already leading to increased coral bleeding and disease outbreaks. Climate change has strong adverse effects on Hawaii’s ecosystems and economy. Ocean warming and acidification are destroying the island’s ecosystems, especially coral reefs, which are hugely important because they provide a safe place for fish to spawn, protect Hawaii’s coast from waves and storms, and support tourism and fishing industries worth billions of dollars. Coral reefs are also fundamental to the fabric of local communities in Hawaii, providing a source of food, materials, and traditional activities.
So with all that- what can you do? How can you do your part? How can we make Menia proud? Below are a list of resources that I hope you consider checking out.