Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – On Thursday, January 11, 2024, Senator Mike Gabbard, Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Environment, and Representative Nicole Lowe, Chair of the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection, will hold a joint Informational Briefing at the State Capitol about the immediacy and magnitude of the threat that climate change poses to Hawaiʻi.
The ten hottest years globally in recorded history all occurred in the past ten years, with last year being the hottest yet. Climate change results in more extreme weather events, such as droughts, storms and flooding. This was graphically illustrated in Lahaina as 60-mile per hour winds and grasses dried by drought fueled wildfires that tragically claimed at least one hundred lives and destroyed more than two-thousand structures.
“Climate change has been misunderstood, downplayed, or even denied by many people -- and denial does not make a problem go away, it just forestalls any action and makes the problem worse,” said Senator Gabbard. “To address a problem, we must first recognize that the problem exists and then understand its scope, scale and timing. Therefore, the purpose of this Informational Briefing is to bring public attention to the immediacy and magnitude of climate change. We need everyone’s help to do the long, hard work of countering climate change as much as we can, mitigating it where we can and adapting to it as well as we can.”
"Despite many years of warnings from scientists nationwide, the climate is still on track to reach nearly 3C degrees of warming, a milestone that has been called 'the point of no return,'” said Representative Lowen. “Even with years of global climate action, the anticipated level of warming continues to rise, as do local impacts like increased temperatures, natural disasters, droughts, and coral bleaching. It is imperative for legislators and the public alike to fully understand the scope of the climate crisis and its impacts, and I hope that this Briefing will further those efforts."
The Briefing will take place on Thursday at 1:00pm, in conference room 325 at the State Capitol, and will include presentations from the State Climatologist, the Interim Dean of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, the Pacific Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments Program, the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency, the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation, the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, the State Climate Change Commission, retired Hawaiʻi Supreme Court Justice Michael Wilson, and the Climate Future Forum
Read the public notice of the Informational Briefing here.