Hawai‘i transports up to 40 billion barrels of oil every year despite its unique possibilities for renewable energy, and 90 percent of electricity generated in the islands comes from fossil fuels. But this weekend, in an effort to promote a clean energy future with less dependency on imported fossil fuels, Moving Planet WaikÄkÄ is taking to the streets. As part of a worldwide movement, the rally is demanding solutions to the current climate crisis and safer bike lanes in Hawai‘i to encourage zero-carbon-footprint transportation.
"Many of the activities we do every day, like turn the lights on, cook food or cool our homes, rely on the combustion of fossil fuels like coal and oil, which emit carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases when burned. This is a major problem because global warming destabilizes the delicate balance that makes life on this planet possible," wrote Moving Planet WaikÄkÄ coordinator Robyn Petterson in an email, concerning the need to minimize carbon dioxide effects.
Petterson, a University of Hawai‘i at MÄnoa senior and mother of two, is coordinating the WaikÄkÄ movement, which will take place tomorrow. Moving Planet WaikÄkÄ will be joining the Aloha Festivals Floral Parade by marching, biking, strolling and skating to encourage the O‘ahu Bike Plan, which focuses on enabling sustainable transportation and establishing safer bicycle lanes.
"The O‘ahu Bike Plan is a successful design and could be an example for the other islands, yet it still isn't completely funded. Policy needs to change to prioritize funding for smart design, and enable those who are trying to make a difference to actually do so. [It is] time to consider the future," wrote Petterson.
Other Moving Planet events are being organized worldwide by 350.org, an online grassroots environmental organization founded by Bill McKibben. On Saturday, there will also be a Moving Planet climate justice march in Kenya and a Moving Planet relay in India, among others in 181 participating countries. Past events noted by 350.org ranged from "skiers descending a melting glacier to divers hosting an underwater action." The number 350 refers to the parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere considered safe. The planet is currently at 391ppm. By implementing green transportation around the globe, 350 hopes to reduce this to safe levels.
"My personal feeling is that if we are going to change our habits, reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, we need the support of the local government to enable the shift. I need to know that there is a medium of safety while I ride my bicycle from point A to point B, especially with two little boys riding behind me in their bike trailer," wrote Petterson when asked why she felt strongly about this movement.
Students and the public can participate in Moving Planet WaikÄkÄ by meeting before 9 a.m. at the Ewa end of Ala Moana Beach Park. Moving Planet will be the tail unit of the parade, ending at noon at Kapi‘olani Park. The community can join this section of the Parade at any time. For more information and contacts, visit http://www.moving-planet.org/about">http://www.moving-planet.org/about.