Photo: Peter Vanosdall
We are vulnerable. It can be easy to forget that while we go about our daily lives, filling up our gas tanks, working in our air-conditioned offices, picking up groceries on the way home, doing the laundry and making dinner.
Yet we do all of this while living nearly 2,400 miles away from the nearest landmass, making us among the most geographically isolated human populations in the world and one that is extraordinarily dependent on goods and resources shipped across the ocean to us. Ninety percent of everything we eat arrives every four days in 400 containers. We pay $5 billion a year for the petroleum that fuels our cars and lets us turn on the lights. What happens when such access is compromised?
Our vulnerability is exacerbated by the accelerating effects of climate change, which we have witnessed in the form of a 100-year storm, record-breaking king tides, beach erosion and dying coral reefs. What happens if a Category 5 hurricane hits Honolulu?