The stars, brilliant last night, remained so this morning when Koko and I went walking a good two hours before dawn. Orion, Makalii and Triangle sparkled in the western sky, which was rimmed around its edges by a band of clouds that promised rain.
As we walked, the wind whistled past my ears and sighed through the ironwood trees and caused a metal fence to creak and groan. It feels so good to have the cooler temperatures back.
Meanwhile, in a warming world, rising ocean temps have caused some 2,000 species of jellyfish to greatly expand their range, wreaking all sorts of havoc on human activities. As the Associated Press reports:
The gelatinous seaborne creatures are blamed for decimating fishing industries in the Bering and Black seas, forcing the shutdown of seaside power and desalination plants in Japan, the Middle East and Africa, and terrorizing beachgoers worldwide, the U.S. National Science Foundation says.
It seems that overfishing has reduced jellyfish predators, while polluted waters have increased the supply of microscopic plankton that they feed upon.
Yet another example of how we’ve greatly changed our world in ways we’re only beginning to understand, although none of it seems to be positive.
These increases in jellyfish should be a warning sign that our oceans are stressed and unhealthy," said Lucas Brotz, a University of British Columbia researcher.
And yet another warning sign that will likely go unheeded.
Closer to home, folks in Hanalei remain without drinking water after Saturday’s big rains — the kind of severe weather event that scientists are predicting will happen more frequently in a warming world.
I talked to a water department guy there yesterday, and he said they didn’t know when the water might be turned on, as it appears there’s a leak in a pipe beneath Hanalei Bridge.
Situations like this once again raise the issue of whether it’s really wise to allow extensive vacation uses in remote areas subject to flooding and lengthy road closures that leave people trapped. Resort managers have back up plans for their guests. Vacation rental occupants must manage on their own.
As a friend noted: “The county is completely unprepared when it comes to disaster preparedness.”
Another friend, who had to drive quite a bit on Saturday, said he saw things he’d never seen before while on the road that day, including the mouth of the Wailua River swollen to the size of two football fields. The river took up more than half the beach, he said.
But no worries, say the Path people. It’s an accreting beach.
He also encountered streams flowing over roads, torn up pavement, rock slides and downed trees. “Look what happens to us after just one day of rain,” he said. “We’re so vulnerable.”
It seems Gov. Lingle, whose only hope for a political future lies on the national stage, is vulnerable to federal criticism. What better explanation for her about-face on Furlough Fridays? Borrowing an idea floated initially by Sen. Gary Hooser, she’s now saying we should call a special session to allocate money from the rainy day fund to put kids back in school.
While it’s great she’s finally come to her senses, did she have to put people through so much angst in the process? Think of all the scrambling that’s been done, all the time, energy and money that’s been wasted, trying to deal with the school closures. And now she’s advocating a solution that could have been implemented from the get go.
I think it all boils down to a telling paragraph in today’s article in The Advertiser:
Lingle, who has second-guessed her decision to sign off on teacher furloughs, said her viewpoint changed on the rainy day fund as she watched the furlough debate unfold from afar during her two-week trip to China.
Have you noticed the pattern here? When things get tough in Hawaii, Lingle is so often off traveling, observing the train wreck from a comfortably safe distance.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Lege goes along now that it's the governor calling for a special session rather than one of their own, whose political aspirations they find threatening.
To end on a happy note, here’s a video clip that will make you smile. See, if you just take your dog out of a box and spend some time with it, you’ll be amazed at what it can do, and how much joy it can bring.