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Hawai'i Becomes the First State to Declare "Climate Emergency"

As awareness of the climate crisis grows, so too does the call for action, especially in vulnerable locations like Hawai'i. This past week the Hawaiʻi Climate and Environmental Coalition announced the passage of the State Senate Concurrent Resolution 44 (SCR44). With the adoption of this legislation Hawai'i is the first state in the country to declare a "climate emergency" and call for statewide collaboration towards climate mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Due to human activity the planet is at a breaking point - global warming has increased the average global air temperature by One degree celsius, which can cause unstable weather events and environments. These phenomena can be anything from extremely strong hurricanes, drought/flooding, wildfires, etc. Perhaps one of the most pertinent issues to the islands of the world is sea level rise. When global temperatures rise, they melt the Earth's glaciers causing an increase in the amount of water in the ocean. According to the World Wildlife Fund, "even if we significantly curb emissions in the coming decades, more than a third of the world’s remaining glaciers will melt before the year 2100. When it comes to sea ice, 95% of the oldest and thickest ice in the Arctic is already gone." This is cause for great concern for many coastal locations because it means there will be inevitable land loss, destroying homes of plants, animals and people alike. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has created a Sea Level Rise Viewer to illustrate the stark outcome that could become a reality if we do not act now.

We have a kuleana to our land: to care for it and to respect it. Learning Endeavors is proud of our beautiful island community for standing up for what is right and fighting to protect the ʻāina.

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