In the last of our discussions of topics from the book, “The Value of Hawaii,” the Civil Beat newsroom hosted an audience interested in the status of water and energy across our islands.

Engineers, scientists, “green” home designers and professors attended. Other folks who cared about Hawaii’s natural resources and our future energy needs joined us as well. D. Kapuaala Sproat and Henry Curtis, authors of the essays on the topics in the book, were our guest speakers, while Civil Beat’s Michael Levine played host.

The discussion was both interesting and enjoyable – I always think it’s a good thing when a serious discussion shares a laugh or two. More importantly, everyone seemed to walk away with some action items:

  • Shrink your personal energy footprint. Be mindful of your usage of lights, fans and other “energy wasters.”
  • Be vocal. When friends and colleagues are wasting energy, ask them how you can help them be a part of the transition. It may simply be a lack of knowledge.
  • When possible, source local. Whether you’re talking about energy, food, or supplies – the more self reliant Hawaii can become the better.
  • Change our thinking. Economics seems to be a lot of the reason why we don’t commit to change. We need to start thinking about what’s really important for Hawaii’s future.

You can watch the event in its entirety below, as well as read both essays on the topic. Once you do you I invite you to join our discussion on “The Value of Hawaii,” which you can find at the bottom of this post.



The Value of Hawaii: Energy by Henry Curtis

Henry Curtis has been Executive Director of Life of the Land since 1995, and has a BA in Economics from Queens College, City University of New York. He is a community organizer, videographer, director, producer, peer reviewer, moot court judge, community facilitator, and provides expert testimony on ocean power, biofuels, energy, and externalities at the Public Utilities Commission, where he has represented Life of the Land in over twenty regulatory proceedings. He is committed to Hawaii’s energy self-reliance and well-being and is motivated by the values of aloha aina, malama aina, and his love for Hawaii nei.


The Value of Hawaii: Water by D. Kapuaala Sproat

D. Kapuaala Sproat is an Assistant Professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law, where she teaches courses and provides program support for Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law and the Environmental Law Program. Ms. Sproat has spent over a decade working on water issues on Oahu, Maui, Molokai, and Hawaii Island, both in her capacity as UH’s Environmental Law Clinic Director and as an attorney with Earthjustice, a public interest environmental litigation firm. She hails from the Island of Kauai and is a member of the Akana and Sproat ohana.