Hold on, good news is on the way!!

This week, Hawaii received its final shipment of coal. Read that again, if you will. 

Its final shipment of coal.

The last delivery arrived at the state’s last functioning coal plant on Wednesday. The shipment to Oahu coincided with the release of the latest IPCC report, the most dire yet, which points to the need to abandon fossil fuels entirely ASAP.

U.N. Secretary General António Guterres warned that, “Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals. But the truly dangerous radicals are the countries increasing the production of fossil fuels.” 

Hawaii’s Governor David Ige signed a bill in 2015 that set a goal for state utilities to generate 100 percent of their electricity from renewables by 2045. Two years ago, another law banned utilities from adding any new coal-powered plants or extending existing coal-burning permits after this year. 

The governor recognizes that there are challenges ahead, but knows the move away from coal is necessary for future generations. “It’s the right move for our communities and the planet, ” he says. “In its time, coal was an important resource for Hawaii and I’d like to thank the workers who have run our last remaining coal plant.” Those forty displaced workers will be offered jobs at solar, wind, and battery storage facilities.

For all of us, there will be changes, challenges, and yes, some sacrifice during our transition to a sane energy future. In Hawaii, renewable energy projects are coming online rapidly, but supply chain issues have slowed construction and electricity rates on Oahu are expected to rise temporarily. Yet with so much of humanity currently enduring wildfires, heat waves, droughts, floods, and horrendous storms, we cannot wait to act.

Hawaii’s courage and bold leadership is more than welcome. As is the U.S. Democratic party’s leadership on the historic climate legislation wending its way through Congress. (Fingers crossed and prayers aloft.)

Could there be hope? I’ve got the champagne chilling.