Hawaii 2050 speaker sustains hope for cleaner planet
Terry Tamminen rides a bike to work, washes his clothes in cold water and uses canvas bags at the supermarket.
The former chief policy adviser to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency also has been on the road 275 days for the past year as a sustainability consultant. Stops have included numerous states, Canada and Europe.
As a sustainability consultant, he spreads the word that states, cities and countries can reduce their emission of greenhouse gases and find less harmful ways to live on Earth.
Tamminen will be the keynote speaker Saturday for the Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Summit at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
The event marks the unveiling of a draft Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Plan, which has been worked on by the past year by a 25-member committee of state and county officials. A series of community meetings to review the plan will be held later this year.
"Right now because of the technology we have, it's impossible to avoid emitting greenhouse gases unless you live on a farm off the grid," Tamminen said in a phone interview.
But technology also enables people to live more sustainably, a concept he calls "living so we can leave something better for our children."
Tamminen said he does buy "offsets" for the jet fuel he uses taking commercial airliners to help governments learn from each other what works and what does not.
"Plus, I hope I have a net benefit to the world with the work I'm doing," Tamminen said.
His home state of California, of course, is used as a role model in his talks, for its use of renewable energy and other achievements.
But so are:
» Germany, the world's leading consumer of solar panels.
» An African program to replace wood-burning cooking ovens with solar ones.
A key is agreeing on how to measure sustainability progress, Tamminen said, in air and water quality, biodiversity of plant and animal species, etc.
"And the human species -- we've really got to think about our own economy and our own ability to survive and thrive," he said.
Hawaii 2050 Summit
The Hawaii 2050 Summit will be from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
» Terry Tamminen, former secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, will speak at 10 a.m.
» The draft Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Plan will be presented at 11:20 a.m.
» Event admission includes a continental breakfast and copy of the draft plan. Cost is $20.50 or $10.25 for students, cash or checks only. Parking at the hotel is $6 for self-parking with banquet validation. For more information go to www.hawaii2050.org or call 585-7931, ext. 105.
» The summit will be broadcast live on public-access television statewide: 'Olelo, Channel 49 on Oahu; Na Leo O Hawaii, Channel 52 on the Big Island; Ho'ike Channel 53 on Kauai; and Akaku, Channel 54 on Maui.