Can Geothermal Exist In Harmony With the Hawaiian World View?

Richard Ha writes:

On Thursday, Kalei Nu‘uhiwa
and I spoke on a geothermal panel at the UH Manoa’s Richardson School of Law.

talked about Papakū Makawalu, a Hawaiian deconstruction of the universe into its
basic component parts. Here is an interesting talk she gave on this topic about a year ago. (It's about 13 minutes; well worth a watch.)

From the Edith Kanaka‘ole Foundation:

Makawalu is the ability of our kupuna to categorize and organize our natural
world and all systems of existence within the universe. Papakū Makawalu is the
foundation to understanding, knowing, acknowledging, becoming involved with,
but most importantly, becoming the experts of the systems of this natural

At our panel discussion,
the essential question was: “Can geothermal exist in harmony with the Hawaiian
world view?”

Kalei’s answer, as I
understood it, was, "Yes – If we have a full discussion ahead of time to assure
that all concerns are adequately addressed. We need to understand and be comfortable
in knowing what its effect on the Hawaiiian environment would be."

I agree with this point
of view. When we were asked what would we do if one of the geothermal
developers did not agree to abide by this I said, “Then they need to get out of

Hawaiians in pre-contact
time were very successful. Here in Hawai‘i today, we are less successful.

This is why I really like
Charles Hall’s EROI concept, which measures net energy. It provides
empirical data that compares use of energy from ancient times to the present. It’s
a way of comparing apples and apples across time.