One Cost of Paradise: Food Insecurity

Richard Ha writes:

The high cost of Paradise is making us less and less food secure.

From the Economic Research Organization at the University of Hawaii:

An Insight on the Cost of Paradise

Whether visitors or residents in Hawai‘i, we are all aware of the high cost of living in paradise. One major contributing factor is the cost of energy. Households in Hawai‘i pay 4 times more than the average US household and nearly 7 times the households in Utah, where the residential energy cost is the cheapest in the nation.* While the US average for April 2013 hovered at 12 cents/kwh, Hawai‘i paid 37 cents/kwh for electricity in the residential sector.** … Read the rest here

Hawai‘i uses oil for more than 70 percent of its electricity,
while the U.S. mainland uses oil for only 2 percent of its electricity. Any
food product from the mainland that uses lots of electricity in its processing
has an increasing advantage over Hawai‘i food producers and manufacturers.

The U.S. mainland is both our supplier and our competitor.
The mainland’s use of cheap natural gas versus our usage of expensive feedstock
for electricity production makes all the difference. It’s all about cost. There
is no free lunch. Subsidies are not free.

Agriculture and energy are inextricably tied together.
Energy helps us do work. Since no one in the world has found a solution for
liquid transportation fuel, we need to look to electricity.

On the Big Island, we do have a solution. Geothermal is the
cheapest way to generate electricity. And with the throwaway electricity at
night, we can generate ammonia, which is a nitrogen fertilizer as well as a
hydrogen source. And when we generate cheap electricity, we can run electric
vehicles as an alternative to using liquid fuel.

Stable cost for fertilizer for farmers, low-cost electricity
for the rubbah slippah folks, clean transportation and a low walk around cost
for tourists. We can have the best of all worlds.

Not no can! CAN!

One thought on “One Cost of Paradise: Food Insecurity”

  1. Don’t look now, oil is near $105 per barrel.

    Hawaii island imports 92% of its goods and produce.

    These add up to a big negative all the way around.

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