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Hawaii is Disappearing

Suchi Misra, Austin, TX

My article is about the impact global warming has had on Hawaii. I express how the issue has been addressed many times, but no action is being taken to help the wildlife. I also mention the negative role Trump has played in climate change and how the situation in Hawaii, and many other places like it, are suffering because of him.

Coral reefs dying.

Rare animal species going extinct.

A large part of Hawaii will be gone by 2100.

Last year when I went to Hawaii, I had the chance to see breathtaking scenery and had a life-changing experience. The beaches were so serene and beautiful, I walked on the smooth sand with cool ocean water on my feet for hours. The waterfalls were so translucent, I could see my reflection in the water. The trails were so daringly bright and colorful, I was determined to save it. The only thing that kept me from being overjoyed was the fact that I knew that in a few years, none of this would be there.

Now we all know that global warming is a big issue and is talked about quite a bit, but even with all the information and proof out there, why are we so hesitant to make a few changes in our lifestyles? Worse still is that some people don’t even believe in it. For a major political leader of a country to think global warming is a hoax is an atrocity because they have an influence on what the people think and believe. For Trump to blame global warming on China is an ignorant move, and it is disheartening that an issue like this is not being taken seriously.

My favorite beach in Hawaii was the gorgeous Waikiki beach. However, in a few years that beach will cease to exist. With the sea level rising up to 1.3 inches every decade in that area, even the hotel I stayed at will be be wiped out by 2100. According to Huff Post, this would impact hotel revenues by $661.2 million, and the damages to coral reefs and marine life in the area would lead to a $385 million hit to the state's revenue from tourism. The Whale Skate Island, located in the northwest region of Hawaii, has already been submerged due to the rising sea level. Many rare species of birds, turtles, and other wildlife were wiped out; thus, the low-lying Northwestern Hawaiian Islands have the greatest risk of disappearing from the increasing sea levels.

Now, I’m not talking about this solely because of the fact that Hawaii will lose $2 billion every year from loss of tourism and more; I am talking about this because of the loss of natural beauty that is going to occur, and for the possibility that my children may not be able to witness this type of authentic and breathtaking beauty in their lifetime. It is bizarre to think that soon Hawaii, and many other places like it, will be submerged. The worst part is that we have the power to stop this escalating problem, but no major action is being taken.

The human-influenced greenhouse gases have been a massive contribution to this growing problem. The thought of the colorful hibiscus flowers and tremendous wildlife disappearing is tragic. Snorkeling in one of the best places in the world, Hanauma Bay, left an impact on me. Seeing all of the bright fish of different sizes and the textured coral under the peaceful waters was incredible. Unfortunately, with the warming of oceans and increase in acidity, the coral reefs are rapidly dying, and it will soon lead to widespread damage to the entire ecosystem in the waters of Hawaii.

The kind of beauty in this world is irreplaceable, and it would be a tragedy if it were to disappear, especially since we have the chance to take action. It is harder to convince some people of the reality of global warming because the most dramatic changes occur very gradually, but with the temperatures rising every year and the extensive evidence to its already-apparent effects, it is hard to deny that this is an issue. Trump’s attempt to remove the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement almost took us one step back in our process; however, we will remain a part of the agreement until the next presidential election in 2020. With the United States being such a significant world power, our actions speak loudly to the rest of the world, and so, we can only hope to look ahead and join with other countries in creating a more sustainable Earth that future generations can have the pleasure of exploring.

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