For those of us enjoying what we consider chilly temperatures in Hawaii over the New Years weekend, there was added pleasure in seeing our friends on the Mainland – particularly in the Northeast – enduring the coldest temperatures on record.
But let's not let their suffering make us complacent about the real impact climate change has and will have on Hawaii.
2017 saw damaging erosion: The so-called King Tides, and the inland movement of shorelines like at Sunset Beach, are unlike anything we've seen before.
Experts are saying Hawaii needs to plan for a sea level rise of to three feet by 2060 – that's 42 years.
We used to say this was a problem we should not leave for our grandchildren, but now we know it will impact us a lot sooner than that.
It is time to get serious about planning for what could be a $20 billion dollar inland movement of infrastructure, property lines and facilities.
We need to face the reality of climate change with a plan – not panic when it's too late.