HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Scientist warnings about climate change have become increasingly alarming, and they are identifying more impacts that are already happening as well as more to come.
In one of the more critical reports, University of Hawaii scientists say that the state and city government have allowed too many property owners to build seawalls or revetments to fight erosion despite laws meant to discourage hardened shorelines.
As a result, many acres of beach along Oahu’s windward side have simply disappeared.
The scientists say it’s time to let the ocean be the ocean and start planning to retreat homes and public property back from the shoreline.
That's a tall order. It requires courage and creativity in government and a new attitude by many property owners.
There is a state inter-agency commission watching the data, and beginning to discuss what can and should be done.
But it's not a good sign when laws that already exist to protect shorelines are being bypassed by the bureaucracy.
Hawaii’s shorelines may be one of the first places in the country where the hardest choices must be made as the sea level rises. It remains to be seen whether we are up to the challenge.