‘Ike aku, ‘ike mai, kokua aku kokua mai; pela iho la ka nohana ‘ohana
(Recognize others, be recognized, help others, be helped; such is a family relationship)
Climate change and extreme weather from floods, wildfires and droughts are forcing people from their homes. Other significant natural disasters and extreme weather events like volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and hurricanes are also severely harming our homes and way of life. Environmental migration has become one of the most challenging economic and humanitarian crises in recent years. It’s important to understand the magnitude of human displacement. By 2060 another 1.4 billion people will have to move to escape our planet’s rising seas. The Aloha State is on the front line of this climate change, with coastal erosion washing away our beaches, cultural sites and homes.
Hundreds on Kauai Island were displaced by flash floods. After Puerto Rico’s 2017 Hurricanes, 30% of the islands 3 million people were displaced to the mainland U.S. Hawaii is doing it’s best to help lava refugees and newcomers, some who arrive with nothing and don’t speak English. The lack of affordable housing and living wages, adds to the cultural tensions. Brush up on your awareness of the environmental refugee crisis, volunteer with local organizations; be kind to one another; and welcome others to our beautiful islands.