POSTED: 27 August 2006 - 12:30pm HST

Presentation of Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Task Force

Ceiling of the Silver Room at the Hawaii 2050 conference on sustainability

Charting a Course to a Sustainable Future
by Juan Wilson on 27 August 2006

With support from State Senator Gary Hooser and Judy Dalton of the Kauai Group of the Sierra Club, I was to attend a fascinating meeting with about 500 other guests at the Dole Center on Oahu, Saturday, 26 August, 2006. It was the kickoff presentation of the Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Task Force that is being supported by Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs (HIPA).

This is the first part of several articles on Hawaii's sustainable future as the result of the kickoff meeting.

The Dole Center, Saturday, 26 August, 2006

Lining up to get registered I saw Kauai Councilwomen JoAnne Yukimura, Planning Director Ian Costa and Hawaii State BLNR Chairman Peter Young. Altogether, of the 500 atendees, there were about 150 outer-island representatives present.

First thing, a colored stick-on was attached to each ID card handed out at the at registration desk: Silver, Orange, Blue or Maroon. Although we did not know it at the time, each of the four colors represented an alternate future fate for each of us. I was a Maroon.

Once in the main meeting room, there was the usual business to attend to whenever a large crowd comes together to get something done, but it was surprisingly brief. We were soon separated into four groups, by color, to go off to separate balloons to meet our different lives in 2050.

We were asked to suspend disbelief and go with the flow of events and conditions that were presented to us.

The Maroon group was led down a long corridor by a signs that said,

Welcome to the Honolulu Ahupuaa Civic Education Center

Once we entered the room we found ourselves under a tent, on grass, surrounded by trees (it was actually a large meeting room with a stage-set on Astroturf - but we were suspending disbelief). We were herded to one side of the room by a big Hawaiian guy who greeted us and explained he would use English, but that even on Oahu, Hawaiian would become the official language in 2058.

Once seated on the grass we were each given a "September 2050 Ration Card" good for food and transportation within the Ahupuaa of Honolulu. We were then asked to fill out forms that indicated our level of expertise in native plants, agriculture, engineering, medicine and Hawaiian culture.

These forms were in a sense a job, or work, interview. After filling out the forms we were given lectures on the utilization of hemp in the agriculture of the islands. Two research doctors, from Lanai, demonstrated the latest hemp fiber manufacturing techniques and reported on genetic engineering of breakthrough medicinal use of cannabinoid extracts.

It became clear that the islands were intact, despite rising ocean levels and intensified storms. A happy and not overworked population, of about 500,000 mostly Polynesians, had time to pursue spiritual and family recreation in an industrialized agricultural economy.

After our visits to 2050, each group met in a brainstorming session to voice the answers to four questions;

1) What did you like best about this future?
2) What did you dislike most about this future?
3) What should be done to achieve what you liked?
4) What should be done to avoid what you disliked?

The answers will soon be published on the Hawaiian 2050 website at

After our debriefing brainstorming session each group was instructed to enter an alternate assigned future for a brief exposure. The Maroon group got to enter the Orange Future.

Debate for Governor of the Ruling Commission of Hawaii
The Orange Future was in the main ballroom of the The Dole Underwater Hotel & Casino. The room was decorated with red, white and blue balloons. There were two podiums on the stage. Each table had buttons and bumper stickers for candidates. Our slick, fast Master of Ceremonies was Squire.

He explained that as the representatives of the island corporations we would be conducting a straw pole that night to elect one of two corporations to be governor of our island nation.

A representative for each corporate candidate made an opening statement. The incumbent, a fortyish haole man in a three-piece suit, represented Aloha Nuclear & Water Inc. He said the economy was strong and growing for our population of 4,000,000. The construction industry was strong with all the storm-proof rebuilding going on away from the eroding shoreline. Power and water were plentiful due to the expanding nuclear industry, despite some setbacks and glitches. There were admitted problems with food supplies.

His opponent was an android-like 20-something japanese female representing Kobayashi Virtual Concern LLC. Kobayashi was an entertainment conglomerate with branches in gaming, virtual reality, consumer electronics etc. She promised a lower population in the future with an economy based entertainment and intellectual porperty rather than construction and material comsumption. She called for a governing control of intellectual property of the islands so that the "feel, sense and pleasure" of the Hawaiian experience could be made a worldwide source of income for Hawaiian corporations.

Although I did not attend the Silver or Blue presentation I did see the room that it was held in.

Orientation for The Democratic Kingdom of Hawaii
The Silver future had unsmiling military guards dressed in camo uniforms outside the doors. One Silver attendee told me they were ordered to enter single file and be quiet.

Apparently, after the collapse of the world petroleum economy in 2035, the US military was abandoned on Hawaii by the mainland upheavals. Most American born Hawaiian residents left the islands as the oceans inundated populated shorelines and tourism disappeared.

A military dictatorship followed that used a pseudo-Hawaiian cultural legacy with a rallying cry for "Aloha, Loyalty and Security". A puppet Hawaiian monarchy was set up to oversee a low tech plantation style agricultural economy based on strict obedience to authority. The population dwindled to 300,000. A strict dictatorial regime did not put up with trouble makers.

The last room I got to look into was the Blue Room.

M-Bed: the Hawaiian Mind Body Enhancement Depot
The Blue Future was presented as an offer from M-Bed technicians wearing white lab coats. Demonstrated were enhancements for mind body and reality directed to all species of intelligent or artificial entities. Distinctions between the living and machines has been blurred and so have the lines between consciousness and artificial-intelligence.

The South Point on the Big Island has a spaceport and is a world jumping point for teleportation to Mars and the Moon. The posters for travel to Mars asks "Are you dreaming of a red Christmas?"

There is no fixed identified population other than the 100,000 or so un-enhanced homo sapiens (now known as homo ludditus). All intelligent beings are supported on an extensive and genetically engineered nano-technology. There is no more living independent plant/animal ecosystem left in Hawaii by 2050.

The artifical intelligent hive-mind of the future promises a kind of immortality for future participating individuals.

All in all, from what I could glean, the four scenarios shared the same basic assumptions about the future forces acting on our islands from the outside. The four scenarios were differentiated by which reaction to those forces would dominate.

Maroon - Environmentalists
Orange - Corporations
Silver - Armed Forces
Blue - Scientists

I liked the Maroon Room the best. The others were scary. The Maroon future was the most like the reality I see emerging in Hawaii (although the Silver Room might have something to say about that).

In future articles I will publish the four more detailed reports that were written to support what was presented to us in the four futures we experienced created by Stuart Candy, Jim Dator and Jake Dunagan of the Hawaii research Center for Future Studies, Department of Political Science, University of Hawaii at Monoa


see also:

see also:
Island Breath: Kauai 2007 to 2050
Island Breath: Kauai 2050 followup
Island Breath: Hawaii 2050 background

Island Breath: Hawaii 2050 Conference
Island Breath: No growth feasible
Island Breath: Cuba shows how