Pono: The Quest for Balance
The tiki kitsch that Hawaii is known for is far from the reality its residence face while living in a lush tropical landscape that is threatened by creeping industrialization. Hawaiians' stories mix with images of natural beauty to illustrate the real-world challenges to sustainability found in Hawaii and, by extension, the world. Hawaii's residents are developing new solutions to the environmental challenges of modern life and reaching back to traditional practices to help save their home.
Hawaiians are the most geographically isolated people in the world, with thousands of miles of ocean separating them from their nearest neighbors. If Hawaiians are to survive this century, they must learn to rely on their own sustainable resources or face the increasing environmental and economic costs of fossil fuel-consuming import dependency. If Hawaiians do not change introduce more sustainable consumption patterns, the Islands could be out of food and fuel in less than two weeks should the ships stop coming. Hawaii offers an ideal case study for sustainability issues and the solutions being developed today. Ultimately, these lessons apply to the entire planet, since global resources are also limited: when extended to the entire planet, the limits – and the stakes – are just larger.