A final solution

A long, l-o-o-n-g time ago, a certain social science student was informed by an adviser that one year – two semesters – of a physical science was required to obtain a college degree.

After careful consultation with other poor students, it was determined that freshman geology was an “Easy A,” a “Cinch B,” a “Falling Down C.” To his dismay, our social science student discovered that freshman geology was “D – none of the above.”

Despite earnestly shouting out, “It’s a rock!” every time the professor held up a sample in the lab portion of the class, our student recorded his first ever “F.” To this day he does not know the difference between igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic or Kid Rock.

That lack of knowledge, however, does not deter him from reaching one obvious conclusion on Maui:

A combination of geothermal, solar and wind power needs to be developed – and soon – to stabilize our economy.

Geothermal has proved to be a huge success on the Big Island. It needs to be developed carefully – and, respectfully – here on Maui. It makes no sense to live in a state born of magma and ignore that creating source. It is even used as a reliable energy source in parts of the Mainland.

Supposedly, tests were to be conducted on Haleakala almost two years ago – but we have heard no results.

One would assume that a combination of wind and geothermal would be the logical fuel solution for our utility company. It would certainly eliminate fuel surcharges.

The fluctuation of oil prices – and our current dependence on it to run our diesel generators – seems like a continuing folly. Certainly it punishes utility customers. It is hard to develop a budget for a business (or a home) when you have to figure in a plus or minus 30 percent for your energy bill.

The combination of earth, wind and sun is an obvious solution. All of these gifts of nature are readily available. Let’s adopt a “race to the moon” mindset to tackle our ongoing energy problem.

The answer is available – we just have to commit to pursuing it.

(Portions of this editorial have appeared previously in The Maui News.)

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.