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Richard Ha
Richard Ha recently built a hydroelectric plant at his 600-acre farm in Pepe‘ekeo on the Big Island in order to decrease his reliance on oil-based power. His focus is on helping the Big Island choose smart alternatives now that will reduce its dependence of foreign oil and allow the Island’s keiki and future generations to live a more sustainable lifestyle, in Hawai‘i, post-Peak Oil.

Entries by Richard Ha

Thirty Meter Telescope Receives Final Approval

(2) Comments | Posted July 29, 2014 | 10:49 AM

Last week the Land Board approved the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). That's the final word. It's over.

Along with several others, I attended the Land Board meeting Friday in Honolulu where they heard testimony. Then they went into executive session and made their decision. 

It's hard for me to find...

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Interview: 99.9% of Species Ever on Earth Are Extinct Now

(0) Comments | Posted July 24, 2014 | 7:54 AM

Richard Ha writes:

The third in my series of expert interviews.

This is Dr. Shane Burgess again, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Arizona, talking this time about how 99.9 percent of all species that ever lived on the earth are now extinct. It's  3...

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Expert Interview: Are GMOs Safe?

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 5:26 PM

Shane Burgess is dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at The University of Arizona. I was sitting next to him when there was a discussion about endangered species, and I was impressed with his knowledge of and passion for the subject.

I asked him, in this...

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Interview: Sustainable Ways of Using GMOs

(0) Comments | Posted July 22, 2014 | 9:59 AM

I interviewed Dr. Shane Burgess, dean of the University of Arizona's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and asked him a series of questions I thought folks on the Big Island would find interesting and useful.

In this -- the first of a series of interviews I will...

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Western Region Meeting -- Part 2 & Lake Tahoe

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 9:12 AM

Last time I wrote about the first session of the Western Region meeting of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, which I attended at Lake Tahoe as a Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching (CARET) delegate.

The remaining sessions focused on the four major areas that comprise...

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Meeting in Tahoe About the Western Agenda

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 8:11 PM

View of lake

I'm at Lake Tahoe at the Western Region meeting of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU). I'm attending as a Council for Agricultural...

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'Teaching People to Fish' Through Biotechnology

(1) Comments | Posted July 10, 2014 | 12:14 PM

Dennis Gonsalves and I had lunch at Zippys awhile back with Lawrence Kent of the Gates Foundation. Lawrence told us the Gates Foundation is sponsoring GM plant research to help the poorest of the poor. It's a significant project, though just a small percent of the whole Gates Foundation effort.

I asked him about...
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Preparing for Climate Change: The Overview

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 3:21 PM

I was asked to speak recently at the Hawai'i State Association of Counties 2014 Annual Conference, which was held in Waikiki. I spoke on the panel called Preparing for Climate Change. Here's what I said.


Aloha everyone. Thanks for inviting me.

Food security has to do with farmers farming. If the...

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Around the World on a Wa'a

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2014 | 12:33 PM

The Polynesian voyaging canoes Hokule'a and Hikianalia departed Hilo a couple days ago, headed for Tahiti on the first leg of an around-the-world voyage. Kalepa Babayan is captain of the Hokule'a, and he melds ancient ways with modern technology and education. He is one of the most solidly grounded...

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Toyota Shifts Focus to Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles

(2) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 2:11 PM

Toyota made a major announcement today: It will stop focusing on pure electric vehicles, and begin focusing its attention on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. This is huge. 

Do you know that here on the Big Island we throw away ("curtail") tons of electricity from geothermal and wind every night? We...

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A Real Danger: The Rising Cost of Food

(0) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 9:59 PM

The rising cost of food is a real and present danger.

  • Last month the price of meat in the U.S. rose at the fastest rate in ten years.
  • The cost of shrimp is up 61 percent from a year ago.
  • It's predicted that pork production may be down ten percent...
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Bad: Change Just for the Sake of Change

(0) Comments | Posted May 9, 2014 | 2:58 PM

Things are moving fast in terms of energy, and nobody knows, right now, where we are heading. Where we end up will not only shape our own futures, but it will also determine how easy or hard our children's and grandchildren's lives are.

The PUC just told HECO that the...

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The People I Turn to Re: Energy Issues

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 4:11 PM

It is clear to me that the most important issue we face here on the Big Island right now is that of energy costs. There is a huge risk associated with the rising price of oil, it's going to affect us all, and we don't have the luxury of time...

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Ag Committee Hearing a Success: Meeting With Sen. Ruderman

(0) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 3:21 PM

The state's Committee on Agriculture hearing was this week, and they approved the governor's nominating me for a second term on the Board of Agriculture. It was a unanimous vote. The next step is that the nomination will go to the full Senate.

I told the committee that my role...

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My Hawaii Public Radio Conversation

(0) Comments | Posted March 12, 2014 | 4:43 PM

I was on Hawaii Public Radio this morning. Beth-Ann Koslovich invited me onto her radio program The Conversation. Here's how she introduced it, and you can listen to the audio below:

It might be an understatement to call the battle over GMOs contentious. Given the vitriol from both sides and...
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Hawaii: A Microcosm of the 1914 World

(0) Comments | Posted February 19, 2014 | 9:26 AM

Christine Lagarde, director of the International Monetary Fund, just gave a very significant speech about where the world is at right now, and--very interesting--how similar it is to where the world was at exactly one hundred years ago, in 1914.

I was struck by how, right now, right here in...

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Big Island Cuts Off Nose, Spites Face

(1) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 11:07 AM

According to Hawai'i Rural Development Council surveys, food security is Hawai'i's number one priority. "Difficulties faced by local farmers" is number 3, and "GMO agriculture" is number 5.

Banning GMOs (a much lower priority issue) threatens our food security (our most important concern).

I say this all the time because...

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Next 40 Years Will Not Be as Easy

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2014 | 12:37 PM

Nate Hagens, who is a well-known authority on global resource depletion, dropped by the farm yesterday.

Nate hagens

Nate used to work on Wall Street as a vice president at Lehman Brothers. He left that job feeling something was not right and that he needed...

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A Big Picture Look

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 1:01 PM

Yesterday I sat in Judge Nakamura's courtroom full of people both for and against the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) being built on Mauna Kea. I looked over at Kealoha Pisciotta, who has led the opposition all these years, and thought about how much I admire her.

As I...

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How Things Work: A Disconnect on the Big Island

(0) Comments | Posted January 8, 2014 | 7:39 PM

Take a look at this survey of "Hawai'i's Food and Ag Challenges Ranked in Order of Importance."

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 1.20.42 PM

Between October...

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