Friday, August 2, 2013

Idiots Building CLOSER to the Ocean

As I predicted a couple of years ago, wealthy buyers of oceanfront property on Kailua Beach were going to use Oahu's lax shoreline setback rules as an opportunity to rebuild closer and closer to the sea in order to "leap-frog" other houses that were being rebuilt by people who don't even live in these ugly box-like mini-hotels. All this while there is growing evidence of climate change and melting glaciers, which is contributing to rising sea levels across the planet.

Don't believe me? I recommend you watch CHASING ICE, a harrowing documentary about a National Geographic photographer who embarked on a difficult mission to photograph what's happening with melting glaciers around the world. Anyone who thought Al Gore was possibly exaggerating the threat in AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH a few years ago should be forced to see this movie. Now. It turns out, no one foresaw that global warming is happening faster than anyone could predict. CHASING ICE is available on Netflix through instant streaming. See it.

Meanwhile, in Kailua Beach the news media has been preoccupied with major beach erosion that has been going on at the south end towards Lanikai. Yes, that's alarming. The causes aren't clear though, and could be part of a natural cycle. However, what has already been documented is the fact that allowing houses or artificial barriers such as sea walls -- or even vegetation -- to encroach on the shoreline, hastens erosion. We've seen it in Kahala Beach and Lanikai. Now property owners are doing the same thing on the north end of Kailua Beach, but the news media ignores it. Why?

Simple reason, really: there's no parking near the only public beach access at that end, so reporters and cameramen would have to hike a fair distance to do a story on it. And since the lack of access results in far fewer beach-goers at that end, there's less attention paid to the ongoing desecration of what used to be a stable shoreline because the older homes were built far back enough to allow the natural sand dunes to adjust to natural changes and conditions.

Here's some photos to show you what's been happening. The first is from a couple of years ago:

See the newer house on the right? It leapfrogged a newly-rebuilt house to the right of it that is pictured below, and cut off the views of the older house on the left with the "For Sale" sign.

Flash forward to the present. Remember that older house with the "For Sale" sign? Well, looks like someone bought it and decided turn-about is fair play! And you can probably guess what will happen next: that house to the left of the older one under construction now, will probably be sold to someone who will rebuild right next to the other two... closer to the ocean.