Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hawaii Energy: Research Sites

Web Sites

Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) State Energy Office

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA): Division of Consumer Advocacy (DCA)

Hawaii Natural Energy Institute is an organized research unit of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM).

Hawaiian Electric Companies: HECO, MECO, HELCO


Mark Glick is the public face promoting the energy policies of Hawai`i Governor Neil Abercrombie.

Jacqueline Kozak Thiel has been appointed as Hawai`i’s new State Sustainability Coordinator.

Hawaii Public Utilities (PUC) Commissioner Commissioner Lorraine Akiba


In 2001 Parker Ranch installed a solar/wind hybrid system; at the time perhaps the largest hybrid wind/solar system in the world. Today Parker Ranch is embarking on another cutting edge idea: building a green micro-grid for the Ranch and Waimea.

Military Micro-Grids (SPIDERS) Pose a Disruptive Technology Threat to traditional utilitiesHawaiian Electric Company (HECO) blackouts in 2006 and 2008 knocked out power to key military installations.  The military is the largest energy user in the country, global oil price spikes since 2008 and costly and risky fuel convoys are forcing the military to re-think generation and transmission options.


Some geothermal proponents claim that King Kalakaua came up with the idea for powering Hawai`i with geothermal and undersea electric transmission lines. The statement is often quoted but the original citation is rarely cited. Is the statement valid?

Smart Grids

Some energy advocates want to merge electricity delivery, telecommunications, weather stations and computers into one large costly complex Smart Grid. How vulnerable are Smart Grids to hackers? Could the entire grid crash due to one hacker sitting at a computer somewhere in the world?

Climate Change

University of Hawaii  researchers  have crunched the numbers and determined when world cities will have their average temperature will match the current hottest temperature of the year.

Uncomfortable Ideas 

Energy Efficiency is the low hanging fruit that may increase energy demand and thus could make us more reliant on fossil fuel.

Hawai`i state law allows largely fossil fuel powered islands to claim renewable energy penetration levels exceeding 100 percent. It is all in how definitions are manipulated.  The renewable energy penetration level can be manipulated in other ways. Adding a 10 kW solar unit to the grid or to a customers house creates the same amount of renewable energy but different solar penetration levels

HECO's Future

 Is HECO too big to fail?  What will the utility model of the future look like? Will customers abandon the grid in favor of stand-alone systems?  The views of Henry Curtis have expanded, evolved, transformed, and changed on this issue. 
By Henry Curtis

Alternative Energy

Sea Water Air Conditioning can power Waikiki with cold ocean water.

The Holistic Big Picture

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Jose and Vike

By Henry Curtis

I was recently in a bar and overheard two men talking about how thoroughly today’s young people have forgotten the history of yesterday. They mentioned, among other momentous events, the Spanish American War and the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

I immediately thought back to a strange story I once heard about a Princess and a Martyr, about Hawaii and the Philippines. I don't know if the story is true. I heard the story from someone who has since passed on, and I suppose if I don't write it down it might be lost forever. I will leave it to future historians to explore.

Princess Ka`iulani (age 17)

Princess Victoria Kaʻiulani Kalaninuiahilapalapa Kawekiu i Lunalilo Cleghorn was born in 1875, the daughter of Miriam Kapili Kekāuluohi Likelike, sister of King David Kalakaua, and Scottish-born Archibald Cleghorn.

Ka`iulani grew up at `Âinahau in Waikiki at a time before the AlaWai Canal was built. Thus, the coastal air was scented from native flowers, imported roses and the sweet odor of lîpoa sea weed. Gentle breezes blew in from the ocean, and generous shade was provided by large numbers of trees, including many giant banyans.

It was a place of great serenity, a home to Ka`iulani’s treasured peacocks. She could ride her horse Fairy along the beach and up to Leahi. At home at Âinahau Ka`iulani could swim out beyond the breakers, surf, sing, dance hula, play the ukulele, and play games with her best friend and half-sister Annie Cleghorn.

Ka`iulani’s idyllic childhood was marred early on, when her mother died in 1886; Ka’iulani had just turned eleven. Her father went on to own and operate several stores in downtown Honolulu as well as on the Neighbor Islands. He sold Spanish Olives, English Mustard, English groceries, Kona coffee, fresh Columbia River Salmon, rice, oils, flour, linens, manila rope, alpacas, prints, English doeskin, Berlin wool, perfumes, suits, hosiery, cotton, Turkish towels, saddles and drills.

In 1887 Ka`iulani’s namesake, Britain’s Queen Victoria, celebrated her Golden Jubilee, the 50th anniversary of her reign. Royalty from around the world came to the celebration and Queen Kapiolani and Princess Liliuokalani represented Hawai`i. There were parades and fireworks.

Queen Liliuokalani would later write in Hawaii's Story: “It was a happy, good-natured crowd (eleven million, so I heard it estimated), assembled in the great city of London to congratulate the sovereign on her semi-centennial anniversary.”

At home at `Âinahau, Princess Ka`iulani developed a fascination with European states and cities, and she followed the event closely. Ka’iulani wrote to her Aunt: “From what I have read in the papers, I thought you must be having a most delightful time; how I wish I could have been with you to see all the grand sights in those beautiful cities.”

But the royal return to Hawai`i was marred as well: one month after the Golden Jubilee, on July 1, 1887, an armed militia, known as the “Honolulu Rifles,” forced King Kalākaua to sign the Bayonet Constitution.

This stripped the monarchy of his personal authority and gave great power to the “haole” legislature.

Queen Liliuokalani would write in Hawaii's Story, “As our vessel was entering the harbor of Honolulu ...we found the people assembled to give us a royal welcome. The wharves were lined with throngs of men and women ...mingled with all the joy felt at our safe return, there was an undercurrent of sadness as of a people who had known with us a crushing sorrow. There were traces of tears on the cheeks of many of our faithful retainers, which we noticed, and of which we knew the meaning, as we passed by. They knew, and we knew, although no word was spoken, the changes which had been forced upon the king.”

But time passed at `Âinahau, and two years later Robert Louis “Tusitala” Stevenson sailed into Honolulu Harbor. He soon befriended Princess Ka’iulani, since they both were interested in books and ideas, had inquiring minds, vivid imaginations and a sly sense of humor. Robert was a novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer who had penned Treasure Island and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. And, like her father Archibald, Robert had been born in Edinburgh, Scotland.

A few months after his visit, Princess Ka`iulani got her wish and sailed for England, where she called herself “Vike.” She would remain there for eight years.

"Poppies", landscape of the Scottish countryside, oil on canvas by Princess Ka`iulani (1890)

During her absence the Hawaiian Kingdom was overthrown, and Queen Liliu’okalani, Ka`iulani’s aunt, was deposed.

This so distressed Ka’iulani that she visited the American President to speak about the 1893 overthrow.

Before returning to Europe she said, "Before I leave this land I want to thank all those whose kindness has made my visit such a happy one. Not only the hundreds of hands I have clasped, or the smiles I have seen, but the written words of sympathy that have been sent to me from so many happy homes, have made me feel that, whatever happens to me, I shall never be a stranger to you again."

Of Ka’iulani a reporter wrote, “The Princess is eighteen years old. She is a tall, beautiful young woman, with a sweet face and slender figure. She has the soft brown eyes and dark complexion that mark the Hawaiian beauty.”

Ka’iulani spent another four years in Europe, before returning to Hawai`i in 1897:

I feel such a pull from the Islands in this time of trouble for my people. I often cry for my far islands... and I swear I can hear something calling back to me. Is this normal I wonder? They are as living things to me... as real as relatives. Oh, I do hope justice and goodness prevail and my people are able to hold the nation together. They don't deserve what's happening.”

A year after her return, her beloved homeland suffered another defeat: the Spanish American War began in 1898 and the United States made Hawaiʻi an incorporated territory.

Deeply religious, Ka`iulani was troubled by the many thousands of American soldiers billeted in Hawaii’s Kapiolani park: “Daily, we as a great race are being subjected to a great deal of misery, and the more I see of the American soldiers about town, the more I am unable to tolerate them, what they stand for and the way we are belittled, it is enough to ruin one's faith in god."

Ka`iulani would live one more year. She became ill at the Kinau Parker Ranch on the Big Island in December 1898 and died in Honolulu on March 6, 1899. She was twenty-three.

The New York Times wrote: "Princess Ka’iulani died March 6 of inflammatory rheumatism contracted several weeks ago while of a visit to the Island of Hawaii. The funeral of the Princess will occur on Sunday, March 12, from the old native church [Kawaiaha'o], and will be under the direction of the Government. The ceremonies will be on a scale befitting the rank of the young Princess. The body is lying in state at Ainahau, the Princess’s old home. Thousands of persons, both native and white, have gone out to the place, and the whole town is in mourning. Flags on the Government buildings are at half mast, as are those on the residences of the foreign Consuls."

So ends the story of Ka’iulani.

* * *

Jose Rizal was born in Calamba in the Philippines in 1861. Calamba is similar in many ways to Honolulu - - it is a coastal town geographically located between a large body of water and nearby hills and mountains. Temperatures are usually in the 70s and 80s.

He was born fourteen years before the Princess. His life ended two years before her final illness, when he was martyred in 1896. There is no doubt she knew of this.

Like many of his fellow illustrados (European educated Filipino community dreaming of a brighter future for their people) Rizal left the oppressive political atmosphere in Manila and moved to Europe. He studied in Spain, France and Germany, earning doctorates in medicine and ophthalmology.

José was conversant in Spanish, French, Latin, Greek, German, Portuguese, Italian, English, Dutch, and Japanese; he made translations from Arabic, Swedish, Russian, Chinese, Greek, Hebrew and Sanskrit; and had some knowledge of Malay, Chavacano, Cebuano, Ilocano, and Subanun.

José wrote two books and a number of poems and essays, and soon his writings terrified the Spanish/Filipino authorities.

After spending nearly a decade in Europe he returned home, was exiled, and then executed. His death sparked the 1896 Philippine Revolution in which the Filipino people rose up and shook off three centuries of Spanish rule.

Following the brief Spanish-American War of 1898, the U.S. bought the Philippines from Spain for $20 million. The U.S. rejected the offer by Andrew Carnegie to pay the $20 million to free America from owning the Philippines. Instead the American government spent $200 million suppressing the subsequent “insurrection” by Filipino freedom fighters. Andrew Carnegie would later finance the building of the Honolulu Library at Punchbowl and King where his bust now adorns the lobby. But that is another story.

* * *

Now we can explore what I was told, but which does not appear in any history books. I was told that the Princess, the beautiful Ka’iulani, and the martyr, Jose Rizal, met and became fast friends. Their influence on one another was incalculable.

On January 7, 1890 Vike went to Trafalgar Square. The square was so named to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar (1805), a British naval victory over France during the Napoleonic Wars.

Trafalgar Square is connected to Buckingham Palace by The Mall, a beautiful tree-lined promenade. Along one side of the Square is the massive National Gallery; Nelson's Column, at a height of one hundred and seventy feet, dominates another part of the Square.

The impressive National Gallery evokes Victorian splendor. The grand entrance has eight Corinthian columns in front and two in depth. The portico is surmounted by an ornamented dome, and a balustrade surrounds the whole building. The building is opulent with polished wooden floors and heavy leather couches. Each room was designed with its own unique color scheme.

It was here, a year before, that Ka`iulani had fallen in love with the works of Titian, Rubens and Reynolds. Now, in early January, 1890 she was studying paintings of pastoral countrysides, on a break from her studies at the Great Harrowden Hall in Northamptonshire.

And it was here that José spotted Vike. They had briefly met the previous July, during intermission of a concert, but the introduction was brief and formal. That meeting occurred at St. James's Hall, London's principal concert hall. The hall was designed in the Gothic and Florentine style by the architect and artist who had previously decorated the interior of London’s famous Crystal Palace, a building that fascinated Ka`iulani.

Now at the gallery they had an opportunity to talk. And they talked for years afterwards.

Ka`iulani and José had much in common. They were both Pacific Islanders living in a very white Europe. They were both fascinated by history, language, current events, art, and music. Each spent the better part of a decade in Europe and then felt compelled to return home where they faced tragic consequences.

At the time of their meeting Ka`iulani was fourteen and José twenty-eight. This did not disturb the Princess. After all, just the previous January she had met and befriended forty-nine-year-old Robert Louis Stevenson. And as history tells us, José would later meet an Irish woman,Marie Josephine Leopoldine Bracken, who became his common law wife. She was born the year after Vike’s birth. José did not look down on women, a fact not lost on the Princess. Not only did he reject that prevailing sentiment that men were superior, he had just penned his letter to the women of Malolos on the right of women to attend school:

No longer does the Filipina stand with her head bowed, nor does she spend her time on her knees, because she is quickened by hope in the future; no longer will the mother contribute to keeping her daughter in darkness and bring her up in contempt and moral annihilation. ... Let us be reasonable and open our eyes, especially you women, because you are the first to influence the consciousness of man. ... The cause of the backwardness of Asia lies in the fact that there the women are ignorant, are slaves; while Europe and America are powerful because there the women are free and well-educated and endowed with lucid intellect and a strong will. ... Let the maiden be the pride of her country and command respect.”

When José met Ka`iulani it was his second tour of Europe. The first voyage took him west through the Suez Canal, and the second was by sail to San Francisco and train to New York City. Along the way he wrote down his observations as he passed through Reno, Colorado, Chicago, Niagara Falls, and New York City. Then he sailed to Liverpool and traveled by train to London.

Princess Ka`iulani arrived in Europe thirteen months later. She had left Honolulu, sailed to San Francisco, taken a train to Salt Lake City, Omaha, and New York City, where she too stayed a few days. Then she sailed to Liverpool and took a train to London.

Being the more famous of the two, newspapers across the U.S. had reported on the details of her trip: According to the Montana Helena Independent: “The young princess is a bright, pleasant looking miss of 14 years, with the features and complexion characteristic of her race. ...The voyage of eight days from Honolulu was a pleasant one, though the young island princess was as seasick as anybody on the vessel for the first two or three days. The party will go east to-morrow.”

The Salt Lake Herald wrote: “Princess Victoria Kawekiu Kaiulani Lunalilio Kalaninuiahilapalapa, niece of King Kalakaua of the Sandwich Islands, passed through Salt Lake today en route to Europe, where she goes to finish her education. The lady will doubtless spend much of her time in trying to learn how to pronounce her own name.”

The New York City Sun wrote: “A bright-eyed girl of 14, with a dark complexion and wavy black hair, who chatted cheerily as she sauntered from counter to counter, attracted general attention in the big retail dry goods stores around Madison Square yesterday afternoon. It was Princess Kalani, the niece of King Kalakaua of the Sandwich Islands, and she way employing her first afternoon in the metropolis in shopping in the rain with her friend and chaperon, Mrs. J. R. Walter, the wife of the British Vice-Consul to the Hawaiian kingdom. The little Princess and her party arrived in town on Sunday night and drove at once to theWindsor Hotel, where King Kalakaua stopped on his visit to New York.”

Just about this time, José completed his Annotations to Morga's 1609 Philippine History:

Like almost all of you, I was born and brought up in ignorance of our country's past and so, without knowledge or authority to speak of what I neither saw nor have studied, I deem it necessary to quote the testimony of an illustrious Spaniard who in the beginning of the new era controlled the destinies of the Philippines and had personal knowledge of our ancient nationality in its last days.

It is then the shade of our ancestor's civilization which the author will call before you. . . If the work
serves to awaken in you a consciousness of our past, and to blot from your memory or to rectify what has been falsified or is calumny, then I shall not have labored in vain. With this preparation, slight though it may be, we can all pass to the study of the future.”

For her part, inspired by José’s interest in history, Vike would later read W.D. Alexander’s “A Brief History of the Hawaiian People,” a comprehensive book which covered all aspects of history and society.

José wrote two books: Noli Me Tangere (1887) and El Filibusterismo (1891). Noli Me Tángere was a meant to expose the corruption of the Spanish Catholic Priests and the ruling government. The title, Touch me not, refers to John 20:17 when Jesus said to Mary after his resurrection: "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father."

José wrote: “No one has a monopoly of the true God, nor is there a nation or religion that can claim, or at any rate prove, that it has been given the exclusive right to the Creator or sole knowledge of His Being.”

I believe in revelation, but not in revelation which each religion claims to possess... but in the living revelation which surrounds us on every side —mighty, eternal, unceasing, incorruptible, clear, distinct, universal as is the being from whom it proceeds, in that revelation which speaks to us and penetrates us from the moment we are born until we die.”

To live is to be among men, and to be among men is to struggle, a struggle not only with them but with oneself; with their passions, but also with one's own.”

José told the Princess of his travels in Spain, France and Germany, and London. He told her about the ruins, monuments, buildings and museums he had visited in Singapore, Turin, Milan, Florence, Venice, Germany, London, Paris and Rome. She was charmed and inspired. Soon she would leave England to travel and stay for extended periods in France, the Isle of Jersey, Scotland and Germany. She studied Latin, French, German, Gaelic, Literature, Mathematics, History. She enjoyed horseback riding, tennis and cricket. Ka‘iulani was particularly interested in her Scottish heritage and enjoyed riding her horse at a great pace across the highlands.

Ka`iulani liked the paintings of Tizian Vecelli, the Flemish painter Sir Peter Paul Rubens and the English painter Sir Joshua Reynolds. Rizal dabbled in painting, sketching, sculpting and woodcarving. He was determined to excel in music, although finding it difficult, he studied the flute, the piano, and voice. He wrote songs and wrote several passages about music in his manuscripts. He had even tried acting. José and Vike each dabbled in painting and drawing; some of each of their works have survived. They were constantly finding things and ideas to share, and although content in each other’s company, and equally enamored of life in Europe, they were both deeply attached to their homelands.

Ka`iulani told Jose: "I am all Hawaiian. I love this country of mine. Its sky, its trees, its people, its food – a longing which never passed away.”

José confided in Ka`iulani: “There are no tyrants where there are no slaves. The Filipino loves his country no less than the Spaniard does his, and although he is quieter, more peaceful and with more difficulty stirred up, once aroused he does not hesitate and for him the struggle means death to the finish. He has both the meekness and ferocity of the carabao. Climate affects bipeds in the same way it does quadrupeds.”

He showed Ka`iulani his poem:

To My Fellow Children

Whenever people of a country truly love
The language which by heav'n they were taught to use
That country also surely liberty pursue
As does the bird which soars to freer space above.

For language is the final judge and referee
Upon the people in the land where it holds sway;
In truth our human race resembles in this way
The other living beings born in liberty.

Whoever knows not how to love his native tongue
Is worse than any best or evil smelling fish.
To make our language richer ought to be our wish
The same as any mother loves to feed her young.

Tagalog and the Latin language are the same
And English and Castilian and the angels' tongue;
And God, whose watchful care o'er all is flung,
Has given us His blessing in the speech we calim,

Our mother tongue, like all the highest that we know
Had alphabet and letters of its very own;
But these were lost -- by furious waves were overthrown
Like bancas in the stormy sea, long years ago.

* * *

In 1890 their relationship was founded and thrived on a mutual comprehension of great possibilities for their respective lands. But this was not to be. In 1892 Rizal was held in exile at Dapitan some 440 miles south of Manila, and in 1893 the Hawaiian Kingdom was overthrown.

Ka’iulani wrote a letter to Rizal: "I must have been born under an unlucky star, as I seem to have my life planned for me in such a way that I cannot alter it."

Rizal replied to Ka’iulani that they were laying the groundwork for the future of their countries. “It is a
useless life that is not consecrated to a great ideal. It is like a stone wasted in the field without becoming part of an edifice.”

Shortly before he was executed in Manila on December 30, 1896 by an eight-man firing squad composed of his fellow native Filipinos he had written, “One only dies once, and if one does not die well, a good opportunity is lost and will not present itself again.”

* * *

The century ended badly for José and Ka`iulani. Hawaiian and Filipino cultural revivals would wait almost a century to re-ignite.

The cultural revival and the subsequent rising waves of scholarly interest are rediscovering the hidden past.

With the aid of vast digitalized libraries, cutting edge research is challenging the ingrained assumptions of who we are, where we came from, and where we are going. But Ka`iulani and Jose always knew.

* * *

I ka wā ma mua, ka wā ma hope” (the future is found in the past)