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Who’s Liable for the Cleanup Caused by Climate Change? Taxpayers? Marine Biologist Terry Lilley
Episode 1647th March 2022 • Your Positive Imprint • Catherine Praiswater
00:00:00 00:19:18

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Beaches are eroding. Trade winds are changing. Coastal properties are falling into the ocean, most recently in Hawai’i on the island of O’ahu. Oceans are public property so who is liable for the clean-up caused by climate change? Climate change is already affecting tax payers. Marine biologist Terry Lilley provides information regarding coastal homes in Hawaii.

Transcripts

Catherine:

This episode is dedicated to my young cousin, Patrick, he fought a hard six week battle with complications from COVID and unfortunately passed away last week.

Catherine:

Patrick lived with grace, humbleness and a sense of humor that brightened everybody's day.

Catherine:

When we talked, he always ended with the same phrase-

Catherine:

catherine, can you do me a favor?

Catherine:

And then he'd say, keep doing what you're doing or simply keep smiling or tell me to say to the family, hello, or do me a favor and give Mike a big hug for me, Patrick, do me a favor and rest in peace.

Catherine:

Well

Catherine:

thank you so much for listening to all of these amazing and exceptional, positive imprints.

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Your positive imprint.

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Marine biologist.

Catherine:

Terry Lilly provides information on climate change and reasons for why the house fell into the ocean in Hawaii, on the island of Oahu.

Terry Lilley:

This just little one segment just happened two days ago.

Terry Lilley:

It's really powerful and very and highly, , dramatic.

Terry Lilley:

I mean, these images are being seen all over the world.

Terry Lilley:

On the north shore of Oahu for 10 years now, we've had a bad erosion problem of our beaches and I've been taking video of the beaches

Terry Lilley:

near Sunset Beach almost every other day now for two years.

Terry Lilley:

And the homes along the beach there have been losing their patio decks and part of their front yards into the water.

Terry Lilley:

These homes are worth like five, $10 million a piece.

Terry Lilley:

They're right on the beach on the most beautiful beach , at Sunset Beach.

Terry Lilley:

What we've discovered over the last 10 years by scuba diving on the reef, out in front of these homes that the corals have all died and the corals are mother nature's natural seawall for beach erosion.

Terry Lilley:

What happened is corals died and the reef actually lowered about three feet in height because of the dead corals.

Terry Lilley:

They're gone.

Terry Lilley:

I just did a movie on this that's on a Spectrum Sports OC 16 right now in Hawaii and the movie's going like gangbusters and it's on a woman's surf channel.

Terry Lilley:

So anyway, I documented the reef dying out in front of these homes at Sunset Beach and Rocky point and the beach was eroding.

Terry Lilley:

Where climate change comes into the issue here is in Hawaii now our weather patterns like everywhere else are changing quite dramatically.

Terry Lilley:

And one of the changes is we're losing our trade winds and the trade winds are our normal offshore wind on the north shore of Kauai and the North Shore of Oahu.

Terry Lilley:

And these Tradewinds actually affect, how the surf breaks on the shore.

Terry Lilley:

Okay.

Terry Lilley:

This offshore wind holds the waves up, keeps the waves off shore a little bit further.

Terry Lilley:

So the trade winds are actually good for the lack of erosion, but we've lost 50% of our trade winds over the last year.

Terry Lilley:

What we're getting now is an onshore wind along the north shore called the Kona wind.

Terry Lilley:

K O N a from the Kona coast of, uh, the big island.

Terry Lilley:

Now these KONA winds actually push the waves, energy more to the shore.

Terry Lilley:

So when we have these Kona winds, the waves are going to have a more power hit the beach and a high erosion rate.

Terry Lilley:

So what's been unheard of for the last 45 days we have had these Kona winds and a west swell for 45 days straight.

Terry Lilley:

That's unheard of here in Hawaii.

Terry Lilley:

Normally we have the Kona winds, maybe for four to five days.

Terry Lilley:

Then it goes back to the trade winds for 30, 40 days.

Terry Lilley:

Then the Kona winds for four to five days.

Terry Lilley:

It's just the opposite right now.

Terry Lilley:

We're having even including right now, if you look at that, the weather in Hawaii right now, the winds are five miles an hour.

Terry Lilley:

That, that it's just, you know, you been here, you lived here.

Terry Lilley:

That's unheard of.

Terry Lilley:

Now these 45 days of lack of wind and a west swell has undermined these homes on the north shore.

Terry Lilley:

And the first multimillion dollar home fell into the ocean two days ago.

Terry Lilley:

Oh my gosh.

Terry Lilley:

So it's laying sideways on the beach right now.

Terry Lilley:

The images have gone worldwide.

Terry Lilley:

You can just go to Hawaii news now, our TV station, and you can get the link and you can view these homes.

Terry Lilley:

Now I have video of these homes, like I said, with the drone all year long.

Terry Lilley:

And with my beat camera on the beach, dating back to 2008.

Terry Lilley:

So in 2010 and 2012, when the reef started to die out in front of these homes,

Terry Lilley:

I did several high profile news stories with these Hawaiian news station saying that, people allow the reef to die out here.

Terry Lilley:

The reef is going to lower and all these homes are going to fall in the ocean.

Terry Lilley:

Well, 10 years ago, I kind of got laughed at, to be honest with you.

Terry Lilley:

Now, the homeowners all have me down to their houses the other day, going over a game plan on what the future's going to look like.

Terry Lilley:

So it's, it's kinda cause and effect.

Terry Lilley:

So the two things have happened.

Terry Lilley:

The coral reef died, which we're studying as to why did the coral reef die.

Terry Lilley:

Underwater submarine activity is what we suspect.

Terry Lilley:

And then that's on top of a true climate change issue.

Terry Lilley:

That's changing the weather, which changes the surf, which alters the beach erosion in which led to a multi-million dollar home, falling into the surf two days ago.

Terry Lilley:

So real life cause and effect that's costing millions of dollars.

Terry Lilley:

The government officials, uh, we're on TV, you'll see on the report, our head of our deal and our Suzanne case and the government officials are now having to look at 20, 30, 40 homes falling into the water.

Terry Lilley:

So this first one is just going to make a domino effect.

Terry Lilley:

Who's liable for these homes when they fall in the water.

Terry Lilley:

This is a huge issue around climate change for all around the world.

Terry Lilley:

When Miami goes under water, when Manhattan island goes under water, when, uh, San Diego and San Francisco go underwater, these problems all around the world and buildings fall into the ocean.

Terry Lilley:

Well, the ocean is public private.

Terry Lilley:

So who's liable for the cleanup caused by climate change and coastal properties falling into the ocean and damaging public beaches and public coral reefs?

Terry Lilley:

The state of Hawaii is saying they don't have enough money to clean up all of these coastal homes when they fall into the water.

Terry Lilley:

The homeowners are saying.

Terry Lilley:

They don't have enough money to remove their million dollar homes before they fall into the water.

Terry Lilley:

So this debate back and forth that's being stimulated by the changing climate is going to be for all of us to figure out because it's going to affect everybody who pays taxes in Hawaii or in mainly United States.

Terry Lilley:

Because technically the way the laws are written when these multi-million dollar homes fall into the ocean, taxpayers are liable for the cleanup because these are public beaches.

Terry Lilley:

And I don't know about you or me or anyone else in Hawaii or Florida or California is going to want to be giving 90% of our income

Terry Lilley:

for tax dollars to clean up all these multi-million dollar homes and businesses and hotels and restaurants that are going to be falling into the ocean.

Terry Lilley:

Finally, finally humans here are actually going to have to get progressive; figure out how to be sustainable.

Terry Lilley:

And that's part of what we're going to talk about.

Terry Lilley:

How can we have a sustainable environment?

Terry Lilley:

It's being done around the world in a lot of places.

Terry Lilley:

So all of this is very much interlinked, but human nature usually dictates.

Terry Lilley:

I've been saying this for so long now that I'm losing my hair over it, human nature dictates that they won't do anything progressive to save the environment from changing

Terry Lilley:

until they start losing a great deal of money.

Terry Lilley:

Well, $5 million worth of property falling in the ocean two days ago on the north shore of Oahu is causing the people there now to finally do something.

Terry Lilley:

And all the studies that I've been doing over the last 10 years are now all showing back up on the news and social media

Terry Lilley:

. You know, people that have been studying the ocean here, I've said, this is going to happen.

Terry Lilley:

Uh, all the way back, 10 years ago and no one ever did anything about it.

Terry Lilley:

So we got to get more progressive in the way we're looking at our changing planet and start doing things ahead of the time instead of after the fact.

Catherine:

Well, it's already after the fact, because climate change has been noticed and documented for several decades.

Terry Lilley:

Yeah, Catherine, there's two ways to look at this.

Terry Lilley:

There's a negative way.

Terry Lilley:

And then there's the way of future opportunity.

Terry Lilley:

And I'll just give you a good example on these homes along Sunset Beach in Hawaii right now.

Terry Lilley:

Okay.

Terry Lilley:

If you look at all of the Hawaiian islands, Some of our islands, Lanai, Molokai'i, parts of Maui, Niihau.

Terry Lilley:

We have a lot of the Hawaiian islands that are not being seriously affected by climate change.

Terry Lilley:

Even though they have warmer sea temperatures and rising sea temperatures.

Terry Lilley:

So if you look at all the Hawaiian islands, Only a few places are being negatively affected by climate change at this point in time.

Terry Lilley:

Parts of the planet are changing very quickly.

Terry Lilley:

That's pretty obviously instigated by the burning of fossil fuels.

Terry Lilley:

The science is there to show that, but nature can respond to that change in a positive way.

Terry Lilley:

So we'll just go back to these homes because it's a perfect example.

Terry Lilley:

On other Hawaiian islands homes are not falling in the water.

Terry Lilley:

Why?

Terry Lilley:

I've been to every one of the Hawaiian islands except Kahoolawe doing coral studies.

Terry Lilley:

Well on the Lanai and Molokai'i the coral reef has grown upwards faster than the C-level rise.

Terry Lilley:

So mother nature has sat there and said, okay, we have a quarter of an inch of sea level rise every year.

Terry Lilley:

You add that up over a 20, 30, 40, 50 years, we have a problem, but the corals are growing at three to four inches a year.

Terry Lilley:

So the, the reefs outside of the beaches on these islands, the corals are so healthy

Terry Lilley:

they're growing upward.

Terry Lilley:

They blocked the impact of the waves and the impact of the sea level rise and their beach homes are doing just fine.

Terry Lilley:

So,

Catherine:

no question while you're talking about that, you mentioned in one of the previous episodes about the toxicity, the toxins.

Catherine:

That coral reefs die because when the temperatures of the ocean rise, the coral reefs are more susceptible to those toxins.

Catherine:

Does this mean that people, at least in the Hawaiian islands are working at lowering emissions and other pollutants in the surrounding area to protect those corals?

Terry Lilley:

Yeah.

Terry Lilley:

Yeah, absolutely.

Terry Lilley:

And matter of fact, some of the islands in Hawaii, like Kaua'i where I live half of the time and half the time on O'ahu.

Terry Lilley:

Kaua'i is an amazing island..

Terry Lilley:

It's all going to be solar powered, hydrogen powered.

Terry Lilley:

We're not going to import fossil fuel into Kauai in the near future.

Terry Lilley:

Our mayor and our county council have already, come up with a timeline of when that's going to happen.

Terry Lilley:

Also in Kauai, we fought the GMO companies, Monsanto, Syngenta, BASF, and almost completely eliminated farm chemicals from going into the ocean.

Terry Lilley:

Kaua'i is really quite a success story also in Kauai, I'll toot the horn of everybody here, um, because they have a lot to share with the planet.

Terry Lilley:

Kauai is shifting to all organic farming.

Terry Lilley:

They're shifting to producing all their foods, so they don't have to have fossil fuels with these big container ships bringing food here.

Terry Lilley:

Uh, Kauai is organic farming.

Terry Lilley:

There's not chemicals running off into the ocean, but they're also starting to farm certain species of plants.

Terry Lilley:

Okay.

Terry Lilley:

Hemp.

Terry Lilley:

Breadfruit these plants, uh, revitalize the soil here.

Terry Lilley:

They keep the soil from running off into the ocean.

Terry Lilley:

We're cleaning up the cesspools here and making that mandatory and even the EPA and some other funding agencies are putting up money, low-interest loans so

Terry Lilley:

The sewage production here in Kauai in the near future is going to be converted into hydrogen fuel.

Terry Lilley:

This claim, we call that poop to power.

Terry Lilley:

So actually recycling, recycling, sewage, into clean power.

Terry Lilley:

So we can do a ton of things.

Terry Lilley:

We can't here in Kauai and in some of the other Hawaiian islands, we can't change

Terry Lilley:

the Ross Ice Shelf from falling off of the main ice shield in the Antarctica, and melting and raising the sea level.

Terry Lilley:

That's beyond our power is the bottom line, but what we can do in places all around the world is look at the opportunities that are being created.

Terry Lilley:

What we can do is in each individual area become much healthier.

Terry Lilley:

We can eliminate, um, military activity that pollutes our environment.

Terry Lilley:

We can eliminate toxic farm chemicals that pollute our food.

Terry Lilley:

We can eliminate cesspools that kill our coral reefs.

Terry Lilley:

None of these things by themselves is going to technically damage a coral reef system around the world.

Terry Lilley:

But when you add them all together, that's when we have our problems.

Terry Lilley:

One of my in-depth studies it's coming into effect now in Hawaii, I'm happy to see, is I've been all around the world, studying Marine ecosystems and healthy coral reefs.

Terry Lilley:

And why are some of our coral reefs in Palau, in Indonesia, in different parts of the world, thriving and doing really good right now, people aren't looking at the positive here.

Terry Lilley:

Why are some of the coral reefs like on the north shore of Oahu, dead is a doorknob and causing massive coastal erosion.

Terry Lilley:

Same with parts of Australia where the great barrier reef has died.

Terry Lilley:

They are also having massive flooding and erosion problems.

Terry Lilley:

So we got to look at each individual scenario here and that's kind of my job, bopping around the planet is to see what's causing a healthy reef system in one

Terry Lilley:

And that's really what the travels have done in my studies on north shore O'ahu and Kaua'i.

Catherine:

Yeah, and you've done a good job documenting it.

Catherine:

You can find Terry Lilly and his work on YouTube under water.

Catherine:

The number two web.

Catherine:

Next week, I will be recuperating after surgery and I will do my best to be back on Monday with more amazing positive imprints.

Catherine:

Take care.

Catherine:

Thanks for downloading subscribing or following this podcast.

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