This morning I left a comment at Hattie's post about the Colorado flood and the words just flowed. I may develop the comment into a short essay here. The popular image of global warming, of melting ice caps and the subsequent flooding of coastal areas, enables complacency among those who live inland, especially in mountainous regions like Colorado. But the effects of climate change are not yet fully known, and some, like more severe snowstorms, appear to discredit its very existence in the eyes of deniers and skeptics.
I noted the inland movement of Hilo, not as a precaution against rising sea levels, but as a result of two tsunamis that destroyed swaths of coastal Hilo. Post-1960 development in particular occurred after the advent of mass motoring. Wide, multilane highways and vast parking lots discourage walking.
In my comment, I mentioned this piece by Alain de Botton, on a world without planes. My plan is to research the effect of mass aviation on the environment.
And here's a not-too-recent but still informative article on aviation and greenhouse gas emissions.
Wikipedia has an excellent
article on the environmental impact of aviation.
20 September update: There's much to write about. I'll post some more on Hilo's development and its tendency toward sprawl, and maybe on the Hilo airport, and what happened when the Kona International Airport opened. This will all take a while, but it should clarify the recent history of Hilo. For one thing, why is the Waiakea Villas all run down, when in the early eighties, it was thriving? Did you know Hilo had direct flights from the mainland? This post is basically writing things down, before I organize it into something coherent.
29 September update: Statistics on airplane emissions.