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Something for Everybody

Something for Everybody


Hawaii entrepreneur and philanthropist Henk Rogers, famous for bringing Tetris to the world, wants to figure out a new puzzle: How to beat the world’s addiction to fossil fuels. Rogers says he had a heart attack two years ago and took stock of his life. “I asked myself, ‘What do I want to do before I go?’ I made money and had kids. I had done most of what I thought was important. And what would really piss me off if I didn’t get it done?”

That’s when he put solving global warming on his bucket list.

To that end, Rogers’ nonprofit Blue Planet Foundation will hold its first Blue Planet Summit in Hawaii. And Rogers has assembled an impressive list of international dignitaries, scientists and businesspeople, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., National Geographic Society explorer Elizabeth Kapuuwailani Lindsey and Denis Hayes, coordinator of the first Earth Day. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye and University of Hawaii President David McClain are also expected to attend.

Rogers says the conference, which will run April 3 through April 5 at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, will be centered on roundtable discussions and workshops. Though the event is not open to the public, the foundation plans to film it and air parts of it on public television and also make it available on DVD and on its Web site.

Rogers says the foundation’s first goal is to aid Hawaii in beating its dependency on oil by examining alternative energy solutions. Next, he says, Hawaii could be used as an example for solving the country’s dependency. Then the world’s. “If I look at the problem, it is not that we don’t have answers. We have the technology, the science. We even have the money to do this, business wise,” he says. What he says places like Hawaii need most is the will.

“I hope everyone in Hawaii can get behind this and understand that we have to make this difference,” Rogers says. “This is not something I am doing for me. We can’t just keep going living off imported oil. It is a formula for disaster.”

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