Bad Government Caused the Maui Wildfires, Not Climate Change

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

I’m sure you’ve noted that every major media outlet reporting on the Maui wildfires either begins or ends its report with the entirely unproven assumption that climate change was the cause.


It’s unproven simply because the investigation into the cause of the fire is just now getting started. When you hear talking heads on cable news or read stories in the New York Times or Washington Post making the claim that it was human-caused global warming that is responsible for the wildfire, you’re hearing a biased political opinion and not a scientific analysis — even though some of the talking heads call themselves scientists.

About 85% of wildfires are human-caused — not by carbon emissions but by failure to take precautions around fire sources, according to the National Parks Service. In the case of the Maui fires, it was a perfect storm of conditions that included severe drought and high winds driven by an offshore hurricane. The spark was apparently supplied by a downed power line that ignited the bone-dry brush, causing the fire to whip across the island at 60 MPH.

The Hawaiian state government had been so busy trying to achieve its renewable goals that it downplayed the risk of wildfires. In the end, it cost them.

Wall Street Journal:

The drive to reach the renewable goals also preoccupied private energy companies working with Hawaiian Electric and state energy officials, said Doug McLeod, a consultant who served for several years as the Maui county energy commissioner.

“Looking back with hindsight, the business opportunities were on the generation side, and the utility was going out for bid with all these big renewable-energy projects,” he said. “But in retrospect, it seems clear, we weren’t as focused on these fire risks as we should have been.”


Wildfires in Hawaii are rare. But recently, an invasive species of grass has spread throughout the islands, making wildfires far more likely if it ignites. But the Hawaiian government was so intent on dealing with climate change, it failed to address the problem of the new grass by cutting it back.

Wildfires don’t happen because Mother Earth is angry with us. Forest and wildlife professionals devote their careers to managing fire risks, based both on scientific research and on best practices that have been developed over many years of experience. As scientists quoted in Veronique de Rugy’s post earlier today said, wildfires are among the natural disasters least affected by climate change. The media and activists do everyone a disservice by portraying every environmental issue as a climate issue.

Doing everyone a disservice is the goal. They aren’t trying to inform people; they’re trying to propagandize them. Creating “climate change” bogeymen out of natural disasters is ridiculously easy given that the media is already wound up and pointed in the direction of climate to explain everything.

Related: Asked About Missing Children, Maui Mayor Threatens to Shut Down Press Conference


“Anyone in power who denies climate change, to me, are the arsonists here,” said Kaniela Ing, a native Hawaiian and national director of the Green New Deal Network.“We’re living the climate emergency.”

Is the emergency the climate? Or is it what the left wants to do about climate change that makes this an inflection point in American history? It’s hard to overstate the danger of what a Democratic majority in both Houses of Congress and the White House will do about the “climate emergency” if they get the chance.



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