Renewables Mania And Woke Dogma Behind Hawaii Fire, Not Climate Change
New York Times spreads disinformation about climate change and fires
Climate change caused the fire that ravaged Hawaii, according to the New York Times. “Climate Change Turned Lush Hawaii Into A Tinderbox,” it reported. “The explanation is as straightforward as it is sobering: As the planet heats up, no place is protected from disasters.”
But the cause of the strong winds, which pushed the wildfires into the city of Lahaina, was Hurricane Dora, and the best available science shows no increase in hurricanes at global or national levels.
It’s true that there’s been a 31% decline in average yearly rainfall in Hawaii since 1990, according to researchers. The La Niña weather pattern, which usually leads to significant rainfall, has brought less precipitation over the last 40 years.
But other changes are more difficult to tie to rising global temperatures, such as the fact that larger storms have been moving northward, resulting in less rainfall. And only 16% of Maui County, where most of the wildfires were burning, has been in severe drought, with another 20% in moderate drought.
What’s more, it’s been human-made changes to the landscape, including the reversion of former sugar cane farms, which had been irrigated, to invasive grasses, which are quick to ignite. “The landscape is just covered with flammable stuff,” one expert told the Times. “All of the conditions just came together.”
Analysts found drops to power line voltage, which means that the lines were likely spraying sparks onto dry grasses. “It is unambiguous that Hawaiian Electric’s grid experienced immense stress for a prolonged time,” said one analyst. “There were dozens and dozens of major faults on the grid and any one of those could have been the ignition source for a fire.”
Hawaiian Electric failed to clear flammable grasses from around electric wires. Over the last three years, the electric utility spent less than $250,000 into wildfire prevention. It had a plan, but failed to implement it, noted Lee Fang. The state utility commission dragged its feet on upgrades to Lahaina’s fire protection, “with a time estimate for wildfire protection upgrades starting this year and completed in 2027.”
“I was already fighting with the electric company because they never maintain the lines,” said a fifth-generation Hawaii resident who lives on a family farm. “We were very concerned that these high-voltage lines were running through our property and going to our neighbors because they’d been on the ground, buried in trees, or lying so low.”
And it’s now clear that a Hawaii state water official, named M. Kaleo Manuel, delayed the release of water to landowners, who wanted it to prevent fires. “The water standoff played out over much of the day,” reported Stewart Yerton of Honolulu City Beat, “and the water didn’t come until too late.”
Why is that? Why did Hawaiian Electric fail to implement its wildfire mitigation plan? And why did Manuel refuse to release the water?