Hawaii Governor Says Climate Change ‘Amplified’ Devastating Fires

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Hawaii Democrat Governor Josh Green took to “Face the Nation” Sunday to agree with host Margaret Brennan’s assertion that climate change “amplified” Maui’s horrific wildfires. However, there were multiple failures on many fronts by authorities, including warning sirens that didn’t go off, delays of much-needed water because of “equity concerns,” negligence by a power company, and disaster officials who had no experience in emergency management.

Green:

GOVERNOR JOSH GREEN: So it’s usually tsunamis and hurricanes [that are a danger to Hawaii]. For perspective, we’ve had six fire emergencies this August. We had six fire emergencies between 1953 and 2003. That’s how — how fast things are changing. I know that there is debate out there whether we should be talking about climate change or not.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.

GOVERNOR JOSH GREEN: Well, let’s be real world. Climate change is here. We are in the midst of it with a hotter planet and fiercer storms.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.

Later in the interview, Brennan asked him, “So just to be clear, when you’re talking about global warming, are you saying that climate change amplified the cost of human error?” “Yes, it did,” he answered.

However, as RedState’s Nick Arama reported, it may have been flames from a downed power line that caused the devasting blaze. Our sister site Townhall meanwhile points out that power company Hawaiian Electric failed to take adequate care of their infrastructure despite known problems:

Video recorded from Aug. 8 appears to show a power line in Lahaina emitting sparks, which ignites dry grass, hours before the fire wreaked havoc on the city. That’s put intense focus on Hawaiian Electric, which knew since at least 2019 that more needed to be done to strengthen its equipment to prevent such a disaster. But according to the Wall Street Journal, not much happened in the years afterward, with only $245,000 spent on wildfire prevention projects. Instead, the company was focused on renewable energy.

Author Michael Shellenberger wasn’t buying the climate change argument:

In another post, he wrote:

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 [New York] Times. “All of the conditions just came together.” Analysts found that 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.”

Authorities botched the response to this disaster in so many ways – the official who delayed the water has already been reassigned and the head of the Maui Emergency Management Agency abruptly resigned last week—so it’s awfully convenient to blame it on climate change with scant evidence.

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