We noted here the last few days that the predictable rush to blame the horrific Maui fires on climate change goes against what the so-called “consensus” science of the IPCC says about attribution of specific weather events. But you can’t stop the narrative for pesky little details like that.
But maybe the climatistas are right—just not in the way they know. In fact, it’s their fault. It is thought that the Maui fires were likely started by sparks from electric utility lines owned by Hawaiian Electric, just as the fires that killed nearly a 100 people in Paradise, California, a few years back were ignited by poorly maintained PG&E power lines. The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that Hawaiian Electric has been aware for years of the vulnerability and hazards of its electricity lines, but has done virtually nothing about it.
Why? The Journal’s subhed provides the answer: “It made little progress, focusing on a shift to clean energy.”
Between 2019 and 2022, it invested less than $245,000 on wildfire-specific projects on the island, regulatory filings show. . . Former regulators and energy company officials said the utility was focused at that time on procuring renewable energy. . .
“You have to look at the scope and scale of the transformation within [Hawaiian Electric] that was occurring throughout the system,” said Mina Morita, who chaired the state utilities commission from 2011 to 2015. “While there was concern for wildfire risk, politically the focus was on electricity generation.”
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.”
Let me translate that for you: because we’re told that the climate “crisis” poses an “existential risk” to us now, we ignore real existential risks like the Maui fire hazard. Nice going climatistas. With possibly hundreds of deaths still to be confirmed, this fire may turn out to be the largest mass death event caused by a cult since Jonestown.
Worth noting that the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission did not grant rate increases Hawaiian Electric requested to pay for safety upgrades to the grid.
Meanwhile, there are allegations that the bureaucrat in charge of water allocation on Maui was slow to release water supplies to firefighters. I don’t know whether this report is accurate, but apparently the said bureaucrat is all about water “equity.”
Meet M. Kaleo Manuel, the official who refused to release water in Maui, contributing to up to 106 deaths.
A Hawaiian Studies major, Kaleo prefers a traditional, holistic "One Water" approach where water is revered, not used.
Water requires "true conversations about equity" pic.twitter.com/4AzVZNwkHk
— Jeremy Kauffman 🦔 (@jeremykauffman) August 16, 2023