ABC News on Tuesday updated an article on the Maui wildfires in Hawaii ruling out climate change to clarify that it isn’t the “entire” cause of the conflagrations.
The original report Monday by Julia Jacobo, Samantha Wnek, and Ginger Zee, titled “Why climate change can’t be blamed for the Maui wildfires,” received considerable backlash from the Left on social media.
ABC News then changed the article’s headline, adding the word “entirely,” and clarifying that “climate change may have amplified the conditions that led to the deadly wildfires on Maui” in a social media post on Tuesday evening—claiming that a NASA spokesperson said climate change might have “nudged” conditions in Maui. NBC News followed by stating the extent of climate change’s involvement was “unclear.”
There’s currently no evidence that suggests climate change—the theory that the Earth is heating uncontrollably due to industrialization and man-made carbon emissions—played a role in the Hawaiian wildfires.
The wildfires have burned at an alarming rate over the past week, scorching towns and the western Maui countryside, devastating Lahaina with its population of about 13,000 people. An estimated 2,000 homes and businesses are still without electricity, and thousands are currently staying in shelters, hotel rooms, Airbnb rentals, and individually rented rooms, or with friends and family. The death toll currently sits at 106, and is expected to continue climbing as rescue workers and canine teams sift through the horrifying wreckage to find survivors and bodies.
While prominent Democrats such as Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., have laid the blame for the Maui wildfires on climate change, the data indicates otherwise.
As Elise McCue wrote in a report for The Daily Signal, large fields that formerly hosted Hawaii’s booming sugar cane industry have been left fallow—replaced by hundreds of acres of dry, tall grasses and weeds.
Additionally, topographical and forest management reports indicate the disrepair that not only Hawaiian, but also continental U.S. and Canadian forests have fallen into. All of them have suffered disastrous wildfires easily spread by the dense undergrowth and dry, fallen timber left unattended, and restrictive cattle-grazing standards.
My colleague Jarrett Stepman noted a 2014 Wall Street Journal report that cautioned the danger of a likely wildfire in Maui due to several factors—none of which included climate change. A Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization protection plan “warned that Lahaina was among Maui’s most fire-prone areas because of its proximity to parched grasslands, steep terrain and frequent winds.”
ABC News did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for explanation or comment on the change made to its article.
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