Bjorn Lomborg said Friday that politicians were blaming climate change for disasters like the wildfires on Maui to duck “responsibility” for “failures” in addressing them.
Democratic Gov. Josh Green of Hawaii blamed climate change for the deadly wildfire that destroyed many buildings in the town of Lahaina, killing at least 96 people as of Monday, according to the New York Times. The West Maui Land Company accused M. Kaleo Manuel, an official with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), of delaying a response to a request to use water to refill reservoirs used by the Maui Fire Department to fight the wildfire, Hawaii News Now reported. (RELATED: ‘Are You Freaking Kidding Me?’: Former FEMA Head Blasts Hawaii Officials’ Focus On ‘Equity’ Prior To Fire)
“You maybe shouldn’t have a lot of grasses that will just burn a lot. You should adopt better building codes, not what Governor Green did, namely put it on hold because he wants cheaper buildings and you shouldn’t just have one exit road, you should have better firebreaks,” Lomborg told “America Reports” co-anchor John Roberts. “And possibly the most important thing is, you should inform people. You should not have a guy that actually decides not to run the alarm because he worries that people might misunderstand it. Most people weren’t informed.”
“And this is the crucial bit when you talk about climate change: When everybody blames climate, which is a very, very small part of the whole puzzle, you take away responsibility from all these failures,” Lomborg added. “And that’s, of course, what you really need to focus on if you are going to avoid the next fire.”
Herman Andaya, the director of the Maui Emergency Management Agency, resigned Thursday after the agency came under fire for not activating emergency sirens to warn people of the fires. The state reportedly bogged down an effort to improve electric infrastructure that would have addressed overgrown non-native grass, according to the Wall Street Journal, one of a series of decisions that may have worsened the severity of the fire.
“We are not learning as long as we just keep blaming global warming,” Lomborg said. “Look, global warming is a real problem, we should fix it, we should fix it smartly, but it’s not the main part of this problem and we are dealing with it really badly and we are helping future people, who will be affected by future fires as well, really badly if we don’t focus on the smart things to do. So, again, maybe you shouldn’t have an alarm system that only sounds like a tsunami warning if you also want to warn people when it’s fire.”
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