Image 01 Image 03

Maui Wildfires Can Be Classified as First Woke-Caused Disaster

Maui Wildfires Can Be Classified as First Woke-Caused Disaster

The response to the wildfires on Maui will likely be studied for years as an example of what not to do.

The slow recovery of the Lahaina area of the Hawaiian island of Maui continues as specialized recovery teams with cadaver dogs have searched about 40% of fire-ravaged historic town for remains.

The Lahaina wildfire death toll increased by five on Wednesday — to 111 — more than a week after flames ripped through the historic town. Meanwhile, Maui continued to slowly release the names of those who died. Three more victims, all elderly, were identified as more positive IDs were made.

. . . . As the work of understanding what happened continues, so too does the slow, grueling task of recovering remains. Some 30 teams armed with cadaver dogs are searching the charred ruins of Lahaina town, focusing on a miles-wide area of burned-out cars, homes and businesses.

Authorities have repeatedly said it’s not clear how many were killed in the fire.

But the number of people unaccounted for has stubbornly remained at about 1,000, suggesting that the death toll will almost undoubtedly increase.

As the staggering toll continues to be tallied, it is becoming apparent that the Maui wildfires may reasonably be classified as the first “woke-caused” disaster.

To begin with, the rush to eliminate carbon emissions may have killed the implementation of effective fire prevention policies.

Legal Insurrection readers recall my recent reports that downed power lines were being blamed as the initiating case of the fire. At the end of 2019, Hawaiian Electric issued a press release about wildfire risks assessed after hurricane-based winds contributed to a 2018 blaze.

The Wall Street Journal notes that Hawaiian Electric was well aware of the potential for this situation, but diverted resources away from fire safety support in order to meet state-required green energy mandates.

In 2015, lawmakers passed legislation mandating that the state derive 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2045, the first such requirement in the U.S.

The company dove into reaching the goals, stating in 2017 that it would reach the benchmark five years ahead of schedule.

In 2019, under pressure to replace the output of two conventional power plants set to retire, the company sought to contract for 900 megawatts of renewable energy, the most it had pursued at any one time.

“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.”

When you have limited capital, choices have to be made. However, Hawaiian Electric may have made different choices if woke legislators adhering to climate change theology didn’t mandate the drive to renewables.

Equity considerations are apparently another contributing factor in this disaster. A state water official delayed the release of water that landowners wanted to help protect their property from fires, because water is to be revered and not used.

Specifically, according to accounts of four people with knowledge of the situation, M. Kaleo Manuel, a Native Hawaiian cultural practitioner and DLNR’s deputy director for water resource management, initially balked at West Maui Land Co.’s requests for additional water to help prevent the fire from spreading to properties managed by the company.

According to the sources, Manuel wanted West Maui Land to get permission from a taro, or kalo, farm located downstream from the company’s property. Manuel eventually released water but not until after the fire had spread. It was not clear on Monday how much damage the fire did in the interim or whether homes were damaged.

At a minimum, that delay by the Commission on Water Resource Management (CWRM) contributed to the conditions for fire in the area to flare-up.

According to the letter, although the initial fire was contained at 9 a.m., there were reports of fallen power lines, fierce winds, outages and low reservoir levels, prompting the company to reach out to the commission to request approval to divert more water from streams so it could store as much water as possible for fire control.

Instead of approving the request, CWRM asked the company whether the Maui Fire Department had requested permission to dip into the reservoirs and directed it to first inquire with the downstream user to ensure that his loi and other uses would not be impacted by a temporary reduction of water supply.

. . . . By around 3:30 p.m., a flare-up had shut down the Lahaina Bypass.

“At around 6:00 p.m., we received CWRM’s approval to divert more water,” Tremble wrote. “By then, we were unable to reach the siphon release to make the adjustments that would have allowed more water to fill our reservoirs.

“We watched the devastation unfold around us without the ability to help. We anxiously awaited the morning knowing that we could have made more water available to MFD if our request had been immediately approved,” he said.

The response to the wildfires on Maui will likely be studied for years as an example of what not to do.

The magnitude of devastation may be just enough to make people rethink ‘climate crisis’ and social justice narratives, as well as their potentially destructive “solutions.” Let’s hope so, or more disasters of this nature loom large in our future.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


I think liberals will be content to double down. Admitting fault is not their strong suit.

    diver64 in reply to SeymourButz. | August 21, 2023 at 4:42 am

    “If it wasn’t for Climate Change in the first place this would never have happened and just proves we need to do more and faster to stop this from happening again”

Woke and ‘equity’ will kill more and more innocent people. Which will be more powerful in Hawaii, ‘water god’ or the ‘progressive’ pseudo god..?

My impression is that native Hawaiians tend to be in charge. There’s always telescopes being shut down because of some god or other objecting.

Google reports that the average native Hawaiian IQ is 87, albeit without the surly attitude that blacks add, at least not as a public persona.

The overall theory is that you need a certain percentage of smart people to run a government, that theory evolving from the experience of Africa in general.

    rhhardin in reply to rhhardin. | August 20, 2023 at 3:03 pm

    Plot of Aloha (2015) in part, where building something needs permission:

    Gilcrest and Ng meet King Kanahele at his isolated community to negotiate a deal. They require his participation in a blessing ceremony that will allow Welch to build his center. Meeting the king, Ng, who is one quarter Hawaiian, bonds with him and his companions, sharing their spiritual view of the land and sky. After prolonged negotiations, Gilcrest brokers a deal with the king in exchange for control over the territory of two whole mountains and free cell phone service for the area.

    You need to crawl back under the racist rock you crawled out from.

      rhhardin in reply to JR. | August 20, 2023 at 5:16 pm

      There’s literal racism – belief that different races, separated for hundreds of generations, have different heritable characteristics – is one thing. Malevolent racism is another. Don’t confuse them.

      Different heritable characteristics means that the solutions you seek need a certain sort of technique. In this case, particularly in the case of blacks, learning good character. It’s the key to success no matter how smart IQ-wise you are. Instead they’re teaching resentment, which is the key to failure.

      Forrest Gump wasn’t a film about stupidity. It was a film about good character.

      There’s a respectable place for anybody who wants to help others.

    jhkrischel in reply to rhhardin. | August 20, 2023 at 8:04 pm

    Democrats are in charge, although there are a few token native Hawaiian hucksters that prey on white guilt, Most of the democrat machine in Hawaii is japanese, having taken over from native Hawaiian republicans shortly after world war 2.

    As for “average native Hawaiian IQ”, the vast majority of native Hawaiians are toenail hawaiians, with less than 1/16th ancestry pre-1778. That being said, native Hawaiians are the only island chain in the Pacific that went from the stone age to a modern english speaking nation in less than a generation. Heck, Iolani palace had electricity before the White House did.

    Danny in reply to rhhardin. | August 20, 2023 at 8:52 pm

    Even if what you said is true I can’t think of a more inappropriate time to bring it up than a tragedy where many burned to death

    Second Nigerians are outcompeting white Americans right now.

    I am giving you the benefit of the doubt and telling you you sound like the offspring of snobbishness with self righteousness.

    “According to the 2008-2012 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, 61.4% of Nigerian Americans aged 25 years or older hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 28.5% of the total U.S. population.[24] The Migration Policy Institute reports that 29% of Nigerian Americans have a master’s degree, PhD, or an advanced professional degree (compared to 11% of the U.S population overall).[4] Nigerian Americans are also known for their contributions to medicine, science, technology, arts, and literature.”

    As you could see without poisonous things that came from OUR culture black people with American opportunities succeed.

    So shut up about race, shut up about IQ and start talking about what matters which is culture and how you see education. IQ tests have always been incredibly flawed and have never been good predictors of anything.

      rhhardin in reply to Danny. | August 20, 2023 at 9:48 pm

      Character is what matters. In figuring out what to do, IQ tells you stuff that won’t work that you might be inclined to try. Do instead something that will work.

      Jordan Peterson says that IQ is the most solidly established metric in psychology. Immigrants are sort of self-selected for motivation, and something of an embarrassment for the black oppression narrative.

      In this case, I was suggesting that wokeness wasn’t the problem, it was just beyond the competence of the official.

      Intelligence isn’t generally obvious but average intelligence over groups can be, chiefly from the purifying effects of the high tails of the distribution. Namely some groups never ever show up in some jobs. It’s very bad to attribute that to discrimination.

      ConradCA in reply to Danny. | August 21, 2023 at 12:59 pm

      It’s not race, it’s culture that explains why a huge percentage of blacks are uneducated, criminals leaching off society on welfare. It’s the ghetto gangster culture.

    leoamery in reply to rhhardin. | August 21, 2023 at 12:23 am

    Funny when I type in ‘What is the average native Hawaiian IQ?”, all the responses start out rhhardin’s IQ is…

    Maybe you can cite the source, sport?

      rhhardin in reply to leoamery. | August 21, 2023 at 6:57 am

      Google highlights, at the top, for native hawaiian iq, quote

      Another low-IQ state is Hawaii (95.6), where IQ is pulled down by native Hawaiians (IQ 87), Portuguese with significant African ancestry (IQ 90), and mixed-race people, such as European-Hawaiians (IQ 93) and Chinese-Hawaiians (IQ 91).
      Dec 13, 2021

Well, OK, a quibble about this categorization.

Does “woke” encompass globular warmening? I think of woke as being more of a recent (~2010) dogma oriented around SJWs and sexual/racial grievances, while climate change fear porn has been around since the ’70s, with a major booster shot during the Al Gore years.

This is more like a standard Democrat fiscal policy boondoggle. Democrats took crucial money needed for disaster preparedness and spent it on something stupid. On Maui, it was climate control. In New Orleans, it was a pleasure marina. On January 6, it was… I dunno, maybe Nancy’s ice cream collection, but it didn’t go to building security (whether deliberate or not).

If I were to compile a list of “woke disasters,” I’d instead start with all the blue city riots of the Floyd era, the Covenant shooting, and the 50+% rate of suicidal ideology among trans kids. If I ran Disney or Busch, I’d have an additional hometown favorite on that list. But I wouldn’t even include COVID victims or COVID vax victims, because there’s just no Marxist social justice component central to them.

    Seattle homeless fires sure are an indirect consequence.

    It’s August and those drug den fires on the side of the freeway sure move fast.

    Its all of that – 70’s disaster prophecy to rigid forest land management and accompanying regulatory fees and policies.

    USFS adopted ridiculous policies to conserve second and third cut forest lands – they simply stopped auctioning and harvesting. The regional family owned sawmills died off – mostly due to the newly implemented and absurdly expensive regulations, costs that can only be absorbed by scale of industry method – which was the intended result. The dirty secret is the huge lumber and paper companies profited by killing off the regionals. Then those big companies moved operations to Mexico. Huge fiberboard OSB manufacturing facilities. The Sierra Club lawyers in cahoots with big lumber, USFS bureaucrats and dirty politicians. $$$

    Georgia-Pacific | Koch Industries and Louisiana Pacific come to mind. Both abandoned their large NorCal mills.

    The long term result being uncontrollable and uncontainable wildfire. In California people like to say PG&E diverted all funds to solar and wind and neglected power line transmission maintenance. It did do so at the behest of state agencies. Collusion and graft. RFK Jr. was in on the sham – BrightSource Solar. No wonder I hate his guts.

    BUT. The sixth largest wildfire in NorCal history? Dry lightning strikes. Hundreds of them. Who got sued? PG&E. (I’m a old school PG&E hater and wonder at the lawsuit scam)

    There is a video of Newsom at the wiki. Disgusting.

    Another massive fire? I forget the official name of the fire; I call it The SoCal Hobo Wiener Fire. Hoboes supposedly “cooking” over a open camp fire – during a nasty windstorm. Horrific. Not PG&E.

    “Does “woke” encompass globular warmening?”
    It is all of a piece.

This is the state the keeps electing Crazeee Mazeee.

I think of liberals in blue states and blue cities as living on borrowed time. Much like a criminal who invades my home and violates my safety, I feel no guilt, remorse, nor satisfaction when the bill gets settled as it was their choice, their decision and their consequence.

My desire is to not get caught up in the wake of destruction that goes along with the bill getting settled and to be as resilient and prickly as possible to it coming near me.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Andy. | August 20, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    “ This is the state the keeps electing Crazeee Mazeee.”

    Should Hawaii even b a state in the first place ?

      henrybowman in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | August 20, 2023 at 5:08 pm

      Back in the ’50s, they had to ordain a Democrat state to balance Republican Alaska. It was a gentlemen’s agreement back then to avoid biasing the Senate. Same thing with NM and AZ. Now, of course, there are no gentlemen left, and the Democrats are frantic to make states out of DC, PR, Upper Guam, anyplace blue.

      The natives have a strong opinion on that one.

      Funny how that history could possibly align with their position on gun control.

Under any circumstances, it will go down as a climate event, and just like people still believe hands up, don’t shoot, the ignorance will lead to more stupidity.

These leaders are too smart and too in tune for their own good. That’s largely why they continue to do dumb things. They believe they’re infallible.

Incompetence and the smug attitude of government employees caused this disaster. They will blame global warming, of course. That is the deep state/politicians way of deflecting.

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity, especially when magnified by woke, off-topic, political concerns.

“Water, water everywhere… but not a drop to drink”… because it is a gift from the gods…. so was the gift of fire from Pele and guess who won? The spin will be so great that we won’t see straight.. My only question for these worthless admin guys… “did you sleep at a Holiday Inn Express to get your jobs?

The goal now is to redefine what a death is….. hundreds died but we will never really know.

    rhhardin in reply to alaskabob. | August 20, 2023 at 4:07 pm

    Scott Adams speculates that the death toll is being slow-walked because of the high number of children killed. A certain amount of public preparation is needed.

      jhkrischel in reply to rhhardin. | August 20, 2023 at 8:07 pm

      Indeed. It’s always better to delay the news of children’s deaths. They should just declare them all missing, and never confirm their demise.

      It’s the Democrat thing to do 🙂

        rhhardin in reply to jhkrischel. | August 21, 2023 at 7:01 am

        The newspaper practice, in reporting deaths, used to be, overseas, there were 20 deaths including 3 Americans; and for domestic, there were 20 deaths including 3 children. They’re all Americans so they’ll have to separate out children this time.

The Gentle Grizzly | August 20, 2023 at 3:27 pm

I don’t see why the power company doesn’t get bids on electricity from the mainland. It could easily be shipped over to Hawaii in container ships!. Right!?

    Well, yes, but it comes in the form of coal or LNG and needs to be converted. There’s the rub.

      The Gentle Grizzly in reply to txvet2. | August 20, 2023 at 4:52 pm

      What I had in mind was that one or another alphabet agency can mandate the electricity be sent AS electricity already made.

      Government mandates ALWAYS work. Examples: the paint the EPA mandated for automobiles a few decades back. The paint manufacturers said it existed but was not perfected. “Do it anyway, or else!” So, we had three year old cars with the top coat of the paint peeling off in sheets; this was on both The Big Three and any transplant make built in the US.

    Why can’t they just use the internet and stream it?

Being reported that the death toll is now 480 and they are putting bodies in semi-trailers and running out of body bags.

Calling it the first woke disaster only works if you ignore the ideology’s connection to other Marxist and Maoist movements. I’d certainly consider the Holodomor a disaster, though not a natural one.

    Whitewall in reply to Flatworm. | August 21, 2023 at 8:50 am

    You have said the connection and hinted at the link between cultural Marxism and cultural Maoism. That link is Leninism which China is proud to call itself even today. The cultural becomes the political under modern day Leninism…

I didn’t even know the woke had access to direct energy weapons. This does not bode well.

Subotai Bahadur | August 20, 2023 at 6:04 pm

1) If it IS the first official Woke disaster [the point can be argued] we can be sure that it will be far from the last one, even if just in Hawaii.

2) One company controls all electricity and the safety of the power lines in Hawaii. That company is selected and “controlled” by the one party state government. The people of Hawaii have voted for that one party for generations and not held them to any standards. They got what they voted for and will continue to do so.

Subotai Bahadur

    Mauiobserver in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | August 20, 2023 at 6:21 pm

    The ray of hope is that the real political power in Hawaii are the unions, most of which are made up of blue collar workers. Their members and extended families have achieved middle class status owning homes and able to provide for their children’s education and future.

    On Maui our new Mayor and officials have only been in office a few months but the slogan during the election was anyone but progressives. The result is that the progressive slate was defeated and some incumbents removed from office.

    I think the next election cycle will be interesting. The national Democrat party will obviously push for the woke agenda. I think it is very plausible that the unions will dictate a sane and rational approach towards land management/water retention etc. although obviously with the caveat that union workers will build the necessary infrastructure.

    It will certainly be a Democrat dominated state legislature but could be far different from the national party.

If the state AG of Hawaii had any self respect there would be a special prosecutor because if anything about refusing to release water resources is true I could think of multiple felonies that have been violated.

When are the government screw ups going to be put on trial? You know they’ll try their best to totally blame Hawaiian Electric.

Call me cynical, but I think there’s money and wealth behind this. Some wealthy concerns don’t want the common people dipping into the reservoir for water. “Green” legislation creates a nice fig leaf.

Hey, they wanted equity, they got it, good and hard. Now, instead of a few people losing their house, everybody lost their house.


Here is a picture of a house, which survived the fire:

The homeowner had a steel roof and had cleared their lot of debris.

Proper land management prevents fires from spreading,

Maui is surrounded by a limitless supply of water. Why didn’t they use that?

    marta52 in reply to Sultan. | August 21, 2023 at 2:55 pm

    Climate change has always happened, nobody denies it, it’s the stuff of life. What is criminal is what has been done about itAsk Woke…. Nothing but implementing things that make some elites rich. EVs, Wind mills, solar panels, all add to a long term disaster. Lack of foresight characterizes all the legislators. A trillion + dollars later, we only have death and devastation. ‘Calentology’ is an ideology, nothing less.

    tbonesays in reply to Sultan. | August 21, 2023 at 3:28 pm

    My guess is that sea water is bad for crops so they never built a system to pump it far inland.

    There were famous fires in Chicago and San Francisco despite a nearby large body of water.

      henrybowman in reply to tbonesays. | August 22, 2023 at 2:53 pm

      When it comes to firefighting equipment, “nearby” has to be pretty near. The hoses are only so long, and longer ones won’t really work. You might be able to cover a couple blocks of the waterfront from a lake or ocean, everything else is toast.

Woke will only cause more death and devastation. With it’s two prong approach, being hate and monetary gain, this criminal ideology will never achieve anything else.

Of course, the negligent government officials can’t be held accountable in any meaningful way. Qualified immunity and all that. I doubt the culprits will even be fired or thrown out of office in the next election. Same thing happened in California not long ago. Huge wildfires that resulted mainly from poor forestry management practices of the state government were instead blamed on climate change. Trump pointed this out and was relentlessly mocked even though it was true. Culling the forest and controlled burns are both a political no-no as far as the environmentalists are concerned. Leave it in its “natural” state and burn baby, burn.

    not_a_lawyer in reply to Rand. | August 22, 2023 at 2:51 am

    I live in the forest. Your post is spot-on.

    A small sapling will burn without much dried-out underbrush and dead trees built up on the ground. Medium-sized and larger trees will not. It takes a lot of kindling to get larger trees to reach their ignition point. Trees are around 50% water after all. Most of that water needs to be raised to the boiling point, vaporized, and pushed out of the tree before the tree will burn.

    The forests that are state or federally owned (which is most of them) need to be cleared of dead vegetation. People think about the size of our forests and think such a task is like counting the number of grains of sand on the beach. It is not.

    The state need merely provide licenses to the logging industry to cut trees with the requirement that the dead vegetation is also cleared. Dead trees are not without value; if they are not too old and rotten, they are suitable for use in home heating.

    When I say that loggers should be granted licenses to cut trees, that doesn’t mean they get to clear-cut. The government sends arborists out and they put a yellow ribbon around the trunk of any tree they think is suitable for logging. Then loggers come in and cut only those trees so designated.

    Furthermore, it is not necessary that the entire forest be cleared each year. Every year, different patches of the forest can be designated for logging and underbrush clearing. After some period, say seven years or so, the cycle repeats. In this fashion, the dead vegetation is kept manageable, and any subsequent forest fire is basically a nuisance and often just allowed to burn itself out. Most trees are left maybe scarred, but perfectly healthy and will continue to grow as if nothing happened.

    Furthermore, if you drive through the mountains, you will periodically pass a ‘work camp’, which does forest projects such as maintaining hiking trails, and indeed basic dead vegetation clearing. While these work camps are staffed by Forest Rangers, the people who engage in the strenuous labor are mostly young minimum-security felons from the scorching valley prisons below.

    If you think young healthy men would rather sit in a concrete prison as opposed to going up into the nice cool mountains to put in some forestry work, think again. The corrections system identifies suitable candidates and asks for volunteers amongst them and sends them up to the work camps. It is basically heaven compared to the prisons.

    In my small community, any structure needs by law to be cleared to a certain radius of tall grass and dead vegetation every spring. If the property owner doesn’t do it, the county sends out teams to do it and attaches the cost to his property tax bill. You will notice that all of the houses in Maui that were not burned were clear of dead vegetation.

    When Trump was castigated by his ‘sweep the forests’ comment, the chattering class thought he was insane. He was not. It is not impossible, nor even very hard, nor expensive. The labor cost is attached to the loggers and young felons who work for free.

    The only reason we don’t do it is ideological. carried by the notion that humans should not interfere with the ‘natural’ development of the forests.


      henrybowman in reply to not_a_lawyer. | August 22, 2023 at 3:01 pm

      The dance is even more complicated.

      In the western US, we have species of giant pines that will not propagate in the absence of periodic forest fires — their seeds actually need to be flame broiled before they will germinate.

      Australia ran into a similar problem with their eucalyptus forests, which are impossible to fireproof because they continually exude flammable vapors, accelerant for any lightning strike. They ultimately relied on the institutional memories of the local aboriginal tribes, who could tell them whether or not a particular forest was “due” for a burn, and withheld firefighting efforts if so.