KTTH OPINION

Cliff Mass: Maui fires ‘had nothing to do with climate change, like zero’

Aug 16, 2023, 6:55 PM | Updated: 6:56 pm

Maui fires climate change...

Smoke and flames fill the air from raging wildfires on Front Street in Lahaina on the Hawaiian island of Maui on Aug. 8, 2023. Maui officials say wildfire in the historic town has burned parts of one of the most popular tourist areas in Hawaii. (Photo: Alan Dickar via AP)

(Photo: Alan Dickar via AP)

Despite claims by some Democrat politicians, University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences Professor Cliff Mass says the Maui, Hawaii, fires are not connected to climate change. So why is the Radical Left lying to you?

In an exclusive interview with the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, Mass called out the misinformation from politicians like Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii). In an interview on CNN, Hirono falsely tied the wildfires to climate change.

“We very much need to acknowledge that climate change is upon us,” she told Jake Tapper before bizarrely claiming some states banned the use of the term “climate change” from being spoken.

And while Vice President Kamala Harris was in Seattle to discuss the administration’s climate agenda, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee cited the Maui fires as connected to global warming. He claimed, “This is not your grandmother’s climate change.”

But Mass says the fires “had nothing to do with climate change, like zero.”

Donate: Maui Strong fundraiser to directly help victims of Hawaii wildfires

The Maui fires are a combination of dry, invasive grass and wind, not climate change

Mass is an expert in his field and someone who believes climate change is real. He says he can confidently say the Maui fires were due to a combination of dry and invasive grass and powerful wind that accelerated the spread of the fire, not climate change.

“I’ll tell you what was going on there,” Mass told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “This is an area where there is extensive areas of grass. And actually, the grass was more bountiful than normal because there was a lot of precipitation over the winter. You had a lot of grass, a lot of that grass is not natural grass, it’s invasive stuff that was brought in over the last century.”

“So, you have all this grass, and then they had an extraordinarily strong windstorm. The media really hasn’t picked up on the truth of this yet,” Mass added. “But what happened was we had very strong trades coming into the mountains of West Maui, and as the air sunk and descended on the western side of those mountains, it accelerated, and the relative humidity plummeted. We call this a downslope wind storm.”

Mass says the wind storm likely destroyed power lines, creating a spark that ignited the grass.

“And with strong winds like that, the grass fires move extremely rapidly with embers pushing it ahead,” Mass said. “And that grass fire descended down on Lahaina. And a lot of wood buildings there, if you’ve been there, it’s a lot of wood. And the place just burned up rapidly. So, dry grass, extremely strong winds, and that’s what did it. And climate change had nothing to do with this.”

We could have warned people


Mass says there was something that could have been done to help prepare locals for the fire threat: warn them.

“The weather forecast models were clearly showing this threat the day before. And they had what was called a Red Flag Warning, but they should have had way more. They should have had extraordinarily strong warnings out. The other thing they should have done is they should have de-energized the powerlines,” Mass said.

He notes that de-energizing powerlines is a fire mitigation strategy often used in California and the Pacific Northwest.

More from Cliff Mass: ‘This is the last major heat event for Puget Sound’

What about the strong winds?

When not directly blaming climate change for starting a weather event, some voices on the Left claim climate change makes the events more intense. Could climate change be why the wind was so strong? He said the answer requires nuance.

“There’s no consistent answer there. It really depends on exactly where you are and the meteorology of the area you live in,” Mass noted.

He even says climate change has helped the region in one regard. Mass notes that most of our terrible fires to the west of the Cascades are egged on by easterly winds. But he says climate change has actually weakened those winds, according to climate models.

“Some things do become more extreme, some things become less extreme due to global warming, It’s more nuanced than some of the media showing,” Mass said.

Listen to The Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). He is the author of the book “What’s Killing America: Inside the Radical Left’s Tragic Destruction of Our Cities.” Subscribe to the podcast. Follow @JasonRantz on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Cliff Mass: Maui fires ‘had nothing to do with climate change, like zero’