The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization recently released its third quarter forecast for 2023, the first since the Maui wildfires. According to the report, after the fire Maui lost more than $13 million in visitor spending per day. According to the University of Hawaii’s Pacific Disaster Center, more than 2,200 structures, about 86% of which were residential, were damaged or destroyed in the Lahaina wildfire. The cost to rebuild these structures is estimated to be $5.52 billion. These are just a few of the numerous challenges caused by the wildfires to the Maui economy. According to scientists, the hot and dry climate of Maui caused as a result of climate change allowed the wildfires to ignite and grow. Reports suggest that parts of Maui were in severe drought leaving the vegetation dried out, potentially providing fuel for wildfires.
Other recent instances of how human-caused climate change, extreme weather and changes to the local ecosystem can merge in fatal ways include recent floods in China, fires in Greece, and deadly heat in the Southwest U.S. These, however, will not be the last examples of disasters caused by climate change as there seem to be no significant efforts made to tackle the most serious threat to our planet. Increasing human influences on climate and environment are escalating the frequency of extreme events such as wildfires, heatwaves, hurricanes, drought, flood, and storms.
Everyone talks about climate change and its consequences; however, no one is taking any significant steps to stop or reverse the calamity. We are already witnessing the catastrophic results of our own action, but we need to take serious actions to avoid any more damage to the earth.
- CBS Interactive. (n.d.). How much of Maui has burned in the wildfires? aerial images show fire damage as containment efforts continue. CBS News. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-much-of-maui-has-burned-wildfires-aerial-images-acres-containment/
- Uhero: “wildfires deliver heavy blow to Maui economy,” rebuilding challenges detailed: Maui now. | UHERO: “Wildfires deliver heavy blow to Maui economy,” rebuilding challenges detailed. (n.d.). https://mauinow.com/2023/09/22/uhero-wildfires-deliver-heavy-blow-to-maui-economy-rebuilding-challenges-detailed/