Conservative radio blowhard Rush Limbaugh made headlines recently when he went on a lengthy tirade on his program about how he believes that news reports about Hurricane Irma’s approach were little more than the liberal news media trying to push the leftist agenda of climate change.
Ultimately, Rush did not end up believing his own story as he, too, evacuated his Florida home before Irma made landfall. The Miami Herald did not prove to be in a forgiving mood for misleading Floridians about the severity of the storm and the extent of climate change’s impact.
Wrote columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr. in the newspaper about the recent batch of hurricanes, “And the timing of them, combined with the historic awfulness of them, feels more sinister than simple coincidence, does it not? You find yourself wondering if this might not be a consequence of that inconvenient truth Al Gore has been warning about — if, thanks to global warming, this is just a preview of our ghastly new normal — record-breaking storms lining up like cars at a toll booth to take turns smashing the American coast.” He continued, “Unfortunately for those of us craving clear cause and effect, the answer from scientists is a bit more nuanced. Asking if global warming caused all this is, it turns out, like asking if old age causes arthritis and bad eyesight. It doesn’t, but it does make those things more likely — and exacerbates them when they occur. Not that everyone sees the same thing when they look at the weather map. Last year, right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh said that hurricanes are actually part of a vast liberal plot. ‘It is in the interest of the left to have destructive hurricanes,’ he said, ‘because then they can blame it on climate change …'”
Pitts dug in further about Limbaugh, saying, “He expanded on that as Irma bore down on South Florida, opining that media and marketers were in on the conspiracy, using hurricanes to drive viewership and sales of bottled water. ‘So the media benefits with the panic with increased eyeballs,’ he said, ‘and the retailers benefit from the panic with increased sales.’ Limbaugh’s lunacy reflects right-wing orthodoxy, which favors doing nothing in response to climate change on the theory it’s all an expensive boondoggle designed to victimize innocent oil and gas companies. So you get Trump pulling the country out of the Paris climate accord and Florida Gov. Rick Scott forbidding his team to even use the term ‘climate change.’ Where the health of our planet is concerned, Republicans essentially ask us to make a wager that science is wrong.” He went on, “Mind you, no one had trouble accepting science as authoritative last month when it predicted to the very minute a solar eclipse that darkened a great swath of America. But the eclipse threatened no one’s money pot. Global warming does. So conservatives pretend science is somehow suspect when it says the planet is warming because of fossil fuels. And we should accept it as just — What? Coincidence? — that the fossil fuels industry donated $55.1 million to the Republicans in 2016 alone?” Are you glad Pitts pointed this out about Rush and the Republicans?