Skip to main content

When a hurricane moves onto land, its low pressure sucks a storm surge along with it. Frankenstorm Sandy broke the record for low pressure and produced an "unprecedented 13-foot surge of seawater — 3 feet above the previous record." Sandy became the largest tropical storm on record, stretching for 1100 miles and gusts up to 90 miles per hour. More than eight million are without power.

Pedestrians take photos of the Bowling Green subway station
in Battery Park in New York, flooded by Hurricane Sandy

On Monday and Tuesday, Rush Limbaugh talked extensively about Hurricane Sandy's political implications. Limbaugh's Sandy-related jibes and conjectures focused upon his perceptions of the shifting political landscape: "I saw the TV today and I saw the Obamaites out there actually talking with smiles on their faces about how this storm — which is being portrayed as Armageddon — can help Obama." He injected plenty of ridicule: "Here's another Reuters story. 'Hurricane Forces Obama to Balance Governing, Campaigning.' Aw! Aw, poor president!"

Hurricane Sandy turns a Yellow Cab parking lot into a harbor

Limbaugh taunted, "if turnout in the blue states is down in any way, then he's got no chance.  If it weren't for San Francisco, Seattle, parts of LA, and New England in the Northeast, he doesn't have a prayer.  This is all blue state voters." (Limbaugh had similarly disparaged "liberal" and "poor" victims of Hurricane Isaac in New Orleans, even joking that conservatives could trick them into dying in the anticipated flood.)

Limbaugh asserted that the left wants Obama to postpone the election. And then Limbaugh — the foremost mouthpiece of the small government crowd — asked an astonishingly ironic question about the mega-disaster: "Folks, are we really such a Third World banana republic we can't recover from a storm in a week?"

Unfortunately Limbaugh isn't just foolish and ignorant, he is dangerous. He has exactly the megaphone necessary to persuade tens of millions of fellow citizens that climate change denial isn't just respectable, it is patriotic. [Skip to the end of this article to see what you can do about Rush Limbaugh]

Activists Unfurl Giant ‘End Climate Silence’ Banner in Times Square

Here is Limbaugh on Tuesday, ridiculing climate change activists:

RUSH: "A storm many environmentalists see as linked to climate change has forced the end of a climate vigil in Boston." Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Two hundred environmentalist wackos “participated in a round-the-clock vigil since last Tuesday to protest the lack of discussion of climate change in the presidential debate and call on Scott Brown and [Princess] Elizabeth Warren to discuss the issue during their final scheduled debate” today.

And then the storm hit and the environmentalist wackos dispersed and the climate change convention ended. The only thing missing is Algore.

  —Rush Limbaugh: Bastardi: Global Warming Didn't Cause Sandy, October 30, 2012

[Media Matters has the audio]

Earlier this year a study reached a shocking conclusion about climate change education in the United States: Americans have learned more about climate change from Rush Limbaugh than from anyone else. This isn't a surprise to many of us; the phrase "climate change" appears nearly 3,000 times in Limbaugh's talk show transcripts, and "global warming" appears almost as often, according to a Google search.

Rush Limbaugh

Although his audience numbers have been reduced in some markets, Rush Limbaugh still has an audience estimated at over ten million. More than 9,000 other websites link to his website, and many forward sympathetic echoes of his daily missives throughout the blogosphere. When even insurance companies statistically demonstrate the reality of climate change, what Limbaugh believes — and preaches — about climate change is of no small consequence.

In spite of Limbaugh, some are now beginning to raise the question of climate change, with Hurricane Sandy as the foil. Brad Plumer has asserted in the Washington Post that Hurricane Sandy is a good reason to worry about climate change. Ben Orlove raises the same argument in a blog post at CNN. Maggie Koerth-Baker probes the connection between Sandy and climate change at Boing-Boing.

But congressional action on climate change remains elusive for the near term. Do you remember how Mitt Romney ridiculed Barack Obama's painfully modest climate change vows at the Republican National Convention?

Gov. Romney Mocks President Obama's Statements on Climate Change

Most of those delegates who guffawed and then cheered with Romney likely get their climate change science from Limbaugh. And why not? Limbaugh considers himself head of their party, and many Republicans seem to agree. Limbaugh has brought significant climate denial pressure on candidates for office as well-known as Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Barack Obama has accused Republican leaders of abandoning principles "...simply because you're getting pressure for two days from Rush Limbaugh..."

Rex Nutting observes in the Wall Street Journal that despite Sandy, talk of climate change remains stifled, and Michael Calderone makes the same point about cable news coverage. Perhaps out of fear of offending such a potentially broad swath of their audience, CNN's Candy Crowley and other major media figures remain dismissive about climate change as a political issue of any consequence:

Candy Crowley: "All You Climate People"

More Rush and climate change after the jump.

In 2011, Media Matters for America designated Rush Limbaugh the Climate Change Misinformer Of The Year. The title wasn't a spoof, it was earned (actually over a period of two plus decades).

Limbaugh asserts expertise — superior knowledge, in fact — that he doesn't possess. On Tuesday he boasted:

I happen to be a huge high-tech almost groupie. I'm a huge high-tech Fanboy. And for relaxation, I read high-tech blogs... They're written by young, idealistic college age and recent college graduate-type people. And they all, to a man -- every one of them! — are dead-set convinced that the science is indisputable, that global warming is happening, climate change taking place, and man is responsible for it. And they're out there lamenting it! These are on blogs where you talk about cell phones and stuff, and they're getting off track and talking about this. It's fascinating.

You can see who believes things and why. I mean, they’ve come out of college; they've been indoctrinated, propagandized with this stuff. It's amazing to see how easy it is to corrupt these young, fertile minds. I mean, the truth is there for everybody to see. It's been hoaxed up. The whole thing.

  —Rush Limbaugh: Bastardi: Global Warming Didn't Cause Sandy, October 30, 2012

Rush Limbaugh

Limbaugh has at times admitted that he comes by his denial of climate science for political and ideological reasons. In an earlier diary I recorded additional examples of Limbaugh's climate change indoctrination:

Rush, of course, asserts that the "whole global warming thing is a manufactured left-wing hoax".
I've instinctively known this from the get-go, from 20 years ago! The whole thing is made up, and the reason I know it is because liberals are behind it! When they're pushing something, folks, it's always bogus.

  —Rush Limbaugh

Not just any hoax, this. Limbaugh considers manmade global warming to be "one of the most preposterous hoaxes in the history of the planet." According to Limbaugh,
Every Apocalyptic Environmental Claim is a Full-Fledged Liberal Lie

Before the ozone hole it was acid rain, and then it was nuclear winter, and it went from global warming to...compact fluorescent lightbulbs! I'm telling you: Every aspect of it is a lie. Every environmental claim, every one that's apocalyptic, is a lie -- full-fledged, 100% through and through.

  —Rush Limbaugh

Some credit Limbaugh with forcing Mitt Romney to back away from his acknowledgement of global warming. But he's not averse to using global warming as a club on the Republican establishment, either:
I frankly don't know where the Republican establishment is on global warming. My guess is they probably think it's happening 'cause they want big government. They just want themselves in charge of it.

  —Rush Limbaugh

Limbaugh believes "there would be tremendous harm" if we took climate change seriously "because the solution to manmade global warming is communism. The solution to manmade global warming is socialism."
[W]hen you analyze what the UN climate change treaty is all about, you find that all it is about is the redistribution of wealth. Here, let me give you an example:

"[The climate change treaty] could have 'positive consequences for alternative transportation providers and producers of alternative fuels.' "

Let me translate. This means they'll put out of business current transportation providers and standard fuel producers... This is spreading the wealth around, period, using the climate as an excuse... This is nothing more than a giant, global redistribution-of-wealth scheme...

The militant environmental movement since the early nineties is simply the new repository for displaced communists after the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union went bye-bye. Anti-capitalist, it's all they are, just like the feminists, just another anti-capitalist movement, pro-socialist, pro-Marxist, pro-big government, that's all they are.

  —Rush Limbaugh

Rush wants to knock down every hint that the planet may be experiencing climate change. He attacks stories that polar bears are turning to cannibalism, and misses no opportunity to criticize electric cars. He calls the media "brain-dead robots" when they publish climate change stories, and asserts that only "wackos" believe there's a climate connection to wildfires.

He declares concern about overpopulation putting pressure on food and water resources "another discredited crackpot theory," and he asserts this "with ontological certitude" [his own words].

The problem is not enough capitalism. If you look where there is poverty and thus where people think there's overpopulation, you will find largely socialist or Marxist regimes, denying people freedom and liberty, economic opportunity...

[T]he planet is not in danger. We're doing a great job of cleaning up our messes. Capitalism and freedom lead to the cleanest places on earth.

  —Rush Limbaugh

Rush doesn't want a two way dialog on climate change, and thus he will abruptly cut off any caller who doesn't automatically accept his climate change assertions. But this paragon of free speech is also amused when his listeners shut down climate change websites:
A quick question before we grab the next call. Okay, we've got pretty good evidence today... By the way, thank you for shutting down Marc Morano's website, We love doing that. I love shutting down people's websites.

  —Rush Limbaugh

Climate change activists and concerned citizens could do worse than to focus on Limbaugh as the one greatest (and since March, the most easily removable) stumbling block to having climate change addressed in the U.S. Congress. Please consider joining the cause.
Rush Limbaugh's talk radio career is in a slow downward spiral in part because of the activism of consumers, volunteers, and activists who seek to hold Rush accountable for his hate speech. One very active group in this cause is Flush Rush on Facebook. Flush Rush and other, similar groups use the StopRush Database to inform advertisers about where their ads are appearing.

Please consider joining. Small donations are also accepted to fund data storage; visit StopRush for more information.

Flush Rush on Facebook:
Stop Rush database:
My Stop Rush blog posts:

UPDATE — Wed Oct 31, 2012 at  2:01 PM PT:


Television News Starts Covering The Link Between Climate Change And Superstorm Sandy:

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Where is this coming from? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Myers, Larsstephens

    The disinformation campaign documented in "The Climate Coverup" was funded by Exxon-Mobil. Now their CEO has admitted that man-made climate change is happening. Why is the denialism still going on? Momentum?

    •  right wing think tanks feed RW radio, led by rush (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ---- it is 'political correctness' to believe in GW and refer to it in the MSM, as policed by our right wing radio stations.

      RW radio, endorsed by many of our biggest universities have been denying GW to 50 mil a week for many years while being ignored by environmentalists.

      This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

      by certainot on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 10:04:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In other countries, no question. (4+ / 0-)

    This page links to a report by London Transport about the factors that will be needed to cope with climate change. Perhaps rather than arguing about whether it exists, the NY metro system would have been better prepared if precautions were taken on the assumption that "1 in 100 year events" are likely to happen much more frequently.

    It looks at the challenges faced by London’s transport systems from climate change, what is already being done to address these changes and further actions for consideration.

    The report provides four case studies; tidal and river flooding affecting new infrastructure in the Thames Gateway; local flooding of transport infrastructure ; damage to national rail and road infrastructure from hot weather; and passenger comfort on the London Underground in hot weather.

    The report recommends a number of key actions to ensure that London is better prepared for the risks arising from climate change. It advises that new infrastructure, rolling stock and vehicles should be designed for the climate they will experience in their lifetime; suggests a review of existing infrastructure should be carried out to determine the risks posed by climate change; and that research into how weather affects public choice of what transport mode they use should be carried out.

    Oh, and the bit I ommitted from the start of the quote explained that the report was published 7 years ago.

    Why doesn't Mitt Romney carry an iPhone? Because he has an Ann Droid.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 08:27:09 PM PDT

  •  Come Hell or High Water (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Myers, Amber6541

    The only way to stop Rush from spreading his lies about climate change and giving comfort to those who can't believe this is happening -  get him off the air now!  Rush does not believe in science, and for him someone else paying to restore the $30 - $50 b damage arising from a frankenstorm is "no big deal".   As long as he gets his oxycoting and viagra, he is happy !

    The real conspiracy is that the 1 % controlling american policies are not giving the rest of us a chance to preserve the only planet we have !

  •  RW radio polices mentions of climate change in MSM (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Myers

    -----  for years they have ridiculed and harassed anyone who mentioned it.

    all limbaugh has to do is mention crowly by name and she'd get  a barrage of dittohead complaints to the producer etc.

    what a sack she is, though, to say that crap

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 10:10:05 PM PDT

  •  there is regular denial on local RW radio level (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Myers

    to go along with the regular limbaugh BS

    heritage foundation and other think tanks send out regular guests to do global warming denial on local talk shows as guests.

    marita noon is one. ann mcelhinney is another that went through here and are known nationally- paid denialists, endorsed by our universities.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 10:19:27 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site