Rush Limbaugh. Misogynist, Racist, Bully, Blowhard, – and Climate Denier Number One
March 5, 2012
This weekend’s long overdue explosion of outrage against Rush Limbaugh should remind us of a couple things.
First of all, this is not new – this has been going on for decades. Rush Limbaugh is the number one vector for right wing hatred, resentment, and ignorance in the United States. Even Fox News has a lot of work to do to catch up with the sheer volume of poison spewed by this sociopath.
And, important to remember, its not a coincidence that Rush is climate-denier number one in the American media – because racism, ignorance, hatred of women, and of the planet itself, go hand in fist with climate denial, and always have. We can see no clearer demonstration of that than the current GOP presidential campaign.
Actually, back in the mid-90s, I was fed-up enough with a Limbaugh tirade on global climate, that, when he challenged “any environmentalist who wants to defend this” to call the show, I called. And got through.
When the screener asked me if I was, in fact, an environmentalist, I affirmed that I had a pair of sandals, that I had occasionally eaten tofu. I averred that I did not hug trees, because although I like trees, it’s not that kind of relationship. He put me on hold.
El Rushbo had been railing about a full page ad in USAToday from a green group, a faux “weather map from the future” predicting high temperatures throughout the US – such as 124 F in the southwestern desert, etc. Now, of course, we are beginning to get a first taste of that scenario, but it must have seemed remote enough for skepticism at the time.
When I got online, Rush blustered that even the most severe predictions of warming were for only a few degrees, so such predictions of searingly high temperatures had to be fantasy and scaremongering.
I explained that the 2 to 5 degree of warming projections were for global average – that there would be plenty of room for much more extreme events on a local basis.
I went on to explain that insurance companies were already seeing the effects of increased weather catastrophes from climate change, and were beginning conversations with green groups to see what could be done to mitigate what was for them, beginning to resemble an existential threat. I also noted that no one was advocating that people go back to the stone age to deal with climate change, that plenty of technologies already existed to begin the move beyond fossil fuels.
“If I have a car that can take me wherever I want to go, that gets hundreds of miles to the gallon, or uses no fuel at all – where is this terrible hit to my standard of living? I would think every intelligent person would see it in their own best interest to own such a car..”
I pointed out that, given there is only one planet in the universe that can support human life, or any kind of life, so far as we know – that perhaps erring on the side of caution in preserving it might be – conservative.
I stayed on, I am sure, several minutes beyond the point that he would have liked, and pretty much unloaded my as-yet-meager trove of climate knowledge. Shortly after I hung up, the show took a “spontaneous” call from some kind of “think” tank expert, who spent a good part of the next hour trying to shore up the damage to Rush’s messaging. I was elated.
What I’ve been looking for, for years, actually, is some kind of talk radio archive of Limbaugh shows from the early 90s – if anyone out there has access to this, let me know - because on of my clearest memories from listening hour after hour to the stream of nonsense, is the nonstop parodies of “Algore” and his then-socialistic-sounding “Information superhighway” – something that the right wing saw at the time as another leftist, government research boondoggle – very much the same way they are positioned against renewable energy, electric cars, and energy efficiency now.
After the internet exploded into the greatest economic and social engine the world has ever seen, it then became necessary to stop lampooning Gore for championing it, and start calling him a liar for claiming to have anything to do with it….
Below, just to illustrate how things just stay the same, Limbaugh in ’93 on Oil prices.