by Jocelyn Fong and Shauna Theel, in a Media Matters cross-post
In 1994 Rush Limbaugh declared, “There is no global warming going on,” adding that scientists “admit” they “may need 20 years more data to prove it.” Since then, Limbaugh has managed to shield his brain from 18 years of mounting evidence that humans are changing the climate. “Science has made enormous inroads in understanding climate change and its causes,” according to the National Research Council’s latest report assessing the state of climate science. “There is a strong, credible body of evidence, based on multiple lines of research, documenting that climate is changing and that these changes are in large part caused by human activities,” the report said.
Limbaugh, whose radio show reportedly reaches roughly 14 million people per week, remains the most prominent and cocksure denier of human-induced climate change in the news industry. His unyielding belief that the world’s earth scientists are perpetrating a “hoax” has led him to some interesting places this year, from declaring that the heat index is “manufactured by the government,” to accusing NASA of sabotaging its own research satellite, to announcing that the National Academy of Sciences has “lost all credibility.” Given his large following, Limbaugh’s extreme and misguided position may well have influenced the Republican presidential primary by discouraging candidates from speaking about the threats posed by global warming. Indeed, Limbaugh made this litmus test explicit, saying “bye, bye, nomination” after Mitt Romney acknowledged the human contribution to climate change. For all this, on top of his typically bombastic distortions and obfuscations of climate science, Limbaugh wins the distinction of 2011 Climate Change Misinformer of the Year.
“Hoax”: Rush Limbaugh’s Intractable Climate Change Denial
Limbaugh: Global Warming “Is A Hoax … I Get Blue In The Face Repeating This Over And Over Again.” On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh said:
LIMBAUGH: Al Gore wrote in his blog, “Good for Mitt Romney. Though we’ve long passed the point where weak lip service is enough on the climate crisis while other Republicans are running from the truth, Mitt Romney is sticking to his guns in the face of the anti-science wing of the Republican Party.” There you go. So has been Romney endorsed by Algore on his stance on global warming, which is a hoax. There is no “settled science,” as I get blue in the face repeating this over and over again. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 6/16/11]
Limbaugh: “I Don’t Need Scientific Proof” To Know It’s A Lie. From the March 8 edition of Limbaugh’s radio show:
LIMBAUGH: How did I know global warming is a hoax? ‘Cause of who’s behind pushing it. Liberals. They lie.
LIMBAUGH: If there ever is scientific proof — and see, I don’t need scientific proof because to me the people who are promoting manmade global warming are a bunch of frauds. They are liberals, they lie. It’s not a generalization. It is an undeniable truth of life. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 3/8/11]
Limbaugh: The National Academy Of Sciences Has “Lost All Credibility” Because Climate Change Is “Bogus.” Responding to a caller who had questioned Mitt Romney about his stance on climate change at a New Hampshire debate, Limbaugh said that NAS had “lost all credibility” and that scientists “basically made it all up” at the University of East Anglia:
CALLER: I specifically quoted from a 2010 National Academy of Sciences report. I have two quotes here; the first is, they concluded — and by the way, the National Academy of Sciences, as you know, is considered the Supreme Court of science in this country. It was founded in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln and it is charged with giving the Congress unbiased scientific information. Now their conclusion was quote “a strong credible body of scientific evidence shows that climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities and poses significant risks for a broad range of human and natural systems.
LIMBAUGH: Then they’ve lost all credibility, it’s a bogus claim.
CALLER: I don’t know where you’re getting the hoax from, sir. I mean, I’m looking at –
LIMBAUGH: Well it’s called the University of East Anglia at Anglian — the Hadley Climate Center where they basically made it all up, pure and simple. It’s a hoax, there’s nothing true about it. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 6/8/11]
- Multiple investigations have cleared the scientists at the University of East Anglia of falsifying data. [Media Matters, 8/8/11]
Limbaugh: “Anything To Do With … Climate Change Is Now An Official Scam.” On August 30, Limbaugh said:
LIMBAUGH: And in fact all it is is a giant slush fund — one slush fund after another, federal taxpayer dollars going to Democrat candidates, supporters, donors, what have you, under the guise of creating a new industry, “green jobs,” weatherizing homes, protecting the environment, saving the climate. It’s a huge, huge scam. Anything to do with energy and the environment that involves manmade global warming, climate change is now an official scam. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 8/30/11]
Limbaugh: The Science “Is Fraudulent And Is A Hoax.” On November 10, Limbaugh said:
LIMBAUGH: Despite proof now, despite evidence that global warming is a political issue, not a science issue, and that the science aspect of it is fraudulent and is a hoax, we have a story here from the French News Agency: “The World Has Five Years Now to Avoid Severe Warming.” That’s from the International Energy Agency.
The LA Times said it, and others have said that there’s no warming. It’s all over the place here. But they won’t let this die. It’s a political issue and it’s an international left-wing hoax, this whole notion of manmade global warming climate change. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 11/10/11]
Limbaugh: Global Warming “Is A Religion …There Is No Evidence.” Discussing a government initiative to recognize schools that make efforts toward environmental sustainability, Limbaugh said on May 17:
LIMBAUGH: The plan is for the U.S. Department of Education, the EPA, and the Council for Environmental Quality to develop the criteria this spring and summer and to issue the call for applications early in the fall. All based on a hoax. All based on a fraud. All based on global warming, which by the way, is a religion. It’s proponents cannot prove it. Belief in global warming requires faith because there is no evidence. There is no evidence of manmade destructive climate change, global warming, what have you. The evidence that we have suggests that the whole thing has been a hoax and a fraud. And yet, the left marches on, not educating but indoctrinating. And so now schools will be indoctrinating children to be good environmental citizens, which means wards of the state. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 5/17/11]
Limbaugh: God Would Not Create Humans “In Such A Way That We Would Destroy … Our Own Planet And Environment.” From the February 2 edition of Limbaugh’s radio show:
LIMBAUGH: When you have a bunch of bureaucrats with the power guiding them that says greenhouse gases constitute a danger to the public health and welfare, there’s no limits on them. I mean, when you’re fighting danger, when you’re fighting elements harmful to the public health and welfare, you can define anything you want however you need in order to exercise unchecked federal power. Martial law based on a hoax is one way of putting it. Now a greenhouse gas – one of them is what you exhale. Carbon dioxide, greenhouse gas, you exhale it and somehow we’ve gotten to the point where that is destroying the planet.
I happen to believe in God. I believe in a loving, brilliant – I know that this – there is no way, I don’t want to sound simpleton here, but there is not – it is not possible that we would be created by a creator in such a way that we would destroy by virtue of our created existence our own planet and environment. It just doesn’t compute and yet that’s what these people are trying to tell us. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 2/2/11]
Joceyln Fong and Shauna Theel are researchers at Media Matters for America.
This is an abridged version of the entire piece, published at Media Matters. For more head-exploding quotes from the year’s most vicious climate denier, go on over to the Media Matters for America website.