On his radio show this week, Rush Limbaugh was excited to find a 13-year-old caller who discovered “lots of evidence” that global warming is a hoax. 13-year-old Alex from Wilmington, Indiana said evidence he discovered at his local library made it “really easy” to disprove the science.
Limbaugh was so impressed — and genuinely shocked — that climate denier books exist at the library, he offered the kid an iPad. Here is an excerpt of the exchange:
RUSH: You mean…? Hold it just second. Alex, you’re at the health food store, and it’s cold out there. It’s March. You’re there in March, it’s cold, and two people in there are surprised that it’s cold because it’s global warming outside?
RUSH: And they still concluded, “Well, we’re still in global warming”?
RUSH: But they were shocked. This is hilarious. You know, Alex, there are none so blind as those who will not see, and that’s what you’re running up against. Where did you find this evidence? How hard was it for you to research?
CALLER: It wasn’t that hard to learn it. There is pretty much a lot of evidence that you can find. I personally just went to the local library and looked up books. That’s what I did.
RUSH: You went to the library?
RUSH: You didn’t use a computer?
CALLER: No, I didn’t. Well, yeah, my mom got me one article from the computer. Yeah.
RUSH: Wow. I’m surprised you find evidence of this at the library. That’s heartening. Why did you want to do this? What made you doubt the people who believe that there’s global warming?
CALLER: Well, over the radio we listen to different things. I’ve heard lots of evidence that man-made global warming is a hoax. And since I’m doing speeches, I thought it was a very interesting topic. I want to learn more about this. I guess I just always doubted that. There’s so much evidence that global warming is not man-made.
It is little surprise that Alex stumbled onto climate denier talking points, since nearly all climate denier books have ties to conservative think tanks. Internal documents obtained by ThinkProgress last year revealed that the right-wing, Koch-funded think tank Heartland Institute developed a curriculum teaching children that climate science is a controversial matter. On the other hand, a mere 24 peer-reviewed articles reject global warming, compared to a staggering 13,926 scientific articles that substantiate it.
If Limbaugh thinks a 13-year-old is where to find the truth about climate science, perhaps he can next invite a 12-year-old to discuss evolution.
Yet many top Republicans in the Senate and House subscribe to the same view. The climate zombie caucus has a wide net of Republicans, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), former ranking member of the Senate Environment Committee James Inhofe (R-OK), House Science Chair Lamar Smith (R-TX), and House Science subcommittee chair Chris Stewart (R-UT), and many others.