Climate

Limbaugh: The Killer 116° Heat Index Is ‘Manufactured By The Government’

Spinning a conspiracy theory that puts his listeners’ lives at risk, hate radio merchant Rush Limbaugh argued that government warnings of life-threatening heat are “playing games”:

They’re playing games with us on this heat wave, again. Even Drudge. Drudge getting sucked in here. Going to be 116 in Washington. No, it’s not. It’s gonna be like 100, maybe 99. A heat index, manufactured by the government to tell you what it feels like when you add the humidity in there.

Listen here:

“We have this every year,” Rush claimed, after arguing that former vice president Al Gore could cancel the heat wave by scheduling a “global warming conference.”

Limbaugh is dangerously wrong.

This record-shattering heat wave is part of a year of extremes, with a winter and spring of record precipitation in the northern half of the country, and record drought and heat in the southern half. The record warmth baked the Great Plains, and is now expanding over the flood-soaked ground of the Midwest and Northeast, drenched by record precipitation over the winter and spring. That added moisture is creating the uniquely dangerous heat wave hitting the East Coast.

The record precipitation feeding the steam heat now is part of a long-term trend of increasing precipitation caused by greenhouse pollution. The record snows were mocked by climate deniers like Limbaugh and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), whose family built an “igloo for Al Gore” on the National Mall.

The combination of heat and humidity in the heat index is no government conspiracy — researchers have found that sickness and mortality go up sharply when the heat index gets above 95.

This is no ordinary summer — in July alone, record high temperatures have been recorded 1,279 times. This is no ordinary year. This is no ordinary decade. The climate is changing, because of the pollution of hundreds of billions of tons of greenhouse gases from burning coal and oil. This is a more deadly planet now, and will be for the rest of our lives. Rush’s ravings are mortally irresponsible.

UPDATE

Joe Romm notes that Fox News meteorologists are spreading the heat-index “conspiracy.”

Share Update

Transcript:

They’re playing games with us on this heat wave, again. Even Drudge. Drudge getting sucked in here. Going to be 116 in Washington. No, it’s not. It’s gonna be like 100, maybe 99. A heat index, manufactured by the government to tell you what it feels like when you add the humidity in there.

116. When’s the last time the heat index was reported as an actual temperature? It hasn’t been, but it looks like they’re trying to get away with doing that now. 116. Drudge is just linking to other people reporting. He’s not saying it, I don’t want to misunderstand, but he’s linking to stories which say 116 degrees in Washington. No!

It’s going to top out as 102, 103. It does this every year. We have this every year. There’s a heat dome over half the country, midwest is moving east. And it happens every summer. Every summer.

If we want to cool things off, please, Al Gore, schedule a global warming conference, wherever, in Washington! Go there. You want that 103, 116 to get normal? It will, within an hour of Gore announcing that he’s going! Another ten degrees off when he shows up. Plus hail, and rain, and maybe some high winds to really cool people off! That’s all that has to happen.

Comments are closed.