Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh would like you to know that, despite the fact he that he is not a meteorologist, he is right about Hurricane Irma and how it is not going to hit South Florida and the meteorologists and lamestream media are wrong. Not only are they wrong, but Limbaugh is pretty sure they’re hyping up the storm to prove that climate change is, in fact, real.
“I am not the National Hurricane Center. I am not a climatologist or meteorologist,” Limbaugh said on his show Tuesday. “All I do is analyze the data that they publish. Just as I am the go-to tech guy in my family and here on the staff, when it comes to a hurricane bearing down on South Florida, I’m the go-to guy.”
The thing is, Limbaugh said, in official meteorology circles, “you have an abundance of people who believe that man-made climate change is real.” According to the Limbaugh, even though real meteorologists are wrong about climate change, they’ll do anything they can to make people believe they’re right.
And the liberal media, according to Limbaugh, is right there with the “official” meteorologists.
“So there is a desire to advance this climate change agenda, and hurricanes are one of the fastest and best ways to do it. You can accomplish a lot just by creating fear and panic. You don’t need a hurricane to hit anywhere,” Limbaugh said. “All you need is to create the fear and panic accompanied by talk that climate change is causing hurricanes to become more frequent and bigger and more dangerous, and you create the panic, and it’s mission accomplished, agenda advanced.”
Limbaugh’s logic here is that “unlike UFOs, which only land in trailer parks, hurricanes are always forecast to hit major population centers.”
He’s not saying the hurricane itself isn’t real, Limbaugh clarifies, but just that he’s looked at the paths and Irma is not going to hit South Florida. Rather, it’s going to turn and go out into the Atlantic.
“If it ends up not hitting where you are, hits somewhere else, you might temporarily breathe a sigh of relief, but you’re still gonna think, ‘Man, there might be something to this climate change,’” Limbaugh said. “Do not doubt me, with everything being politicized, of course it is an objective of some, not everybody, of course, but some of the people involved here.”
Limbaugh unsurprisingly took a lot of flack Tuesday for his hurricane conspiracy theory, but, fear not, conservative blogger Erick Erickson came to Limbaugh’s defense Wednesday morning.
“Rush is right. The media has so invested for so long in the global warming scenario that promised more frequent and bigger hurricanes without ever delivering them, they are right now positively orgasmic that a big storm is coming,” Erickson wrote. “It is their ‘I told you so’ moment after two decades of telling us so to no avail.”
Erickson also claimed he has a friend who is a tropical cyclone expert who told him “a number of the maps used to show unseasonably warm weather in the water have had all the areas of average or slightly above average temperatures downplayed to make the scenario look even worse than it is.”
This would all be one thing if it were just some conspiracy theorists doing their thing online, but Limbaugh’s hurricane denialism comes hardly a week after Vice President Mike Pence joined Limbaugh as a guest to talk about Hurricane Harvey.
Pence’s interview was mostly uneventful, without any mention of climate change or fake hurricanes, but the interview is another instance in a consistent pattern the Trump administration has of amplifying conspiracy theorists.
Limbaugh ended his screed Tuesday by noting that another storm has already formed behind Irma.
“Yes, I know, there’s another storm out there,” Limbaugh said. “I know the drill. Jose. That would follow because J comes after I. So Harvey, Irma, Jose. Hurricane Jose. Yeah, wait ’til La Raza hears about that. Of course, depending on where it hits, they might support it.”
Limbaugh went to break after that comment, and by the time the show came back, news had broken that Miami-Dade County officials were considering evacuating people as early as Wednesday.
On Wednesday morning, Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) officially called for evacuations.