For the past 13 years, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh has used one part of one sentence to try to prove that man-made climate change does not exist.
“Yes, it is true that the science does not definitively tell us that global warming increases the frequency of hurricanes,” former vice president Al Gore said to the Sierra Club on Sept. 9, 2005, weeks after one of the strongest hurricanes in U.S. history made landfall. “But it is also true that the science is extremely clear now, that warmer oceans make the average hurricane stronger.”
Limbaugh has since repeatedly referred to part of Gore’s remarks when noting that a major hurricane did not hit the United States for over a decade after 2005, to dismiss the science behind climate change as a political “agenda,” which you can watch in the video above.
“Al Gore and his acolytes ... they’re the ones that started warning everybody that Katrina was just the first of many. We were going to have more and more hurricanes like Katrina and they’re going to be stronger and stronger because of climate change,” Limbaugh said on Sept. 6, 2017, while falsely asserting that weather and climate are the same thing. “And then 12 years went by, and there was not a single major hurricane.”
Now Limbaugh is using Hurricane Florence to argue that man-made climate change does not exist.
“Climate change is the politics of hurricanes,” Limbaugh said on Tuesday. ”The forecast and the destruction potential doom and gloom is all to heighten the belief in climate change.”
It is the latest example of conspiracy theories Limbaugh has advanced over the past quarter-century to argue that even hurricane tracking has been corrupted by leftists. (Limbaugh says they are not conspiracy theories.) Setting aside that NOAA, NASA and the Pentagon have acknowledged the existence of climate change under Republican and Democratic administrations, Limbaugh’s undermining of hurricane forecasts has potentially dangerous consequences for listeners of America’s most popular talk-radio broadcast, who may disregard the warnings altogether.
Since 2011, Limbaugh has pushed a number of baseless hurricane theories, including:
- President Barack Obama wanted Hurricane Irene to be a “disaster.”
- Hurricane Isaac was forecast to hit Tampa to delay the 2012 Republican National Convention.
- Hurricane Isaac was re-forecast to hit New Orleans to boost Obama’s approval ratings on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
- The media want hurricanes to hit the United States to prove global warming exists.
- The National Hurricane Center is “playing games” with forecasts so it can blame hurricanes on climate change.
- More than a decade without major hurricanes hitting the United States “bores a hole right through the whole climate change argument.”
- The media and retailers exaggerate the threat of hurricanes for money.
- Sharks have been swept up by Hurricane Florence.
Days before Hurricane Irma made landfall last year, Limbaugh again warned his listeners about the forecasts.
“The reason that I am leery of forecasts this far out, folks, is because I see how the system works,” Limbaugh said. “One thing that’s undeniable throughout our culture is that everything has been politicized. And in that sense much of our public information system, including from the government, from the drive-by media, has been corrupted.”
Three days later, Limbaugh evacuated his Florida home as Irma hit.