Rushing To Conclusions - The Years Project

Rushing To Conclusions

By Isabella Colello

Photo: Gage Skidmore

Yet more reasons why awarding Rush Limbaugh the Medal of Freedom made no sense.

When President Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh last week, many people were “confused.” Past recipients have included Mother Teresa, Jackie Robinson, Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking. You may have asked yourself how Rush fits into this esteemed group.  So did we. So we decided to dive into some of his work on climate change for a clue. Here are some of his most popular claims: 

  • In his best-selling book The Way Things Ought to Be, published in 1992, Limbaugh discusses the ozone layer. His main point is that volcanoes cause more damage than humans and that people who are concerned over this issue are “environmental whackos” and “dunderheaded alarmists” 

The Truth: According to the NOAA human activities emit 60 or more times the amount of carbon dioxide released by volcanoes each year.

The Truth: The scientific data proving human-induced global warming is clear. 

  • During a FoxNews interview in 2019, Limbaugh refers to climate change as “the weather,” calling the Green New Deal a “trick,” and states that “[young people] need to be called out” because they are “ruining people’s lives [and] ruining their futures all in the pursuit of power for themselves.” 

The Truth: Young activists are protesting against Climate Change, and voting for a Green New Deal because they are concerned for their own futures. 

  • In his iHeart Radio article titled “Only the Brain Dead Buy This Climate Change Hoax,he calls climate activists “brain-dead RINOS.” He also implied members who worked on the 2015 Paris Accord has intentions of corrupting The Whitehouse, titling them “Obamaites.”

The Truth: The Paris Agreement is a global response to climate change with the goal to keep the global temperature rise under 2 degrees celsius. 

  • During an interview with Charlie Rose, he stated that the militant environmental movement including the Sierra Club, “is the home of the new socialists in America,” stating that their focus is on “the punishment of America”. 

The Truth: Environmental Organizations, more specifically non-profits, are all fighting for different causes related to climate change or the climate crisis. Their goals are transparent through their mission statements and environmental advocacy. 

Never mind his endless statements during his nationally and internationally aired talk show including: 

  • “Even if the global warming that is predicted by these baseless computer models, even if it were to happen exactly as the models say, it’s not the end of anything […] it does not destroy the world. It does not destroy anything. It’s one of the biggest scams that has ever been perpetrated on the people of the world.” 

The Truth: Well, we’re not sure what Rush means by a scam, but again, here are the facts…

The Truth: Unfortunately, it is our fault. The hole in the ozone was primarily caused by man made chemicals and products that have been released into the atmosphere for decades. 

  • Climate Change on Mars? “There’s climate change every freaking place in the universe, for crying out loud. There’s climate change on Jupiter. The climate’s changing everywhere. Everything everywhere is always changing. Nothing is static.”

The Truth: There may be a climate on every planet, but climate change is a term used specifically for the global rise and temperature, and change in weather on Earth. It is almost always connected to human activity. 

  • On: The melting Arctic leading to polar bear cannibalism: “None of this is true […] if you know anything about polar bears, you know that there are any number of reasons why polar bears attack each other.” And, “by the way, a dead polar bear is a good thing, right? I mean no methane. No expelling gas. Right?”

The Truth: Sadly, polar bear’s are decreasing because of melting arctic ice. As the ice cover decreases they are finding it harder to find food, which is why they have begun to attack each other. 

It’s difficult not to wonder what Stephen Hawking would think.