By David Roberts
On Tuesday afternoon, as Southern Floridians nervously watched Hurricane Irma become a Category 5 monster, they received an odd message from popular right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh: The hurricane forecasts are not to be trusted.
In “official meteorological circles,” he said, “they believe that Al Gore is correct” about climate change. They “desire to advance this climate change agenda,” he warned, “and hurricanes are one of the fastest and best ways to do it.” So these meteorologists, he argued, create needless fear and panic.
What’s more, local TV stations are hyping the hurricane to drum up bottled-water sales for local businesses. (Seriously.) For Limbaugh, the hurricane conspiracy goes deep.
If you can put aside how irresponsible it is to send that kind of message to a group of people in real and serious danger (uh, extremely irresponsible), it’s almost funny. This is what conservative climate denial has come to. Even with one climate-amplified hurricane barely in the rearview mirror, another barreling down, and much of the Western half of the country on fire, the only reaction someone like Limbaugh can imagine is to double down. He would rather deny an oncoming hurricane than accept climate change.
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