As Hurricane Irma plowed toward Florida, Rush Limbaugh derided weather warnings. Those warnings were part of a media conspiracy to hype climate change and sell bottled water. Forecasters fed alarmism to line their pockets and dupe the gullible into thinking climate change is real. The full transcript is a post-modern masterpiece.
Then the broadcast ended. The studio lights went out. And Limbaugh fled the storm to protect his fat, worthless ass.
There’s more to this story than the cynicism of a radio windbag. In a post over the weekend at Forbes, I wrote about a phenomenon that’s arriving early – climate deniers getting their carpet wet. What happens to the climate denial industry when climate change moves from threat to reality? People who’ve made a living pretending climate change isn’t real have been operating under one critical assumption – the physical, life-threatening outcomes of global warming won’t arrive for many decades. They were wrong. In fact, even most climate researchers have been surprised by the accelerating pace of climate change.
So, what do they do now? They double-down on their claims, of course, because talk is free. But they also leave for higher ground. It’s a very strange contortion. As the dissonance between talk and actions grows deeper, we’re likely to see some interesting performances.