Limbaugh on global warming: “malarkey”

On the September 9 broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show, radio host Rush Limbaugh claimed that global warming is “malarkey” and that "[t]he idea that we [human beings] have any power over nature is absolute absurdity." Yet, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Academy of Sciences has determined that “the Earth's surface temperature has risen by about 1 degree Fahrenheit in the past century” and that “most of the warming over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.”

The EPA has also noted the impact of continued global warming: “Rising global temperatures are expected to raise sea level, and change precipitation and other local climate conditions. Changing regional climate could alter forests, crop yields, and water supplies. It could also affect human health, animals, and many types of ecosystems. Deserts may expand into existing rangelands, and features of some of our National Parks may be permanently altered.”

To learn more about global warming, Limbaugh need only refer to a recent report issued by the administration of President George W. Bush, who called Limbaugh "a good friend" when he was a guest on the August 31 broadcast of Limbaugh's show. According to an August 26 Washington Post article, the report, issued to Congress on August 25, suggested that: (1) global warming has begun to clearly impact plants and animals; and (2) human activity has contributed to higher temperatures in North America. The Post noted that the report “goes further than previous statements by President Bush” himself, who has said “more scientific research is needed before he imposes new restrictions on greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.”

But the Bush administration's report has “no implications for policy,” according to Bush science adviser Dr. John H. Marburger III. Marburger is director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President.

In 2001, Bush rejected the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement aimed at reducing or limiting net emissions of certain greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming; it was one of his first acts as president. As Media Matters for America has recorded, Limbaugh has mischaracterized the Kyoto Protocol, falsely claiming it “targets us [the United States].”