Limbaugh still advancing false claims about NY Times reporter Revkin's “thought experiment”

Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that New York Times environmental writer Andrew Revkin was “thinking seriously about capping families at one child to reduce carbon emissions.” Limbaugh has previously advanced a similar falsehood while suggesting that Revkin “just go kill” himself; in fact, Revkin made it clear that he was engaging in a “thought experiment, not a proposal” which did not involve “capping families.”

Limbaugh falsely claimed Revkin was “thinking seriously” about proposal to cap families “at one child to reduce carbon emissions”

From the October 29 broadcast of his radio show:

LIMBAUGH: You know, I just realized I forgot to mention today Andrew Revkin, the New York Times reporter who's thinking seriously about capping families at one child to reduce carbon emissions, and I urged him, “Show us how it's done, you know. Go die.” Yeah, he was profoundly offended by this. I was going to address it today, I forgot, I got it right here. So I put it on top of tomorrow's stack. I'll get to that.

Revkin made clear he was simply engaging in a “thought experiment, not a proposal.” In his September 15 Times blog post, Revkin specifically stated that he was conducting a “thought experiment”: “I recently raised the question of whether this means we'll soon see a market in baby-avoidance carbon credits similar to efforts to sell CO2 credits for avoiding deforestation. This is purely a thought experiment, not a proposal.” Similarly, in an October 14 panel discussion, Revkin stated of such carbon credits: “And obviously it's just a thought experiment, but it raises some interesting questions about all this.”

Revkin's “thought experiment” never envisioned “capping families.” As he wrote in an October 20 Times blog post, Revkin's “thought experiment” was about “carbon credits for avoided kids” - not “capping families at one child,” as Limbaugh suggested.

Revkin to CNS: “I wasn't endorsing any of this.” On October 19, the conservative website reported that in a statement, Revkin denied “endorsing” such credits:

“I wasn't endorsing any of this, simply laying out the math and noting the reality that if one were serious about the population-climate intersection, it'd be hard to avoid asking hard questions about USA population growth,” wrote Revkin.

“By raising the notion of carbon credits for, say, single-child American families,” he continued, “I was aiming to provoke some thinking about where the brunt of emissions are still coming from on a per-capita basis.”

Limbaugh previously used IBD editorial's falsehoods to attack Revkin

Previously, Limbaugh parroted IBD editorial, asked why Revkin doesn't “just go kill” himself. On the October 20 broadcast of his show, Limbaugh read an October 19 Investor's Business Daily editorial, which, as Media Matters for America has documented, falsely asserted that Revkin “proposed” instituting carbon credits for having fewer children. After reading the editorial, Limbaugh stated: “This guy from The New York Times, if he really thinks that humanity is destroying the planet, humanity is destroying the climate, that human beings in their natural existence are going to cause the extinction of life on Earth -- Andrew Revkin. Mr. Revkin, why don't you just go kill yourself and help the planet by dying?”

Revkin responded to Limbaugh: “This might be funny, in a sad way.” In response to Limbaugh's attack, Revkin wrote on in an October 20 Times blog post: “I'd like to think that Rush Limbaugh was floating a thought experiment, and not seriously proposing something, when he told millions of listeners the following: 'Mr. Revkin, why don't you just go kill yourself, and help the planet by dying.'” Revkin continued, quoting Limbaugh's comments and saying: “This might be funny, in a sad way, if it weren't for the fact that my mailbox is already heaped with hate mail.”