David Limbaugh on Global Warming

07 September 2007

Rush Limbaugh's little brother David recently posted a column titled "Keep a Sharp Eye on Warming Zealots." It mostly follows the same formula that you'd expect to see.

Step 1: Portray global warming as a religion.

Whether or not blind faith in man-made, catastrophic global warming has become a new religion, many of its adherents, ironically, embrace it with the same type of unquestioning zeal they sloppily attribute to and summarily condemn in Christians.
warming dogma
[Despite the fact that the vast majority of scientific organizations and peer-reviewed literature support it.]

Step 2: Ad hominem. Normally, Step 2 involves turning the issue into one about Al Gore and then spending considerable time talking about how he's an "alarmist" or a liar or something. Limbaugh takes a different angle (though still very much an ad hominem argument), and turns it into an issue about Nancy Pelosi, then spends most of his article attacking her personally:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, after leading a congressional delegation to Greenland, declared that she and her fellow travelers saw "firsthand evidence that climate change is a reality, there is just no denying it." ... Well, that settles it then. Speaker Pelosi sees Greenland's ice expansion, and the world is coming to an end. The debate is even more over; we now have a consensus about the already-declared consensus!
Pelosi, in keeping with her M.O. of lauding our foreign critics and enemies
She made the trip -- consistent with her self-appointed role as shadow commander in chief and foreign policy czar
In the Jimmy Carter spirit of bashing the president and the United States on foreign soil in front of foreign leaders who are emboldened by American self-flagellation, Pelosi subtly criticized President Bush
Once again, she sided with a foreign government over her own.
Pelosi said
Pelosi condemns President Bush
double agent Nancy Pelosi
Again, the facts are not Speaker Pelosi's friends
[Ad hominem arguments add nothing to the debate, and only serve to distract the reader.]

Step 3: Without naming even a single one, claim that there are plenty of scientists on your side.
The debate is even more over; we now have a consensus about the already-declared consensus! Never mind substantial contrary evidence and opinion.
[If there's such substantial evidence and opinion, then maybe these guys should start publishing their evidence and opinions in peer-reviewed journals. As it stands, they're really not.]

Step 4: Call your opponents alarmists, while simultaneously arguing that anyone who wants a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is arguing for some economy-destroying position:
Pelosi said, "We hope that we can all assume our responsibilities with great respect and that our administration will be open to listening to why it is important to go forward perhaps in a different way than we have proceeded in the past." In other words, the president should get off his selfish, imperialistic, unilateralist duff and join European nations in their quest to bankrupt themselves in furtherance of a highly dubious (and debatable -- yes, debatable) cause.
draconian treaties like Kyoto
Those who are willing to give up so much in pursuit of so little can't possibly be accused of an affinity for the glorious uniqueness of America.

The basic formula seems to be the same every time: (1) try to bring the mainstream scientific idea down to your level by calling it some kind of blind religion, (2) use some sort of ad hominem attack, (3) make vague references to the millions of scientists on your side, without acknowledging that there are actually very few, (4) mask the lack of peer-reviewed articles on your side by claiming some sort of organized persecution, and (5) conflate "doing something" with "destroying America."

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