Rush Limbaugh Takes Credit for Global Warming Inaction
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
At the Washington Post today, Dana Milbank reviews Rush Limbaugh's Monday program. The peg is Wanda Sykes' comments at this weekend's White House Correspondents Dinner.
Perhaps of greater interest, later in the column, Milbank reports on this line delivered by Rush during his Monday program:
Among callers to his show yesterday, the opinions of Limbaugh were more on the side of extravagant admiration: "There are no words to adequately describe our appreciation for your program and your individual accomplishments as a patriot."
The host had a similar sentiment: "I normally don't pat myself on the back, but today global warming is an issue that has the concern of 30 percent of the American people, and years ago it was over 50 percent," he said.
"That's because somebody spoke up day in and day out and said, 'This is a hoax, this is BS.' That somebody was me."
For more background, I wrote about the framing strategy of conservative pundits and talk radio hosts such as Limbaugh and Glen Beck in a recent article at the journal Environment. And as I conclude, Limbaugh is correct, he can indeed take credit for undermining societal response to climate change though he has had unintentional help from some environmental advocates and Democratic political leaders.