20 October 2009

Limbaugh Attacks Andy Revkin

UPDATE: Revkin discusses Limbaugh's comments here.

Showing that stupid political commentary obeys no ideological bounds, Rush Limbaugh today has this completely inane commentary on Andy Revkin of the New York Times:
I think these militant environmentalists, these wackos, have so much in common with the jihad guys. Let me explain this. What do the jihad guys do? The jihad guys go to families under their control and they convince these families to strap explosives on who? Not them. On their kids. Grab your 3-year-old, grab your 4-year-old, grab your 6-year-old, and we're gonna strap explosives on there, and then we're going to send you on a bus, or we're going to send you to a shopping center, and we're gonna tell you when to pull the trigger, and you're gonna blow up, and you're gonna blow up everybody around you, and you're gonna head up to wherever you're going, 73 virgins are gonna be there. The little 3- or 4-year-old doesn't have the presence of mind, so what about you? If it's so great up there, why don't you go? Why don't you strap explosives on you -- and their parents don't have the guts to tell the jihad guys, "You do it! Why do you want my kid to go blow himself up?" The jihad guys will just shoot 'em, 'cause the jihad guys have to maintain control.

The environmentalist wackos are the same way. 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?


  1. Vintage Limbaugh! At least he is a self proclaimed conservative political commentator and provocateur. We know what to expect. Your recent posts reveal professionals behaving like Limbaugh which is not expected.

  2. Wow. At least the big fishes haven't suggested (yet) that you go kill yourself.

  3. Roger, maybe you can help me out understanding the something that is patent in Mr. Limbaugh’s comment, although in a somehow hyperbole manner.
    That being: Why is so easily accepted, so easily tolerated, that someone can emphatically defend something (we live in a dangerous radiative imbalance, that is going to have huge consequences to the planet we all live in) and not make due to those words and radically change his own life? I’m sure Mr. revkin, apart from one or two gimmicks, probably, has a very carbon emission live. How is that not an issue?
    It’s like Mr. Michael Moore, being a millionaire, make movies against capitalism, making millions out of that system and still keep all the profit he got out of it! – How is that so normal, so easily tolerated?
    Me Limbaugh’s point is something that puzzles some of us, surely not you, but a lot of us. “– Hey there is a poor in there, so give me your wallet to give help him out with you money!”—How come they do not reach for their money?
    Why is romm , ready to bet so much lower than is believes.
    Why are climate catastrophe promoters not leading by example and start paying the price of a true decarbonization.

    But the point is… why is that hypocrisy so tolerated? That is surely mr Limbaugh point, right?

  4. Putting aside both the source and the target, I don't think it's an unreasonable question to ask of neo-Malthusians. Especially considering that neo-Malthusianism is not a lunatic fringe belief - the President's science advisor is a charter member.

    And just as reasonable is the questioning of resource-apocalyptics like Al Gore and Jared Diamond. If the topic were purely academic, there would be no justification in making the debate personal, but these - Holdren, Gore and Diamond - are people who are telling the rest of us that we are committing crimes against humanity - literally - when we drive to the beach or throw a soda can in the trash.

    Whether Andy Revkin reaches fair game levels or not isn't clear to me, so I'd give him the benefit of the doubt, but I'm far less sanguine about the role he plays in environmental debates than Roger is.

  5. Roger,

    1) If you think Rush is bad, try these clowns (many of whom pretend to be objective “journalists”).

    2) If you think YOU got smeared, check this out!

    You got smeared by the AMATUERS! Rush got it from the so-called “pros”!

    And, BOTH of your experiences give us a TINY little taste of what we may all be in for in the very near future.

  6. I notice your denunciation of Gavin Schmidt for calling out McIntyre re his insinuation that Briffa was cherry picking data was much more passionate and extended than your denunciation of Rush for suggesting that Revkin kill himself.

  7. -6-bigcitylib

    Nice catch. I am obviously evil. ;-)

  8. I think it's pretty obvious that this was, using Revkin's words "a thought experiment, and not seriously proposing something". It's heated rhetoric, and in a sense you can definitely see what he's trying to say. But there are some things that probably shouldn't be used to make profound statements-suicide is one.

    People have gotten away with much worse.

  9. Hold on. Yes Limbaugh's comment was inane and out of bounds. But did anyone read Rivkin's comment at the Oct 14 panel that prompted it:

    "...if you can measurably somehow divert fertility rate, say toward an accelerating decline in a place with a high fertility rate, shouldn't there be a carbon value to that?" He went on to say that "probably the single-most concrete and substantive thing an American, young American, could do to lower our carbon footprint is not turning off the lights or driving a Prius, it's having fewer kids, having fewer children."
    (also listed in Limbaugh's transcript)

    Unbelievable. With Al Gore jetting between mansions it is equally inane and out of bounds to guilt people into having fewer kids in the US. Now Rivkin later backed up with this was 'not a proposal, just a thought experiment'. Please. Limbaugh also free lances his bombast, but he's not let off the hook for it. No, this was classic Erlich and Rivkin earned a shot of bombast from Limbaugh for it.

  10. Since nobody else did, I'll point out that Western families already do limit their children to an average of around 2. This was done entirely by choice which should satisfy the intellectual hubris of both sides. Hence Revkin's thought experiment and Limbaugh's outrage are both laughably irrelevant. Yet another example of opinions based on simplistic theory and unchecked assumptions rather than facts. It is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that prosperity brings population control. Think about it for more than 5 seconds please everyone!

  11. A pox on both the Limbaugh and Revkin house.

    After all, Revkin is so worried about "unmet need" for contraceptives for people in "developing" countries, but not so worried about their "unmet need" to not live in grinding poverty.

    One is tempted to think his "solution" is to reduce their numbers but not increase their quality of life.

  12. This is an example of what I call 'idiotic' American culture wars. Wars perpetrated by expensive think tanks to divert the population from the trillions of dollars disappearing down the throats of the banks (or military industrial complex).

    I mention it because I had an angry email exchange with Lord Monckton, accusing him of playing the above game for $60-100 a head on a North American tour. Following a national TV appearance with Glenn Beck.

    He knows exactly what he is doing. Using his aristocratic heritage and throwing pieces of right wing meat to the dogs. He even calls them 'yanks' in a derogatory way at one point, then laughs it off.

    This was the result in the Guardian

    Monckton's circus of climate change denial arrives in cloud cuckoo land


    Limbaugh/ Revkin gets a mention in the same section.


  13. There are a number of prominent environmentalists who have stated that people need to die for the good of the planet. Some have defended the elimination of DDT spraying precisely because it has resulted in the deaths of millions from malaria. Some economic analysis claims that up to half the world's poverty is due to the ravages of malaria. For radical environmentalists, poverty is good because it keeps energy usage lower.

    Rush didn't make a direct statement that Revkin should kill himself. He had a conditional preface "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".

    My question -- does Revkin believe this? Because if he doesn't believe this, Rush didn't suggest he kill himself. And if he DOES believe that humanity is causing the extinction of life on the planet, Revkin is way out on the environmental lunatic fringe. The hypocrisy charge would come into play.

    The environmental lunatic fringe favors public policy that will inevitably result in the earlier death, sickness and greater poverty for billions of the world's poor. If they want to get rid of people, wouldn't the moral choice be for them to volunteer to go first?

  14. As much as I abhor comments like that and cringe at the way it directly feeds what I believe is misguided support for a yet-to-be substantiated hypothesis (dangerous humand-caused claimte change), Limbaugh is only a "shock jock".

    Others who behave in equally reprehensible fashion have no such excuse.

  15. Hyperbole! Heated rhetoric! Outlandish and unrealistic thought experiments! Righteous pronouncements on what others should do! Sounds like a faculty cocktail party.

  16. What's really rich is the fact that it is the liberals who've pushed the existence of a welfare state that encourages individuals to have more children they cannot properly afford. Public education, public transportation, public housing, public food assistance (food stamps), public healthcare (S-CHIP), etc -- all make it possible for people who can hardly support one child on their own to 3 or 4.

    And NOW Revkin wants something done to discourage people having kids? Fine, get rid of all these welfare programs.

  17. This thread is obviously not about science. Rush’s knowledge of the science of AGW is about equal to Henry Waxman’s. Both simply accept the authority that supports their respective agendas.

    Waxman is a legislator and is advancing his agenda with legislation. Rush is a demagogue and is advancing his agenda with demagoguery. Revkin advocated that millions of people go away to lower the CO2 in the air. Rush suggested that one person die to save the society that his listeners care about.

    In the game of demagoguery I would call this Rush 1, Revkin 0.
    In the game of debating the science of AGW I would call this a personal foul off of the field.

    If you want to play Rush’s game, on his field, then you have to deal with his rules. On second thought, maybe it’s better to stay on the field of science and policy.

  18. Ditto Eric144. Fish have trouble imagining flight. Americans have trouble imagining anybody else has a clue.

    BTW, Mr. Revkin, if you want less humans, teach poor women to read.

  19. Michael Smith -16

    Sorry but your point make no sense. Welfare state doesn't lead to having more children. If it was so, Canada would have one of the highest fertility rate in the world, since we have many incentive to have kids, like free school, free healthcare, social security, etc. (ex.: in Québec a full year scholarship at McGill university is between 2000-2500$, the same goes for all university here).

    In the US the religious right are the one that pushes for bigger family not the liberal.

  20. I think Bernie has already topped this one off above.

  21. Revkin's comments about fertility show that he doesn't realize that current prosperity was a direct result of increasing population. Without increasing population innovations would never have arisen. Large populations create the incentive to innovate. Evolutionary history shows that for mutations that are beneficial to a species that species must have a large enough of a population for that mutation to confer a higher survival rate by occuring in more than one mating pair, statistically a larger population will be more likely to have more mating pairs with that mutation. You could look at technological innovations as the human social equivalent of a genetic mutation. Without a large population that innovation would not diffuse far enough to confer a greater chance of survival and would likely be abandoned. High fertility rates 2.1 and a bit higher sustain a society. High birth rates and innovation create a virtuous cycle not a viscious one.

    I bet Revkin has never asked what is on the other side if world population peaks. If it does then there will never be any pressure to innovate to colonize space. Fertility rates below replacement is a disaster. Italy and Japan are quickly heading toward a rent seeking society with no incentive to innovate. Russia is already a rent seeker. China will be there in 30 years but they don't have much in the way of natural endowments. 4-2-1 baby. Four grandparents, 2 parents and one child. You can't have a standing army, you have a declining rate of consumption, household formations decline, investment declines, the society withers and dies.

    Limbaugh is right perhaps Revkin should consider dying to rid the world of a dystopian nut. (Just kidding Andy :))