Rush Limbaugh appeals to his own humility and intellectual acuity to sever theists from belief in global warming


See, in my humble opinion, folks, if you believe in God, then intellectually you cannot believe in manmade global warming.

And if Rush is anything, he’s humble. So let us, in our blind hubris, listen carefully, constructively:

You must be either agnostic or atheistic to believe that man controls something that he can’t create. The vanity! These people — on the one hand, ‘We’re no different than a mouse or a rat.’ If you listen to the animal rights activists, we are the pollutants of this planet.

The head of Limbaugh’s extensively researched and finely honed argument turns on the paradoxical neck of the animal rights movement. No fool, he carefully conceals most of the precepts and principles of the cause. As such, it’s for our benefit, so as not to confuse us. He continues:

If it weren’t for humanity — the military environmentalist wackos — the Earth would be pristine and wonderful and beautiful, and nobody would see it. According to them we are not as entitled to life on this planet as other creatures because we destroy it. But how can we destroy it when we’re no different from the lowest life forms?

There are depths here, nuanced shifts in meaning, sudden leaps of universal clarity that only the vain and foolish dare to plumb or challenge.

Carefully baiting, setting his syllogism—the absurdities of human-mice and man-gods revealed—the conclusion hangs above our heads, awaiting the Alexandrian sword.  Now, to the annihilating swing:

And then on the other end, ‘We are so powerful. And we are so impotent — omnipotent that we can destroy — we can’t even stop a rain shower, but we can destroy the climate.’ And how? With barbecue pits and automobiles, particularly SUVs. It’s absurd.

This is simply a devastating argument. My mere mortal protest has fallen like a cell phone from my shirt pocket, as I stoop, say, to lift a toilet seat.

And so, as theist, I’m left with two options: To become agnostic or atheist, and seal—in Limbaugh’s immutable estimation—my fate with the mice and rats and wackos, while retaining a semblance of intellectual integrity, although this is far from sure. Or, to revaluate my theology, now made objectively errant, leave off my prideful notions of creation-stewardship and take my place at Sunday Worship—later to lather my SUV and gather at the grand barbecue pit of the faithful.


  1. Thank you for a wonderful and satirical critique of Limbaugh’s interesting logical or non-logic. If Rush understood what he spoke of, he would know that moral discernment is a substantial aspect of making choices based on what it right or wrong. I wonder what he would say about the many Christian, Buddhist, and Muslim clerics who have spoken up in defense of the environment?

  2. Thank you Ivan. In Rush’s world I suspect there is only one real faith, so Buddhist and Muslim environmentalists would be dismissed out of hand. His target audience are Christian conservatives/Patriotic American Christians, and he takes it upon himself to call them back to the “faith.” When I ran across the article I was dismayed by the legions (according to the ‘likes’) that see things as he does.

  3. I am skeptical about anthropomorphic global warming after reading that in “the past 17 years global temperatures have not increased — contrary to the projections of every climate model.”

    By 2100 we could clean up the Earth to its pristine pre-Industrial Revolution state in 1600; and reduce the human population by half. The result would be that other factors like volcanic eruptions and solar radiation would have a greater impact on the Earth’s temperature than humans.

  4. Ian, of course the post was not exactly on the science of global warming. Nevertheless, since you brought it up, there may be a debate on degree, all scientists admit the models are not absolute. But at this point, as a non-scientist, I would have to go with the majority of scientists who conclude that global warming is real, and we are part of the problem, so part of the solution.

    My reasons are hardly convincing, I take a kind of Farmer’s Almanac approach, I see the frequency and severity of storms, I see the lessening snows of winter, I hike the Edith Cavell glacier and see the ice rapidly receding, in my own time, and then read of global warming, and it makes sense to me.

    As for your referencing S. Fred Singer, one of the global warming dissenters, I think this is the same S. Fred Singer that worked with an organization challenging the claims by the US Environmental Protection Agency that second-hand tobacco smoke is bad for human health. And the same Dr. Singer that received grants and a monthly stipend from oil companies and who was listed on ExxonMobil’s website as a direct recipient of $10,000 for research. This may not make all his science bad, I don’t know, but it does call into question his credibility.

  5. Loved the satire Steve – does he ever actually try to reason through what he has said? Like after he has said it?

    To Ian – we can mess our world up, and we can clean it up. There are some great examples of this in recent history. But I’m grateful to the environmentalists, as annoying as they might sometimes be, who keep scolding me for my inattention to the effect of my actions. We need their voice and we need to keep calling them back to the science in the same way we need to be called back to it.

  6. Stephen,

    I had somehow missed this, but read it now with a smile and renewed amazement of your brilliance. It seems so appropriate to read today after a bizarre week on campus where faculty were chastised for bringing too many “liberal” speakers to campus. Alas, should we not talk about the impact of poverty on education, just sustainability, or calls to be responsible citizens by Winona LaDuke as she discussed the “entrepreneurial spirit of her community” (as described by a colleague)?

    And yes, we have been told to represent “all sides” on the issues of the science of climate change – in our classes and when we bring in speakers. As the IPCC report now tells us (, there is 95% confidence that we – humans – are contributing to this global phenomenon. There are few things in this life that we can be 95% confident about. No, we don’t “destroy” climate, but we certainly can disrupt it. The debate lies in what we do with this information, whether we hold dominion over or are stewards of the planet, where our priorities and values lie. I am not optimistic.

    We are all seeing the changes in weather patterns as you describe. No single event represents climate change, but the long term trends are as tough to argue with as Rush.

    Mr. Singer is indeed the same individual taking large kick-backs from Philip Morris, energy companies, etc. His credibility and his claims are called into question by many scientists, health officials (with respect to smoking), and others who look at the overwhelming volumes of data that are contrary to what Singer espouses. It is with vanity, I suppose, that many scientists describe their work as a search for truth. I guess for some it is instead a search for wealth or fame, although few scientists achieve either of those.

    In our search for truth as educators or responsible citizens, we must remember to look at credentials, biases, motives, etc. of those voices that are so prominent in our world.

    I think I need to join you at the grand barbeque pit, with a strong drink!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *