As millions of East Coast residents fled their homes this week, Rush Limbaugh went on the air to declare hurricanes a liberal plot designed to perpetuate the myth of global warming.
On The Rush Limbaugh Show, the conservative talk show host suggested the National Hurricane Center was “playing games” with hurricane forecasting so the liberal left can blame the storm on climate change.
“It’s in the interest of the left to have destructive hurricanes because then they can blame it on climate change, which they can desperately continue trying to sell.”
Limbaugh, a noted conservative talk show host, admitted Hurricane Matthew, currently a Category 4 storm with sustained 140 mph winds barreling toward Florida, was a real threat, but argued it was the first one in a decade.
Rush said the National Hurricane Center, as part of the National Weather Service, was part of an Obama conspiracy designed to perpetuate the global warming myth stared by Al Gore after Hurricane Katrina.
The conservative talk show host said that until Matthew, the U.S. had been in a hurricane drought, according to statements posted on Media Matters.
“We had 11 years of no hurricanes, 11 straight years of no major hurricanes.”
Referring to the last decade as a hurricane drought is misleading though, according to Weather Channel senior meteorologist Jonathan Erdman, who listed 10 major storms that have damaged the U.S. mainland.
“The fact is, you don’t need a Category 3+ hurricane to produce major impacts, including storm surge flooding, rainfall flooding and damaging winds, among others.”
During the “hurricane drought” the U.S. witnessed Tropical Storm Bill in 2015, which caused flash flooding in Texas and Oklahoma; Hurricane Arthur in 2014, which hammered North Carolina with 101 mph winds and a 4.5 storm surge.
Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast in 2012 causing some $71.4 billion in damage, while Hurricane Isaac pummeled the Gulf Coast with storm surges 17 feet high later that year.
Tropical Storm Debby never made landfall, but still caused massive flooding in Florida and Georgia in 2012. Tropical Storm Lee brought 10 inches of rain to the Gulf Coast in 2011, while Hurricane Irene caused $15.8 billion in damages to New Jersey and New England.
Also on the list were Hurricane Alex in 2010, Hurricane Ike and Hurricane Gustav in 2008. Rush Limbaugh, however, maintained that media reports of damaging storms were merely a ploy by Obama and the left to perpetuate the global warming myth, reports Alternet.
“Eleven straight years of no major hurricanes striking land in the United States, which just bores a hole right through the whole climate change argument.”
Rush Limbaugh isn’t the only conservative who has been caught politicizing hurricanes. After Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast in 2012, Donald Trump took to Twitter to accuse President Barack Obama of using disaster relief funds to buy the election, according to Talking Points Memo.
“Hurricane is good luck for Obama again – he will buy the election by handing out billions of dollars.”
Political convictions aside, Hurricane Matthew is currently bearing down on Florida and is expected to make landfall in the sunshine state by midnight Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
“Extremely dangerous, life-threatening weather conditions are forecast in the next 24 hours. Airborne debris lofted by extreme winds will be capable of breaching structures, unprotected windows and vehicles.”
Governor Rick Scott has urged 1.5 million Florida residents to evacuate and Obama has declared a preemptive state of emergency allowing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate relief efforts.
Scott has also activated 3,500 National Guard Troops to help with search-and-rescue efforts and warned residents the Category 4 storm could be deadly to those who choose to stay behind.
[Featured Image by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images]