Rush Limbaugh asked his millions of radio listeners to set aside any suggestion that climate change was the culprit for the horrific state of wildfires that broke California and the Pacific Northwest.
“Man-made global warming is not a scientific certainty; This cannot be proved, nor has it ever happened, ”Mr. Limbaugh declared in his Friday show, ignoring mountains of empirical evidence to the contrary. He then pointed to a popular right-wing talking point: policies to curb climate change mean, in fact, an attack on freedom.
The conservative host said on the show, “environmentalist wackos” – Mr Limbaugh’s phrase – “Humans want to be responsible for this because they want to control your behavior”. He said he wants to “convince you that your lifestyle choice is the reason all these fires are firing on the left bank.”
Hours later, that message was leaped to prime time on Fox News, where host Tucker Carlson said only those blaming climate change for the fire were “doing a partisan talk.”
“In the hands of Democratic politicians, climate change is like systemic racism in the sky,” Mr. Carlson told the audience. “You can’t see it, but rest assured, it’s everywhere, and it’s deadly. And like systemic racism, it’s your fault.”
Mr. Limbaugh and Mr. Carlson is two of the most prominent commentators in the right-wing media arena, where a rich history of climate denial merges into the Trump-era cultural war, with deep suspicion that climate change is the cause of devastating fires on the West Coast.
Like President Trump, conservative media stars reject climate change – which scientists say is the primary cause of the conflict – and point to poor management of forestland by local (and, easily, Democratic) officials. Fringe right-wing websites such as The Gateway Pandit have blamed leftist arsonists, fueling false rumors that authorities are blocking rescue efforts.
While visiting California on Monday to become the first witness of the devastation, Mr. Trump employed Western states for failing to properly manage forests. During a meeting with California officials who pushed him to accept the role of climate change in wildfires, the president said: “It will start to cool down. You just keep watching. “
“I want the science to agree with you,” Wade Crofoot, California’s secretary for natural resources, answered.
“Well, I don’t think science really knows,” Mr. Trump retaliated.
The president’s remarks were likely to resonate with fans of conservative media personalities who regularly defend their agendas.
“It has nothing to do with climate change, it has nothing to do with man-made climate change, and it sure as hell would help if these timber areas were free to manage these forests properly , But they are not, “another popular right-wing radio host Mark Levine said on his nationally syndicated show on Friday.
Like Mr. Carlson, Mr. Levine drew a link between recent demonstrations for climate advocacy and racial justice, stating that both causes – widely associated with liberals – offered a cloak for more sinister intentions.
“They want to talk about man-made climate change, because of that they want to control you,” Mr. Levine said. “It’s just like race stuff – ‘systematically racist’ – well, what do you want to do about it? Control you. You have to be defeated. You need to change your lifestyle, you need to do something is. “
Some right-wing authors have also seen the origins of a dark color in the outbreak of a deadly explosion.
After a conspiracy online with Gateway Pandit, a healthy website – its lead author, Jim Hoff, was welcomed into the White House by Mr. Trump – he said leftist anarchists were to blame, not the environment.
A Gateway pundit’s story said Monday that several arsonists have been arrested in Oregon, Washington and California, but Democrats have accused climate change of continuing wildfires. . The site claimed that mainstream news outlets are ignoring the story because “it goes against their global warming and anti-gun statements.”
A man in Oregon was charged last week with starting a devastating Alameda fire in a small town that was ordered to evacuate. But officials say rising temperatures are the main reason for this year’s outbreak.
For the political supporters of the president, the perception that is being created by the crooks is a seductive echo of an important message adopted by President Trump and Republicans for the presidency: Left-wing violence has been consumed in areas of the country.
And Mr. Trump continues to play environmental factors. When asked by “Fox and Friends” on Tuesday about his policy plans to fight climate change, the president replied: “You have forests all over the world. You don’t have a fire like California.”
People in California are debating how to reduce the risk of fatal blazes, with some officials arguing for more controlled burns. An August news release from California Governor Gavin Newsom’s office said the state’s forests were “highly vulnerable to catastrophic wildfires and need active, science-based management” because of the climate created It was very dangerous in the case of hotter and draeter. Change.
Mr. Newsom has called on the federal government to play a more active role in managing the state’s forests. About 58 percent of California forestland is controlled by the federal government; The state owns 3 percent.
For environmental advocacy groups, problematic media coverage of wildfires is not limited to platforms associated with the right.
The Environmental Defense Fund said in a shocking post that many mainstream news outlets have failed to make a direct connection between widespread destruction and the dangerous consequences of a changing climate.
The group wrote, “It is like talking about the increasing prevalence of Kovid, ignoring the spread for this reason.”