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Rush Limbaugh is profoundly ignorant

Rush LimbaughEvery now and then, I listen to Rush just to see what he’s up to. Usually, I find him ranting, sometimes incoherently, about the evils of the Democratic party or giving some sort of out-there, right-wing dissertation on how to interpret the latest actions of the liberal elite. It’s entertaining, in a “pandering to intellectual vapidity” kind of way, but I end up shaking my head in dismay within 5 or 10 minutes, after which I change the station, lest my eyes glaze over and I veer uncontrollably off the freeway.

At times, however, Rush just gets his facts wrong… or contradicts himself… or misses the point. Today, he did all of the above in grand style. Not only that, but he displayed a huge amount of sheer ignorance about the subject on which he was speaking. Sadly, I don’t have a transcript, because it’s not on his site yet, since it was less than an hour ago that I heard this part of his show. However, I got the main gist of it.

There’s an addition to what he was calling the “cap and trade” bill. I didn’t hear the beginning, so I’m not sure of the exact bill, but the addition was a list of items related to gaining energy independence. The government would offer an award to anyone who could invent technology to accomplish any of the tasks in the list during the next 10 or 20 years. The list included solar energy, better gas mileage, bio-fuels efficiency, and a number of other items that we don’t currently know how to do in any practical sense.

Rush lambasted the entire list, calling the items absurd or pointless or senseless… or some other combination of words that escapes me. He decried the list with exclamations such as “We don’t have the technology to even do that!” or “We’re nowhere near being able to do that!” or “If there was profit in it, we’d already have it now!” Evidently, in Rush’s little world, since it’s currently profitable to build Toyota Sequoias, we should have had them since the dawn of time. Or since nuclear energy is profitable, we should have had nuclear power plants way before the civil war.

But then he says the following about alternative energy as opposed to coal and oil (paraphrased until a transcript is available):

The coal already has the energy in it. All we have to do is dig it up. The oil already has energy in it. We just have to get it and refine it.

Magic coal and magic oil. The energy is already in it and magically appears in our homes just by digging it up! That’s all we have to do!

He then stated that our energy problems would be solved if we just drilled here at home… and that the world was nowhere near the point of running out of oil or natural gas… as if that would be a perfectly valid reason to never do any research into any alternative sources. Never mind pollution. Never mind cost. Don’t plan ahead. That would be bad… and silly.

Rush seems to have no concept of what research is or how it works. He misses the fundamental point that technology advances with research. It doesn’t just appear in a magic poof of spontaneous Republican ingenuity. The research takes work and it takes time and it takes money… and if it gets started now instead of next year, it puts us one year closer to a beneficial result. Rush seems to prefer doing nothing but burning coal and oil. Don’t bother with the research because “we don’t have that technology now.” Don’t bother rewarding those who can come up with more energy efficient solutions. Don’t bother improving technology so we don’t have to pollute the Earth. Don’t bother because we have plenty of oil and natural gas.

…and it seems Rush is producing most of the gas.

One Comment

  1. Tip Top says:

    Conservatives are the most unscientific of all, from creationism to global warming.

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