Planet Gore

Defending Rush Limbaugh’s Commentary on the Polar Vortex

I didn’t know there was any sort of Rush Limbaugh controversy about the “polar vortex,” until I saw this headline on the HuffPo:

Al Roker Owns Rush Limbaugh On The Polar Vortex​

It seems Rush is being accused of saying a “polar vortex” doesn’t exist. And to prove that Rush doesn’t know what he’s talking about, Al Roker showed viewers of the Today show a definition of a “polar vortex” from one of his old weatherman textbooks. See? It’s not made-up. It’s been in textbooks for years! Rush is owned!

Except, Rush never denied the existence of the “polar vortex.” What Rush did question, however, was linking the “polar vortex” to global warming.

Rush quoted this Business Insider definition of “polar vortex” for his listeners and it’s pretty close to the definition from Roker’s textbook.

First, here’s the transcript of what Rush actually said on January 6:

Yet if you listen to the news media, it’s still in full swing, and it explains this cold snap. I have here in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers a website. It’s Business Insider, of all things, that explains the polar vortex.

Now, I want to read this to you. “As tundra-like temperatures and wind chills as cold as 70 below zero fan out across the country, everyone is blaming the ‘polar vortex.’ Polar vortexes, though, are nothing new. They occur seasonally at the North Pole, and their formation resembles that of hurricanes in more tropical regions: fast-moving winds build up around a calm center.

“Unlike a hurricane, these are frigid polar winds, circling the Arctic at more than 100 miles per hour. The spinning winds typically trap this cold air in the Arctic. But the problem comes when the polar vortex weakens or splits apart, essentially flinging these cold wind patterns out of the Arctic and into our backyards. 

Now, here’s the Roker tweet with his definition:

And here’s a second tweet accusing Rush of saying something that he did not:

Bonus: Al Roker actually agrees with Rush that the “polar vortex” is not tied to climate change or global warming. And he made this point on both the  Today show. . .

​”We’ve never used the phrase ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’ in conjunction with this.”

. . .and on Twitter:

Now, over to you Al for the weather.