Limbaugh declares: ‘‘. . . there is no one who wants to fix [damage to the environment] more than I do.’’ What does he believe is the key to cleaning up and protecting our environment? ‘‘. . . unfettered free enterprise . . .’’ that’s what. He believes environmentalists are only out to ‘‘attack the American way of life [and] punish the American people for simply being themselves’’ and that citizens will demand a cleaner environment without any big government intervention.

As a prime example of citizens taking care of and protecting the environment themselves, Limbaugh mentioned the time in 1969 the Cuyahoga River——just downstream of Cleveland——became so polluted it actually caught fire, and ‘‘the people’’ rolled up their sleeves and cleaned it up themselves. Sure, as Limbaugh begrudgingly concedes, ‘‘some regulation was used [some?], but the major factor was good old American know-how.’’

What in the hell is this guy talking about?! Unfettered free enterprise is the key to a clean environment, and the American people will deal with this pollution themselves if and when it gets too extreme (like, say, large bodies of water catching on fire)?

Limbaugh says: ‘‘The more economic growth we have, the more a prosperous people will demand a clean environment.’’ But what if demanding a clean environment threatened their very prosperity? It is for this reason that corporations cannot be allowed to self-regulate their own pollutants. And yet this blazingly obvious conflict of interest goes unnoticed by Limbaugh, who feels a corporation’s success will prompt them to suddenly care about the environment. But if they were interested in the consequences of their actions they wouldn’t have polluted the environment to begin with! Success won’t cause them to feel a sense of responsibility; their ever-growing greed will weaken any lingering reserve of responsibility they may have left.

Limbaugh acts as if regulation were an unwarranted and malicious assault against free enterprise. But businesses still have the freedom to make and sell products for profit. It is because we have free enterprise, and because this breeds greed, that it’s necessary for our government to control the inevitable pollution.

But Limbaugh says, ‘‘. . . what [environmentalists] really want to do is attack our way of life. Their primary enemy: capitalism.’’ And that ‘‘environmentalists paint humans almost as an aberration; as the natural enemy of nature.’’ Using the most broad of condemnations, Limbaugh hastily dismisses environmentalism as another crackpot scheme of those foul anti-Americans——‘‘liberals’’——who mean to undermine capitalism.

Limbaugh can’t see the forest for the broccoli between his ears.

The very nature of capitalism, of free enterprise and free trade, is something which puts a person’s lust for money and for power at threat to override their better sense of responsibility. The law exists because human nature is not something that can be completely trusted. That’s because, as any thinking being can see, humanity is capable of horrific cruelty and cold indifference. So how can these greedy corporations be trusted to treat the environment right when humans can’t even be trusted to behave morally amongst themselves?

And think about it: are the laws meant to protect people against robbery, assault, rape or murder encroachments on their freedoms? No, they are the source of their freedom. There is no freedom in lawlessness——only anarchy in which humans are free to demonstrate just how sick and cruel their natures can be. Why then does Limbaugh suggest that regulation is an encroachment against free enterprise? With the freedom to produce practically whatever they want, how can Limbaugh insist that the private sector should be entrusted to dispense of their pollutants responsibly?

Government regulation isn’t a hindrance toward capitalism, it’s an intrinsic necessity of it.

Imagine our country is the house in which we live. Now if some of the inhabitants of this house begin throwing all sorts of crude garbage about, what should the head of the house do? Simply wait for them to clean it up when they felt like it, if ever? I believe keeping our house clean is a little more important than any inconvenience this may cause those who are forced to be responsible for their own waste products and pollutants.

·    ·    ·

Limbaugh asserts that nothing a scientist says which doesn’t sound rational to him probably isn’t true. He honestly believes that his ‘‘common sense’’ is a more accurate and truthful perspective, lens onto reality, than the scientist’s outlook on the world (not spiritual or mental, but the physical world). He dismisses scientific experts and mountains of scientific evidence by contending, among other things, that fossil-fuel emissions and chlorofluorocarbons do not pollute the air or contribute to the greenhouse effect; that there’s never been a man-made cause of depletion in the ozone layer; that big business pollution poses no threat to the environment; and that there’s no need for the dismantling of nuclear weapons. (I’m pretty much convinced that if he were unable to see the hidden image in one of those Magic Eye 3-D stereograms, he’d claim it didn’t exist and that those who said it did were a bunch of drug-induced liberals.)

According to Limbaugh, environmental ‘‘wackos’’ want everyone to retrograde to a time when the life expectancy was 54.9 years. Without question the advancements which have improved our life expectancy are good, such as medicine and sanitation. (Life expectancy also went up because of healthier diets——though I doubt Limbaugh would know that, what with him getting annoyed at any news regarding the cholesterol content of popcorn or the dangers of undercooked meat!) But what do pollutants, chemicals or emissions have to do with our life expectancy? These things are threats to the quality of our lives, not the source of them. Limbaugh seems to think anything which helps the economy is justifiable. This is his excuse for disregarding the environment: because the pillage of it reaps many financial rewards, and to a conservative like Limbaugh nothing is the bottom line more than the bottom line.


There is hardly a more clear and evident example of this tendency of Limbaugh’s to value the paper more than the tree it was derived from (especially when that paper is painted green and called money) than his attitude toward the limber industry. One of his ‘35 Undeniable Truths of Life’ is that: ‘‘The most beautiful thing about a tree is what you do with it after you cut it down.’’

No matter what your appreciation for their many industrial uses, trees are most definitely not a crop, as Limbaugh has said. For starters, a crop isn’t something one must pick at sparingly, thoughtful of its place in the big picture of things; for unlike crops, forests play an important part in our planet’s atmosphere, the cycle of oxygen to carbon dioxide/carbon dioxide to oxygen.

Trees also cannot be planted and cultivated in a single season like most things considered a crop (fruits, vegetables, herbs, tobacco). Trees don’t exactly grow that fast, in case you hadn’t noticed. And so to suggest that clear-cutting can do no harm because the timber industry is also planting new trees means very little in the end if the rate at which they are cutting down forests eventually exceeds the rate of growth for a new tree. The more the population explodes, the more the timber industry is going to convince the government it’s justified in clearing all our old-growth forests.

But Limbaugh, being the great admirer of nature that he is, doesn’t see what the difference is between old-growth forests and those only recently planted. ‘‘What the environmentalists are saying, in effect, is that some trees are better than others. Trees that have been planted by man are not as worthy or valuable as those that grow in ‘virgin’ forests. What is a virgin forest anyway? Most trees live for only a couple of hundred years and then die.’’ If Limbaugh ever ventured further than a few kilometers from the nearest Dairy Queen, he might know that virgin forests are those untouched by man, whose trees can date back over a millenium. And unlike humans, trees never stop growing. And so yes, even from a logger’s standpoint, old-growth trees are more valuable than new ones. Not only can they yield far more wood, but their beauty and grandeur is incomparable to trees which are clear-cut every thirty years . . . like something whose only value is measured in terms of greenback.

Limbaugh purports that there’s as much acreage of forest today as when the Constitution was written (as proof he cites a book which favorably compares today’s acreage with that in 1920). What is it that motivates him to make such clearly dubious claims? Is it because Limbaugh finds trees unpleasant to behold; are they offensive to his senses? Does he take pleasure in envisioning a treeless landscape? Or is it simply the employment of loggers and the profits of logging companies he’s defending?

Truly it is noble, the way Limbaugh looks out for the best interest of laborers above all else. It is also rather disconcerting, the way he pays absolutely no mind to the consequences of that labor. Never mind the damage that is wrought, so long as people have jobs, mundane as they may typically be, then everything’s fine and dandy. It’s capitalist fanaticism at its blindest.

This all-consuming faith in the saving grace of the almighty dollar is the only reason I can think of to explain his animosity towards so-called ‘‘tree huggers.’’ And why it is that whenever a group protests the clear-cutting of a forest, even if it’s just local community folk who’ve enjoyed the land as a public park for years, Limbaugh goes out of his way to showcase video of some wild soul (who obviously took a little too much something back in the ’60s) rambling away like a lunatic as an argument for saving the forest. Ha ha, look at the spaced-out hippie and his tree-hugging friends——yup, you can always count on Limbaugh to back his arguments up with illustrious examples of his own cunning and refinement.

Obviously trees are not so sacred they should never be chopped down. (Though frankly the thought of all the trees sacrificed in the production of this book makes my stomach churn.) But the short-lived wealth of logging companies should not take precedence over the vitality of our natural surroundings. The boundaries for timber land must be made crystalline——the logging industry’s profit margin cannot be justification for reducing all of our nation’s old-growth forests into unsightly croplands.


Aside from the slow self-poisoning of mass consumerism and ‘‘unfettered free enterprise,’’ there’s also the potential for accidental catastrophes, such as with nuclear reactors. Chernobyl is one example (and Three Mile Island another) to take serious caution from——it didn’t just kill numerous people, but the radiation also made a lot of people sick and deformed the newborn children and subsequent offspring of those who lived nearby and survived it.

Let us all hope that eventually the human race finds alternate sources of power with which to feed our electrical addictions.

And then there’s the world war-machine. It is within the military, terrorist factions, and in the careless name of science that still more great threats lie. As things are going now around our world, it seems an inevitability of time that some horrendous accidents or acts of terrorism or flat-out war will pose serious threats to parts of our planet. I say that not to frighten people, but to alert them to what to me seems like an obvious and ominous reality.

How can Limbaugh say something so intentionally careless as, ‘‘There is only one way to get rid of nuclear weapons——use them.’’ How can Limbaugh honestly say he doesn’t see any possibility of humans to destroy life on Earth? Knowing of all our nuclear power, knowing that the neutron, hydrogen and atom bomb exist, along with chemical warfare and synthetically produced diseases, how can anyone say they don’t see our potential to destroy the environment? Or of simply destroying ourselves?

The human species has existed for roughly the bat of an eye in terms of evolution, and yet the explosion of industry and technology has taken place largely within the last hundred years. That’s nothing! And yet we’ve already got nuclear reactors and their byproducts everywhere——don’t people see the potential for this power we’ve only recently discovered to blow up in our faces?

No, technology/science is not inherently evil. Nor is it all good. It is an incredible physical power, the likes of which has never knowingly been in the hands of humans before, and it can improve our lives just as easily destroy them. It’s a matter of responsibility, understanding, control; things we are far from fully possessing.

Rush is right: man can never re-create the power of nature, nor can man destroy the planet. But then it’s not a question of destroying the planet; it’s a matter of destroying the environment that nurtures and supports the life on this planet, ourselves sadly being the most advanced species to speak for. Even the concept of killing all humans is not easy to envision——it seems that no matter what catastrophe occurred, somewhere humans would manage to survive like the cucarachas we are. But in what form, and for how much longer?

·    ·    ·

My own fear is that only when our planet is ravished to the point where it seriously threatens everybody’s well being will the masses come to the defense of the environment. And by then it might be too little too late. If only people appreciated this lonely little planet as the splendid oasis of life it is, as the physical whole from which we are born, then they’d gratefully defend it for its own sake, and not just as a desperate last effort to save ourselves.

Clearly we need not be ashamed to champion the environment, for it is the most valuable physical resource we have next to our own lives, far more valuable than our little pieces of monetary. This is the realization people should, but ultimately will need to make for self-preservation, and the direction with which our environment we should be in tune.


Until such a time, however, people will continue to exploit and rape the environment, because humans can never re-create the power of nature; humans can never destroy the planet; and the way we’re living is perfectly natural.

Or, what Limbaugh really means to say, man is no match for God. Limbaugh’s belief that mankind could never possibly destroy the environment is basically his way of kneeling down before the mythological one. This view is nothing more than the objective manifestation of his feeling of inferiority before all that which he doesn’t understand and claims is beyond understanding, that which he conveniently attributes to God.

Subsequently Limbaugh feels there should be no restrictions on how businesses dispense of their waste products. His attitude is that environmentalists are nothing more than ninny-ninny worry warts who believe ‘‘the world’s gonna come to an end.’’ And just as animals are ours to slaughter to the point of extinction, Limbaugh similarly feels that——since chances of the entire world ending seems unlikely——it’s perfectly reasonable then to carelessly pollute the planet in our monetary pursuits. The environment is expendable because the Earth is indestructible. I can only assume this arrogance is based on his fanatical belief in the Biblical myth of Creation, his conviction that God made this world as is solely for the exploitation of mankind.

How else to explain this uncanny disdain of his?

Then again, he doesn’t exactly appear to worship his own body; it’s not quite a temple. So maybe it’s not surprising he has so little respect or understanding for our Earth’s body. (D’oh——there I go again.)


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