It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Stupidity: Limbaugh Calls Heat Index a Liberal Government Conspiracy

Yes, the black helicopters are after Limbaugh and the whole country now. Well, actually if there were UN helicopters, I’m sure they’d be white, since the black ones would just get too damn hot in this weather!

In the real world, the heat index adds to the actual temperature the effect of humidity, which interferes with the body’s ability to perspire and carry away heat: “When the relative humidity is high, the evaporation rate is reduced, so heat is removed from the body at a lower rate causing it to retain more heat than it would in dry air.”

Now it just so happens we’ve had record rainfall and flooding in the spring — precisely what you would expect from human-caused global warming (see “Two seminal Nature papers join growing body of evidence that human emissions fuel extreme weather, flooding that harm humans and the environment”). That helps boost the heat index, as one meteorologist explained today:

We are into a very dangerous heat wave this week that will last until the weekend. Millions of people are affected, and with heat indices forecast above 100 degrees for dozens of states, the warnings are dire. Here’s a list of the peak heat index numbers for Tuesday. One of the reasons we’re seeing such high values is because of the record flooding that we saw this spring across the Midwest and Mississippi Valley. There is plenty of available moisture that is evaporating and combined with the soaring temperatures, this is causing a “sauna effect” for dozens of states.

That is Janice Dean, a Fox News Channel meteorologist! I guess she would be part of the conspiracy Limbaugh is warning us about.


For those who don’t believe Limbaugh would actually say something this inane — I know there’s a couple of you out there — here’s the video and full transcript:

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The tropics and much of the Northern Hemisphere are likely to experience an irreversible rise in summer temperatures within the next 20 to 60 years if atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continue to increase, according to a new climate study by Stanford University scientists….

… there is a systematic influence on all of these weather events now-a-days because of the fact that there is this extra water vapor lurking around in the atmosphere than there used to be say 30 years ago. It’s about a 4% extra amount, it invigorates the storms, it provides plenty of moisture for these storms and it’s unfortunate that the public is not associating these with the fact that this is one manifestation of climate change. And the prospects are that these kinds of things will only get bigger and worse in the future.

Below are earlier comments from the old Facebook commenting system:

Jack Boardman

Is Limbaugh really that stupid? Never mind…

July 20 at 7:10pmBarry Saxifrage

More Lim-baugh humbug. The ghost of Climate Future has his work cut out for him to get through to Rush.

July 20 at 7:18pmPeter S. Mizla

He is off his meds again.

July 20 at 7:18pmTenney Naumer

There are no meds for that kind of mind.

July 20 at 8:47pm

Tenney Naumer

Personally, we should see what he has to say if he has to stand outside in that weather for an hour. What a jerk. People are suffering all over the country. They can’t pay their electric bills for all the air conditioning. I know my mother has her thermostat on 80 or higher.

July 20 at 10:19pm

Peter S. Mizla

This weather is indeed extreme- but the Denial Song of the far right and the GOP strikes again. Denial of anything and everything that causes discomfort. In this case many are suffering.

July 20 at 10:44pm

Climate Portals

We are collective truly crazy….​ews/2011-07-20/nauru-s-ple​a-for-un-action-on-climate​-threat-goes-unheeded-1-.h​tml

July 20 at 7:23pmPaul Magnus

“Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environmental Program, told the Security Council that 42 million people were driven from their homes last year by natural disasters, 90 percent of which were weather-related. The “scale and number of these disasters will increase exponentially,” he said.

July 20 at 9:11pm

Paul Magnus

“The latest science that is being published by scientific institutions across the planet is in many respects overtaking the rather conservative scenarios and predictions and models the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change brought to our attention four years ago,” said Steiner.

July 20 at 9:12pm

Paul Magnus

“Whether you look at the linear warming trend over the last 50 years, an average of 0.13 degrees warming per decade that is nearly twice the temperature increases we saw over the last 100 years; whether we look at the increases in extreme weather events and storms and cyclones; whether we look at the thermal expansion of the oceans; whether we look also at the melting of the arctic summer ice, all these are not speculative data about the fact that a changing climate is a reality,” he said. “These are proven trends.”

July 20 at 9:13pm

John McCormick

Climate Portals…another failed link. Do folks actually test their links before posting them? A lot of time wasted reading the error message. Trust, but verify. Please.

July 21 at 8:02am

Paul Magnus​ews/2011-07-20/nauru-s-ple​a-for-un-action-on-climate​-threat-goes-unheeded-1-.h​tml

July 21 at 9:12am

Paul Magnus

Hi John, I have just cut and pasted the exact link again from the original and it doesn’t work. This is a problem with the FB system. I did come across it but forgot that it doesn’t work here. It works when you use a tiny URL link but forgot to use it this time.

July 21 at 9:15am

Paul Magnus​portals200

July 21 at 9:16am

Paul Magnus

oops it doesnt seem to work with tiny URLs now…. Those are the actual URLs. They just doent work from this blog. I think there are hidden characters in the links.

Joe you have to sort this out. Links still dont work!!!

Does anyone know how to get links working in this FB setup??

John,if you click on the climate portal link then you will see the article listed in the FB stream. Alternatively you will have to google the title to get to the article.

July 21 at 9:21am

Paul Magnus

John,if you click on the climate portal link then you will see the article listed in the FB stream. Alternatively you will have to google the title to get to the article.

July 21 at 9:22am

John McCormick

Thank you, Paul. I linked to the Climate Portals site and found the UN security Council report. It was appalling and convinced me the UN is the last place on earth to resolve the global inaction to prevent or slow down what is certain to become the extinction of humankind. Time has run out as far as I am concerned. We are now merely spectators of the chaos that is here and will accelerate. We will suffer but not the way our children and grandchildren will.

July 21 at 11:54am

Irene Budoff

People keep saying it’s the oxycontin…actually, I think he needs to go BACK on it.

July 20 at 9:00pmDavid Ferguson

When do you think the last time he actually went outside was? I bet he doesn’t even actually play golf outside.

July 20 at 9:16pm

Irene Budoff

Miniature golf?

Saturday at 2:25pm

David Gunter

Limbaugh — always the Entertainer for the ill-informed.

July 20 at 9:03pmBailey Struss

Scarier even than Rush, are the multitudes who hang on his every word.

July 20 at 9:09pmCandi Wease

I’ve got some land I’d like to sell Limbaughs listeners. I have lost all patience for willful ignorance.

July 21 at 2:40pm


I don’t suppose he’s ever complained about wind chill being a political conspiracy?

July 20 at 9:22pmBob Comer

The wind from Lush-Rush comes from where the sun doesn’t shine — -his behind. All of his ideas reside in there, too.

July 21 at 1:54am

Rob Honeycutt

There is not a face nor a palm large enough for this one.

July 20 at 9:50pmGeorge Ennis

An independent review of the BBC’s science reporting concluded that journalists boosted the apparent controversy of scientific news stories such as climate change, GM crops and the MMR vaccine by giving too much weight to fringe scientific viewpoints.​science/2011/jul/20/bbc-cl​imate-change-science-cover​age

Rush Limbaugh would obviously find such a policy unacceptable since his ratings depend upon creating controversy where there is none.

July 20 at 9:55pm

crazy tempura

To big-name conservatives, EVERYTHING is a secret liberal conspiracy.

July 20 at 10:48pmRichard Brenne

Wait until he sees the heat indices where he’s ending up…

July 20 at 10:50pmRichard Brenne

So we’re repealing wind chill as well?

July 20 at 10:52pm

Richard Brenne

And does prolonged oxycontin use remove every last neuron’s ability to fire any feeling of empathy down to the molecular level?

July 20 at 10:56pm

Richard Brenne

Maybe when you’re as large and stationary as Mount Rush-more you create your own weather.

July 20 at 10:58pm

Wendy Truong

Has anyone every thought that the names Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, and Bill O’Reilly sound like a football team!

July 20 at 11:03pmDan Satterfield

Truly amazing ignorance. You think he really believes that stuff or is he just playing to the right wing authoritarians who listen to his program?

July 20 at 11:09pmBob Henson

I guess this means that wind chill is a right-wing plot.

July 21 at 1:01am

Bob Comer

Limbaugh is being paid mega-millions to daily spew his ridiculous Far Right Wing-nut B.S. The money comes from the Ultra-Rich like the Koch Bros. This is just another in a long line of B.S. that would fill a very stinky library. Next, Lush will claim the moon is made of green cheese and it’s Obama’s fault that the rats on the moon are eating it. Yes, I agree that the people who listen to his crap and actually believe it are a dangerous bunch. If this were the 1930’s, they would be saluting Adolf. No kidding — the same kind of brain-dead , know-nothings thought Herr Hitler was just IT. You can just imagine them voting for B.S. Bachmann or Pathetic Palin. Hell, if they could get a free McCafe, they’d vote for Ronald McDonald. Remember, they voted for the other Ronald McDonald (clown) in 1980. Did they sleep through all 12 years of school? YEP! You betcha!

July 21 at 1:48amChristopher A. Young

Palin, I get. What do you have against Bachmann?

July 22 at 1:52am

Sue Orchid

I’m afraid of those crazy eyes

July 22 at 9:56am

Berne Ketchum

Bachmann is a religious extremist, the last kind of person we need in power … oh, I know, that has worked out so well in Iran and Afghanistan, but it wouldn’t work here.

July 22 at 2:46pm

Christopher A. Young

Being an Evangelical automatically makes her extremist?

July 22 at 6:44pm

Berne Ketchum

Is she an evangelical? More like Christian Taliban.

22 at 6:45pm

Christopher A. Young

Before I decide whether or not to continue this line of conversation… What are your Political axises?

July 22 at 7:03pm

Berne Ketchum

My political axes? I believe in fairness.

July 22 at 7:15pm

Chris Kmotorka

“Being an Evangelical automatically makes her extremist? “


July 23 at 9:27pm

Vietnam Cafeland

Great! ^^

July 21 at 4:44amJimmy Reynolds

The competition is fierce, I’ll admit, but I think we can finally declare Limbaugh America’s official Village Idiot.

July 21 at 6:37amJeaniene Church

Sorry, but he is right. I see nothing but bare allegations here.

July 26 at 8:24pm

Jimmy Reynolds

So, Limbaugh’s own words count for nothing? He plainly says that the heat index was manufactured by the government and goes on to connect this with a nefarious agenda.

July 26 at 8:26pm

Jeaniene Church

I am referring to bare allegations about heat index = global warming.

July 26 at 8:30pm

Colorado Bob

Meanwhile in the real world -11.81 inches falls in an one hour in Montreal -“ Montreal’s sewer system was put to the test during an intense deluge that struck the downtown area of the city on Monday.


The downpour dropped 30 cm of water on the downtown and Plateau Mont Royal areas in less than an hour, causing flooding in some buildings and a spectacular sewer geyser on Wolfe St. between Ste-Catherine St. and René Levesque Blvd.

MyNews contributor Andrea Spector sent in this video of a car being sent into the air by a rocket of water exiting a sewer.​vlet/an/local/CTVNews/2011​0719/mtl_geyser_110719/201​10719/?hub=MontrealHomeJuly 21 at 8:24amPam Eliason

is this a heat wave or a liberal campaign… um…. not sure…..

July 21 at 9:31amJeffrey Davis

It won’t need much here this morning to hit double 80s: both temperature and dew point in the 80s. We had an 81 dew point back on Monday. So, Hell twice in one week.

The last time we had an +80 dew point, in the 70s, I had a huge dog to walk and lots of hair on my head. And people like Limbaugh are trying to make that kind of misery the New Normal.


Except, I’ve seen the curve on the climate projections: we’re done with the prelude. The first movement will begin shortly. We’ll look back on this New Normal as the good old days.

And be sure to hang around for the climax. It’s a doozy.

July 21 at 11:03amLarry Robinson

Do any of you own a thermometer that displays the “heat index temperature”?

July 21 at 11:19amKyle Vester

I don’t, but I don’t have a thermometer I use for measuring ambient temperature. But, guess what Larry, you can buy heat index indicator. It’s this incredible magical, most likely government manufactured, device that takes the ambient temperature and relative humidity and spits out this number that the government says is what it really feels like. Oh wait…​ch?q=heat+index+thermomete​r&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&r​ls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Ao​fficial&client=firefox-a#q​=heat+index+thermometer&hl​=en&client=firefox-a&hs=ri​c&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:of​ficial&prmd=ivns&source=un​iv&tbm=shop&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=​9Y4pTt2eCMTJgQfSkJiHCw&ved​=0CEsQrQQ&bav=on.2,or.r_gc​.r_pw.&fp=638e4ae79ecbd0fc​&biw=1280&bih=837

July 22 at 10:55am

Bryan Seigneur

Actually, in Alabama, we embrace the sauna. As bad as humidity is during our hot summers with scattered showers, without the occasional shower and humidity, it’s even hotter because the evaporation reduces the heat. I’d rather have 90F sauna than 105F dry (and hardy plants dying). Of course, there are states which are 105F sauna right now. I wonder how high it would be without all of the available moisture.

July 21 at 11:22amJeff Wood

If Rush doesn’t think it’s hot, then turn off the air conditioning in his office, mansion, chauffeur driven limousine, etc. etc. and lets see how he feels.

July 21 at 12:31pm

James Hwang

All that heat must be getting to his brain. The humidity must be high, he always seems sweaty in his videos, or maybe that’s just the result of hot air coming out of his head.

July 21 at 2:04pmPatti Ski


July 21 at 2:15pmPatti Ski

yes that will work… just like ‘praying the gay away’ works… idiots

July 21 at 2:15pm

Mary Beaulieu

Teh Stoopid, it burns…..

July 21 at 2:25pm

Bob Walker

Ahhhhh! I feel cooler already!

July 21 at 2:53pm


For the smug, holier than thou, I Know Better Than You, crowd, which is about everyone here. He’s commenting the heat index is being reported as the actual temp. It’s not 116, it’s 100, with a heat index of 116. Now start making the excuses. Oh Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy. The competition isn’t so fierce. Rush has yet to beat out front runners like Hill, the originator of village idiocy, Algore, the inventor of the internet, messiah and cashier of the greenies, Obama, cult leader of the unquestioning.

July 21 at 2:25pmKyle Vester

You’re right, but then he says this:

“The heat index, manufactured by the government, they tell you what it feels like when you add the humidity in there.”

The heat index is not a government conspiracy!

And then this:

“If we want to cool things off — please Al Gore, schedule a global warming conference, wherever, in Washington!”

This second thing has nothing, nothing whatsoever, to do with the heat index and what it means.

July 22 at 10:50am


Wake me when Limbaugh stops making stupid accusations. That will really be news.

July 22 at 1:12pm

Cheri Boeneman

I would think if there was anyone to BLAME for the heat index it would be the power companies so everyone would crank up the a/c.

July 21 at 3:26pmKimberly Butler Garrison

This guy is going off the deep end with his comments. The oxycontin must be really frying his brain cells where his pronouncements are so stupid and outrageous people shake their heads and laugh.

July 21 at 3:29pmTom Gray

Pretty simple, the heat index is like the wind chill index. I’m guessing that Rush doesn’t object to that, since it makes cold temperatures sound even colder. — Regards, Tom Gray, Wind Energy Communications Consultant.

July 21 at 3:53pmAubrey Fletcher

Rush is the Dathan from the Ten Commandments, screaming: “No… go back to Pharoah, he’ll make everything right, this weather thing is a conspiracy! There’s no Global Warming, it’s a left conspiracy.” When uh… it’s true, and every year we get hotter and hotter. When is he ever going to learn?

July 21 at 5:08pmJohn Seward

What’s scary is the number of people who’ll lap that up.

July 21 at 6:45pmRon Bishop

Heat index has been used for years. I remember being exposed to it in HS and then again in college. There is also a Clo-1, Clo-2, used to describe how many layers you need to put on to be comfortable. Rush must be Clo-0 Bare Naked Intelligence.

July 21 at 7:50pmJim Schatte

LOL I think his mind was effected by the wind chill blowing thru that empty head of his.

July 21 at 7:55pm

Chuck Pierce

Back in the 70’s there was a study done with volunteer subjects who attempted to describe their subjective feelings about who hot it felt to them at different temps and levels of humidity. This is what our “heat index” is based on. It, (like “wind chill”) is a great way for media to keep us tuned in when they throw around these ridiculous numbers. Rush is an idiot, but “heat index” is a farce.

July 23 at 9:21am

Susan Wood

The fat man can afford to keep his AC set at 65, and pump all the heat out into the street for the rest of us to enjoy. I’m not saying I wish a power failure on his neighborhood, or anything, but karma is karma.

July 21 at 8:26pmTenney Naumer

I’m thinkin’ there’s plenty of backfat there to sizzle.

July 22 at 5:26pm

Gary Kennelly

Sounds as if Rash Lamebrain is at it again.

July 22 at 12:48amBobby Holmes

huh? ever hear of wind chill factor….same thing.

July 22 at 12:54amChristopher A. Young

Ironically, all he is doing is being a pedant. The HI is not the “Actual Temperature”. And unfortunately he’s right, people have been saying all over DC Metro area that the Temperature is going to be 105–115. All forms of media sell stories on a shock value. They have been leaving out the fact that those are the indexes, and that the Actual Air Temps are going to be between 95 and 100F.

And to further convolve things, that’s a shade temperature. (i.e. the standard by NWS.) In the sun the temps are 10–15 degrees higher with a proportunate increase in the HI as well.

Or at least he was until the Liberal Gov’t Hoax part came up. That I know is more rhetoric. :/

July 22 at 1:50amChristopher A. Young

Sorry, *proportionate*

July 22 at 1:54am


Tell me again why people lilsten to this blowhard? Obviously years and years of self-medication has taken its toll.

July 22 at 4:07amSue Orchid

Fox Meteorologist? ha ha

July 22 at 9:55amBill Krohn

You mean people still pay attention to what this lunatic says? Somebody pull the plug on his air conditioners and let him swelter in his own how air.

July 22 at 11:03amAbe Drayton

What an idiot…

The heat index has to deal with how your body can handle it. If there’s more moisture, sweating isn’t as effective, no matter how much water you drink.

I wouldn’t care that much except that if people act on his claims, they’ll end up getting killed. A couple years working on the AT was more than enough to clearly demonstrate the dangers of under-estimating the heat/humidity combination…

July 22 at 12:47pmJill Cockrum

Um… Really Rush?

July 22 at 8:25pmFern Mackenzie

We’ve been using a humidex up here in Commie Canada since the ’60s — further “proof” eh?

July 23 at 1:34pm

Stuart Poss

Ditto Heads Unite! Put on your parkas and demonstrate to everyone that its not hot outside. The earth is cooling. Grab your parkas.

July 23 at 2:01pmCathy Moore

Oh, my goodness! I sure hope he feels what he’s denying. Of course, he’s an absolute IDIOT! Oh, wait — it’s Rush…I so forgot…

July 23 at 8:19pmHeather Mynyk

he is so outspoken about everything….like he is just so angry I can’t stand to listen to the words coming out of his mouth because he comes off as a know-it-all who is wrong but just keeps going… there is freedom of speech yea! in my opinion I think he is a dork!

July 23 at 8:31pmJerry Hatmaker

just in case you thought he couldn’t get more inane!

July 24 at 9:27amKaren Robertson


July 24 at 1:36pm

Mandy Herring

The weather is the weather. This is a good day to give thanks to the Lord! Thanks for the air and He has our best interest at heart. Heat and Cold have always been a variable and so have the natural elements. Seek the Lord and keep your cool.

July 24 at 2:06pmTom Waeghe

See this scientist’s data and web site:​m/global-warming-natural-o​r-manmade/.

July 24 at 2:18pmCharles Carlton

More hot air from a… Oh never mind…

July 24 at 3:30pmMichael A Brito

Not only is the heat index a left wing conspiracy so are air conditioning unit’s. All conservatives should shut off there AC units. It’s only hot because the left wing AC units make you think it’s hot. Once you turn them off you will see it’s not that hot after all! Oh and you will conservatively save money, which is very conservative. Kills two birds with one stone, which by the way is also very conservative.

July 24 at 4:07pmBob Doublin

I’m such a weather junky I subject myself to the godawful right wing ads on The Weather Channel.(You know, ex-gov of Arkansas Huckleberry Hound ranting about Obamacare Shazam! Shazam! Shazam!) They’re constantly talking about the Heat Indices occurring all over the states.Sure sounds like a Liberal Conspiracy to me.hee-hee.

July 25 at 12:21pmJeaniene Church

I think it’s great to have a website devoted to idiocy.

July 26 at 8:25pmJeaniene Church

I am referring to bare allegations about heat index = global warming.

July 26 at 8:29pmJeaniene Church

“In the real world, the heat index adds to the actual temperature the effect of humidity, which interferes with the body’s ability to perspire and carry away heat: “When the relative humidity is high, the evaporation rate is reduced, so heat is removed from the body at a lower rate causing it to retain more heat than it would in dry air.”.

As a Southerner, I get that. It doesn’t change that this has not set any new records.

July 26 at 8:32pm