In a new video from the World Wildlife Fund, the children of WWF staff talk about the consequences of climate change, the importance of taking action and the need for U.S. leadership in reaching an international agreement at the upcoming climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark. Rush Limbaugh responded to the video with predictable denialist vitriol.
WWF released this video on Monday, 9 November. It is the latest in a WWF campaign centered on the impacts of climate change and the costs of inaction—which will fall much harder on children and future generations. The organization calls for slowing climate change by reducing emissions; and for preparing for the impacts.
The video drew a sputtering rebuke from Republican luminary Rush Limbaugh, who said: “These people are using their own kids, brainwashing their own kids for the advancement of a hoax! Using and brainwashing their own kids about a lie, all for the purpose of advancing a policy that’s going to result in restricted freedom for these kids! They’ll have no chance at prosperity because of high energy taxes.”
Oddly, Limbaugh’s site included this image of the talk-radio show host, up to his neck in rising seas…and a bizarre attempt at humor about shooting polar bears.
Polemics aside, the WWF ad is a reminder that responding to the threat of climate change is not just about reducing emissions. It is about preparing for the impacts that are increasingly evident, that will become more disruptive over the next several decades and that will certainly be catastrophic if the U.S. and other countries do not act swiftly. It also adds the voices of children who in the end will feel the consequences of our actions.
The shrill response from Limbaugh and his supporters exposes a fundamental weakness in their position. They have no viable and credible response to mounting evidence that climate change is a serious and growing threat to America and the world—and to future generations. They don’t just oppose efforts to curb emissions with wrongheaded arguments about energy taxes. By maintaining that climate change is a hoax, they would leave us dangerously unprepared for the impacts.
The great threat to our kids is adults who fail to act. Kids get it. Denialists don’t.