The United States has been largely extremely cold this last week, with parts of the country getting so cold that people were advised not to leave their homes except under emergency circumstances — if you need to dress like you are in Antarctica, you know it is cold. The word that has been going around the news is “polar vortex”, which has been used to describe the cause of all this extreme weather. The problems begin when you are a major media figure and you decide that the term must have been invented by the so-called “liberal media” to further a political agenda.
In this case, the media figure was Rush Limbaugh, about whom I have written in the past. Specifically, he said,
…they just created it for this week…Right on schedule, the media have to come up with a way to make it [the cold] sound like it’s completely unprecedented, because they’ve got to find a way to attach this to the global warming agenda.
Such a powerful statement to make — and so easy to verify, so it must be the truth, yes? Absolutely not. It was quickly debunked, and by no less an authority than the American Meteorological Society. On their news page, they announced,
At AMS, we have been publishing the “AMS Glossary of Meteorology” since 1959, and in that first edition, AMS did define the term ‘Polar Vortex.’
It has been therefore well defined for at least three generations. Not just recently invented — defined well before there was any debate about climate change, well before people began being aware of the existence of such a thing.
Spreading lies that can be easily debunked does not make them true. Unfortunately, you will surely hear more people quoting this lie than people debunking it with verifiable truth.