HTDTE on Rush Limbaugh? Believe it

Birch Barlow mentioned me on his radio show!

Wait. I'm confusing reality with fiction again.

Rush Limbaugh, the most listened-to talk radio show host in America, mentioned me on his radio show! You can find a link to a streamed version of the segment in which he mentions me here.

I have a variety of comments on this most auspicious of events. Firstly: it is a great shame that he found LiveScience's abbreviated, decidedly watered-down article Top 10 Ways To Destroy Earth rather than the motherlode that is How to destroy the Earth, of which "Top 10" is a mere shadow. LiveScience's article is too short, and hopelessly out of date by this point: two of the methods listed ("Vacuum Energy" and "Total Existence Failure") have been discredited since I wrote the article, and are no longer considered viable, but Rush read them out on air to millions of people, none the wiser. The full article contains many more methods, is much more scientifically accurate, and, more importantly, is hosted by me.

Secondly: it surprised me how clunky some of what I wrote sounds when read out. Rush has - I have to admit it - a great voice for narration, but while some bits, like the intro, sounded even better than they did in my head, other bits were just messy and... pretentious, even. A little bit of a rewrite is clearly needed. Rush abbreviated a lot of the numbers in the article on-the-fly - this, I think, was a judgment call which he made correctly. The number 5,973,600,000,000,000,000,000 is lots of zeroes and carries plenty of impact in print, but in words it's "five sextillion, nine hundred and seventy-three quintillion, six hundred quadrillion" which is just clumsy, so fair play to Rush.

Thirdly: he missed the point. Or, possibly, he saw it, but reached around it and found the point he liked. The primary message of HTDTE is "It is very much harder than you think to destroy Earth", and the secondary, rather more subtle message, one George Carlin made at great length long before HTDTE was a glint in my eye, is "destroying humanity is very very easy and we're already doing a great job of it". Rush, whom I barely knew anything about before today, has been described as a "rabid conservative" by some people I asked, and took the message "It is very hard to destroy the Earth, so don't sweat about SUVs and greenhouse gases, folks!" which is of course completely wrong. One of LiveScience's own columnists has already picked up on this and thoroughly refuted Rush's point. Also, Lenin's birthday? Is he insane?

Fourthly, as he has an average audience of more than 13 million listeners per week, Rush very probably exposed HTDTE to more people in his ten minutes or so than have seen it to date (HTDTE currently has an estimated 850,000 total hits). At this stage, any publicity is good publicity, so woo, and, indeed, hoo. My fifteen minutes of fame commence now!

I am seriously considering phoning in to the show - it airs around dinner time in my time zone, so this is a real possibility - but I'm wondering what, if anything, I should say, apart from "Don't go to that site, go to this one". Obviously I could refute his point on air, but he is an experienced conservative talk show host with (if what he says is true) more than 25 years of experience behind him, whereas I am (apparently) a liberal of the message board generation, and much more used to spending good time composing my responses with the aid of all the resources the internet can provide me, so I strongly suspect he'd be able to talk rings around me, which is not something I want to sign up for. Should I point out that George Bush and gay marriage are listed under "won't destroy the Earth"? Should I just talk science to a guy (and an audience) who I rather suspect don't care for it? Should I namedrop other sites I like? Should I just wait for a Daily Show interview?

What I think I will do, given Earth Day was on April 22nd (and I almost completely missed it) is arrange for a Destroy Earth Day to occur some time in the future. I'm not sure what date it'll be (April 23rd would have been ideal, sigh), or what events will occur, but it seems like I'd be a fool not to.

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