In ourroundup of 2016 asserts, we hypothesized that SciCheck would have no dearth of false and misleading claims to cover in 2017. That proved accurate.
The people at SciCheck, a job of FactCheck.org, pose the very notable science asserts of the year.
From President Donald Trump’s conclusion to depart the Paris Agreement to Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt’s ruling against banning a widely used insecticide, politicians kept us occupied this season. Since 2017 comes to a close, we present the very notable claims from this year.
Humans to Blame: EPA Administrator Pruitt and Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry maintained CO2 emitted by people is not the “main” contributor to global warming. Since we’ve written multiple times, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2014 evaluation report states it’s “extremely likely” (>95 percent likely) that over fifty percent of those observed temperature increase as the mid-20th century is because of human action. “Emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes led about 78 percent of their complete GHG emissions increase from 1970 to 2010,” the report adds. In 2017, the U.S. Global Change Research Program — a selection of 13 national agencies — released a report that encouraged that the IPCC’s findings.
Pruitt on Climate Change, Again, March 9
Trump Official Incorrect About Warming, Again, June 21
Worst Polluters: The two Trump and Pruitt falsely said China and India are the worst polluters of all CO2. Per kiloton, China and the U.S. exude the most. Per capita, the U.S. emits much greater than China and India. Trump made his promise from June, while announcing that the U.S. would draw in the Paris Agreement. From 2015, China had emitted 29.4 percentage of their total kilotons of all CO2 emitted from the planet’s countries. It was followed closely with the U.S. at 14.3 percent, the European Union at 9.6 % and India at 6.8 percent. Per capita, Americans emitted over twice as far as the Chinese and above eight times as far as Indians in 2015.
Pruitt on the Paris Accord, March 28
FactChecking Trump’s Climate Speech, June 1
The Paris Impact: In June, Trump and Pruitt equally misleadingly stated that the Paris Agreement would only lessen the planet’s average temperatures from 0.2 degrees Celsius. One Massachusetts Institute of Technology report did give that figure, but the report’s author stated the Trump government “cherry-picked” that number. The Paris Agreement builds on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It’s the “cumulative effect” of all obligations made under this framework that’s the “relevant number, not 0.2 degrees,” that the MIT report author said. As an example, another analysis discovered that UNFCCC parties’ donations, including Paris pledges, would reduce projected temperatures from 0.9 C. As an example, approximately 1 degree C is the sum of heating the world has seen in roughly 150 decades, during which “we have seen retreating mountain glaciers, rising sea levels and other major consequences,” that the MIT report author said.
Can Paris Have a ‘Tiny’ Impact on Warming? , June 14
CO2’s Impact on Agriculture: In July, Rep. Lamar Smith, the chairman of the House science committee, said climate change “alarmists” ignore the “positive consequences” of more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, including increasing food production and quality. But the net effect of higher CO2 levels on agriculture is probably negative, especially in the future. Other factors aside, a feeling with much more CO2 does boost crop yield in the short term via increased levels of photosynthesis. On the long haul, several specialists told us that the favorable effect of increased CO2 on crops will shrink, as well as the negative impacts of climate change, such as higher temperatures and unreliable rain, will rise. Research also indicates climate change will disproportionately benefit weeds and lower the nutritional value of basic food crops, such as corn, wheat, barley and rice.
CO2: Friend or Foe to Agriculture? , August 10
Better Air Quality: In September, Pruitt convicted former President Barack Obama for departing 40 percent of Americans with air quality that does not meet the agency’s standards. That’s misleading. A report his workplace mentioned as proof said there was a “major progress” in air quality beneath Obama. The Lung Association’s 2017 air quality report says that 38.9 % of the populace was breathing “unhealthy air” based on EPA information from 2013 to 2015 for two of their most frequent air pollutants — particle pollution and ozone. But that figure is down from 58 percent of the populace from before Obama took office in 2009.
Were Air Quality Improve Under Obama? , September 21
Toxic Cleanups: In September, Pruitt also misleadingly stated Obama abandoned “us with much more Superfund sites than once he arrived in.” While Pruitt is correct, his agency does not measure its progress in cleaning up the country’s most polluted sites with this metric. From the EPA’s own standards, Obama did produce progress. Anyway, each president has left office using more sites on the Superfund National Priorities List compared to once he arrived in.
Obama’s Record on Toxic Cleanups, September 29
Autism: In February, ” Trump claimed there’s been a “huge” increase in autism in children in the United States. There’s been a large increase in the reported cases of adultery. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the increase is a result of a broadening of Alzheimer’s definition and greater attempts in diagnosis, in addition to some real increase in the number of people having the disorder. Scientists also say that a sizable portion, if not most, of this reported increase might be a result of what they call “diagnostic recategorization.” As an example, 1 study found that, among children who received special academic services between 2000 and 2010, a reduction in children diagnosed with intellectual impairment accounted for nearly two-thirds of their growth in children with autism spectrum disorder. The researchers also discovered links between gains in ASD prevalence and decreases in learning disorder incidence.
Has Autism Prevalence Increased? , February 18
Pot vs. H****n: Back in March, Attorney General Jeff Sessions maintained bud is “only slightly less dreadful” compared to h****n. But specialists say h****n is three times more detrimental than m*******a based on a score scale that considers the harmful effects of drugs on society and users. By way of example, no one has ever died of a m*******a overdose, however, nearly 13,000 people died of h****n overdose in the U.S. in 2015 alone. H****n can be highly addictive, and whereas only about 1 in 10 m*******a users become addicted, according to the CDC.
Sessions’ Dubious D**g Claims, March 31
Curbing Opioid Deaths: Sessions stated he was “amazed to hear people suggest that we can solve our h****n crisis by legalizing m*******a.” Medical m*******a might not “solve” the opioid epidemic, but study indicates legalization can help suppress overdoses, which have skyrocketed in the last few decades. By way of example, studies have found that countries that legalized medical m*******a observed reductions in opioid-related deaths and hospitalizations. There is also research that indicates people are substituting prescription opioids for m*******a to deal with chronic pain.
Sessions’ Dubious D**g Claims, March 31
To Ban or not to Ban: When the EPA decided not to prohibit chlorpyrifos, an insecticide often used in agriculture, EPA and its critics stated “sound” or “strong” science backed their claims. Some studies do suggest that chlorpyrifos exposure may lead to developmental difficulties in children. But they’re correlational studies, so they do not offer causal links. However, study in rodents has found causal connections between chlorpyrifos and developmental difficulties.
The Truth About Chlorpyrifos, April 27
Fat Loss: In May, Obama falsely stated that Let’s Move , a job of former First Lady Michelle Obama, “helped bring down America’s obesity levels for our youngest children for the very first time in 30 decades.” Research shows that the obesity rate for two- to 5-year-olds has been decreasing since 2004 — manner before the Let’s Move project began. It’s true that the obesity rate for young children continued to decrease after the very first lady launched her job in February 2010, however there’s no proof that it played a part in that reduction. Experts say that this would be difficult to quantify because childhood obesity is a problem caused by several factors.
Obama on Childhood Obesity Rates, May 12
No Cure for Addiction: In May, Tom Price, the health and human services secretary, said, “Folks have to get cured” of opioid dependence on But there’s currently no cure for addiction to opioids, or some other d**g, states the National Institute on D**g Abuse, which is part of HHS. Alcoholism is a physiological and a psychological illness. After someone develops a physiological dependence on a d**g, tolerance and withdrawal ensure it is hard to quit. But individuals have psychological causes related to the addiction, such as seeing places or people, which may induce an otherwise d**g-free person to use again. To put it differently, there’s “no cure” for d**g addiction, “since you can not undo memories,” one expert told us.
Could Opioid Addiction Be Cured? , May 19
Not Opioid Swapping: In May, Price promised, “If we’re simply replacing one opioid for another, we’re not moving the dial much.” But with opioids, such as methadone and buprenorphine, to combat addiction to more harmful opioids, including h****n, is successful, states the National Institute on D**g Abuse, which is part of HHS. Doctors give patients little quantities of methadone and buprenorphine to stave off withdrawal during time as they’re long-acting opioids, including h****n. Doctors also use methadone and buprenorphine to stop addicts from returning to illicit opioid use, which poses higher dangers. Overall, studies reveal medication-assisted treatment reduces opioid-related overdose deaths, unlawful action and infectious disease transmission.
Could Opioid Addiction Be Cured? , May 19
Not Only a Sneeze Study: In October, although advocating for legislation he introduced to change the national grant funding process, Sen. Rand Paul said it’s “absurd” that the NIH gave $2 million for an analysis on whether “children do not like food that has been sneezed on.” But that funding moved to a six-year job, composed of numerous research, on children’s reasoning about meals. The overall goal of the project is to help find ways to convince children to create healthier and safer food choices by comprehending why they make specific choices in the first place.
Senator Misleads on ‘Absurd’ Science, November 2
Drugged Driving: In June, Attorney General Sessions asserted that more car accidents had been “caused” by drugs than alcohol for the first time in 2016. But the report that his workplace mentioned discovered that alcohol was found in the machine of more drivers k****d in automobile accidents than drugs from 2015. The report also didn’t state the fatal accidents were “caused” with drugs. It’s more difficult to definitively say a man or woman is under the effect of drugs than alcohol when driving. Contrary to alcohol, testing positive for a d**g does not necessarily mean someone is drunk. M*******a can be detected days or even weeks after consumption.
Sessions Incorrect About Drugged Driving, December 14
Editor’s Note: SciCheck is made possible with a grant in the Stanton Foundation.
This guide is reproduced with permission in , which writes concerning false and misleading scientific asserts in a feature it calls SciCheck.