FactCheck is a website that checks claims made by politicians and others to see if they hold up under scrutiny. In this era of fake news and other lies, they help us to see what’s true and what isn’t.
In our roundup of 2016 claims, we hypothesized that SciCheck would have no dearth of false and misleading claims to cover in 2017. That proved true.
Oddly, the politicians and other liars don’t seem to be changing their behavior. They continue to say whatever they want regardless of whether it’s going to be publicly exposed as false. I guess that’s because the people who are inclined to believe them will do so even when their mendacity is clearly demonstrated.
In July, Rep. Lamar Smith, the chairman of the House science committee, said climate change “alarmists” ignore the “positive impacts” of more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, including increasing food production and quality. But the net effect of higher CO2 levels on agriculture is likely negative, especially in the future.
In February, Trump claimed there’s been a “tremendous” increase in autism in children in the United States. There has been a large increase in the reported cases of autism. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the increase is due to a broadening of autism’s definition and greater efforts in diagnosis, in addition to some actual increase in the number of individuals who have the disorder.
In May, Obama falsely said that Let’s Move, a project of former First Lady Michelle Obama, “helped bring down America’s obesity rates for our youngest kids for the first time in 30 years.” Research shows the obesity rate for 2- to 5-year-olds has been decreasing since 2004 – way before the Let’s Move project began.
We might continue to be accosted by people trying to spin the facts, but we have FactCheck and others watching out for us now. Look at the rest of their best of 2017.