FactChecking Science Claims in 2017

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.

From President Donald Trump’s decision to exit the Paris Agreement to Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt’s ruling against banning a commonly used insecticide, politicians kept us busy this year. As 2017 comes to a close, we present the most notable claims from this year.


Humans to Blame: EPA Administrator Pruitt and Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry claimed CO2 emitted by humans isn’t the “primary” contributor to global warming. As we have written multiple times, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2014 assessment report says it’s “extremely likely” (>95 percent probable) that more than half of the observed temperature increase since the mid-20th century is due to human activity. “Emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes contributed about 78% of the total GHG emissions increase from 1970 to 2010,” the report adds. In 2017, the — a collection of 13 federal agencies — released a that supported the IPCC’s findings.

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