Debunking: "Climate Change Model Predictions Are Unreliable!"

 
Photo: Edited version of graph from: "Testimony of John R. Christy."  Docs.House.gov . Feb 2, 2016.

Photo: Edited version of graph from: "Testimony of John R. Christy." Docs.House.gov. Feb 2, 2016.

 

Climate change deniers are wrong when they claim that the predictions made by climate models are unreliable. As I show here, most of them are very accurate—and where they get it wrong, they're more likely to *underestimate* the warming (or associated consequences) than overestimate it. The most inaccurate predictions are actually those made by climate change "skeptics."

I also show some of the problems in the data and graphs used to support this viewpoint, and I debunk a variety of related arguments, including one made by Jordan Peterson about whether can measure the impact of our climate-related actions.

Debunking Republican Tax Myths: The Reagan Tax Cuts

 
Photo: Reagan White House Photographs/Picryl

Photo: Reagan White House Photographs/Picryl

 

Conservatives endlessly praise the Reagan tax cuts, claiming that they stimulated economic growth while reducing unemployment and growing personal income. In reality, many different factors contributed to the growth under Reagan, including a lowering of interest rates, a post-recession recovery, and stimulative government spending. Rarely mentioned are the many tax *increases* passed by Reagan. When presenting statistics to glorify the Reagan tax cuts, right-wingers often use very misleading tactics.

Debunking Creationism: "Life Can't Come From Non-Life!"

 
Thumbnail photos: NASA/NASA.gov; MasterTux/Pixabay; Ali Zifan/Wikimedia Commons

Thumbnail photos: NASA/NASA.gov; MasterTux/Pixabay; Ali Zifan/Wikimedia Commons

 

Creationists often argue that "life can't come from non-life." The scientific research actually shows that every step of the process is quite plausible. In addition to examining the research in this area, I also debunk a variety of arguments made by creationists to support their position.

Debunking: "The Left Is A Violent Mob!"

 
Thumbnail photos: cantfightthetendies/Flickr; Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons;

Thumbnail photos: cantfightthetendies/Flickr; Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons;

 

Republicans often talk about the scourge of left-wing violence—yet as I show here, right-wing violence is actually much more prevalent, both recently and historically. They also *pretend* as if Democratic politicians are calling for violence when really, they do nothing of the sort. Finally, their arguments on this subject are fraught with double standards and contradictions.

Debunking Creationism: "Evolution & Speciation Has Never Been Observed!"

 
 

Creationists falsely claim that evolution has never been seen happening in real-time by human observers. Here, I show many such documented examples of evolution & speciation. I also pick apart creationist arguments in this area and explain where they go wrong, pointing out that they shift the goalposts, misuse scientific terminology, and set impossibly high standards for the changes we should be able to observe.

Debunking Libertarianism: "Taxation Is Theft! Abolish The Income Tax!"

 
Photos: 5chw4r7z from Cincinnati/Wikimedia Commons; LillyCantabile/Pixabay; Department of Defense/Wikimedia Commons; James Montgomery Flagg & Infrogmation of New Orleans/Flickr.

Photos: 5chw4r7z from Cincinnati/Wikimedia Commons; LillyCantabile/Pixabay; Department of Defense/Wikimedia Commons; James Montgomery Flagg & Infrogmation of New Orleans/Flickr.

 

Libertarians argue that taxation is theft and that we should abolish the income tax. Here I argue that the comparison with theft is ridiculous because the taxpayer benefits from government programs and also gets to vote on what the tax rates are and what programs we do or don't fund. Among other things, I also point out that government force is only used to punish tax evaders as a last resort, and opting out of paying taxes or making it voluntary wouldn't be fair and would cause the overall quality of society to decline in many key areas.

Debunking: "Drug Decriminalization In Portugal Is A Failure!"

 
Photos: Aivazovsky/Wikimedia Commons; Chrisdesign/OpenClipArt

Photos: Aivazovsky/Wikimedia Commons; Chrisdesign/OpenClipArt

 

Contrary to what drug warriors argue, drug decriminalization in Portugal has been an outstanding success. Since the policy change, problem drug-usage rates have actually declined, as has the number of intravenous HIV/AIDS transmissions and drug-related deaths. These outcomes are the product of both decriminalization and harm-reduction programs working in concert. Here, I run through the data in these areas while also debunking some of the arguments made by critics of Portugal's decriminalization.

Debunking "The 18-Year Pause In Global Warming!"

 
Photo: Christopher Monckton/ClimateDepot

Photo: Christopher Monckton/ClimateDepot

 

Global warming deniers claim that there was an 18-year pause in global warming which started in 1998. As I show here, this apparent hiatus was actually the product of biases in the data. Once these are corrected for, the pause evaporates. I also make some points about how to properly examine data, and I respond to the idea that these temperature corrections are part of a scientific conspiracy.

Debunking: "The 97% Global Warming Consensus Is A Lie! It's Actually 52%!"

 
Photos: Dori/Wikimedia Commons; Skeptical Science/Wikimedia Commons

Photos: Dori/Wikimedia Commons; Skeptical Science/Wikimedia Commons

 

Climate-change deniers argue that there actually is not a 97% manmade global-warming consensus among scientists and climatologists. They claim the true statistic is anywhere from 52% to a laughable 1%.

Here, I take a very close look at the studies and surveys on these questions and provide accurate statistics on the percentage of climate change publications that reject anthropogenic global warming, and also the percentage of scientists, climatologists, and top-publishing climatologists that believe in AGW and believe that it's dangerous.

In the process, I also debunk many of the flaws in the arguments and critiques used by deniers to poke holes in these studies, reject this data, and support a much lower figure. Enjoy!

Debunking Republican Healthcare Myths: "People Come To U.S. For Care!"

 
Photos: Photo #1043976/PxHere; Kristopher Radder - Official U.S. Navy Page/Flickr

Photos: Photo #1043976/PxHere; Kristopher Radder - Official U.S. Navy Page/Flickr

 

While many do come to the U.S. for healthcare, a much larger number of people leave the U.S. for care. Medical tourism takes place to and from many different countries for many different reasons, and the complex reality of the situation is nothing like the crude, one-sided picture that conservatives paint for us. There's also no good evidence to support the claim that the U.S. has the world's best doctors and medical facilities.

Debunking Republican Healthcare Myths: U.S. Innovation & Subsidizing Others

 
Thumbnail photos: Ajale/Pixabay; jnn1776/Flickr

Thumbnail photos: Ajale/Pixabay; jnn1776/Flickr

 

Conservatives argue that the U.S. healthcare system is responsible for a uniquely high amount of medical innovation. They also argue that higher U.S. healthcare costs supply the medical industry with the necessary income to fund their R&D—which the rest of the world benefits from. As I show here, these, and other related arguments, are not supported by the appropriate data and don't stand up to scrutiny.

Debunking The "Mysterious" Bermuda Triangle: Disappearances & Paranormal Events

 
Thumbnail photos: Alphaios & -Majestic-/Wikimedia Commons; Lt. Comdr. Horace Bristol, U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons

Thumbnail photos: Alphaios & -Majestic-/Wikimedia Commons; Lt. Comdr. Horace Bristol, U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons

 

Contrary to popular belief, there's actually nothing dangerous about The Bermuda Triangle. Proposed paranormal explanations for why planes and ships go missing here don't stand up to scrutiny, and a variety of ordinary, naturalistic events can account for the Bermuda Triangle disappearances—even the ones held up as proof of the mysterious nature of the Triangle.