Facebook Fallacies: Climate change and anti-vaxxers, the usual suspects

Facebook is a breeding ground for stupidity, ignorance and subtle (sometimes overt) racism and prejudice. Since shaming is a good way to get people to change, let’s call them out on their BS. Facebook Fallacies is a weekly column that debunks all of the stupid shit floating around Satan’s asshole, aka Facebook.

Climate change is a hoax! Time to move on.

The story: Here’s the lede: “A key Obama administration scientist brushed aside inconvenient data that showed a slowdown in global warming in compiling an alarming 2015 report that coincided with the White House participation in the Paris Climate Conference, a whistle blower is alleging.”

Essentially, Obama ignored evidence that climate change is fake right before the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference. How convenient.

The reality: It is true that a whistleblower is alleging that in its 2015 report, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) dismissed a 2013 study that suggests there has been a slowdown in global warming since 1998. The whistleblower alleges that NOAA’s 2015 study is poor science and basically full of shit.

Too add more fuel to the coal-burning fire sending more CO2 into the atmosphere, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology issued a press release applauding the whistleblower and essentially backing his claims. Not surprisingly, the committee is led by Texas Republican Lamar Smith.

Quick note about Lamar Smith: He’s a vocal climate change denier. Among all industries, the oil and gas industry has contributed nearly $600,000 to his campaign from 1989 to 2014, with nearly $100,000 of that from his last campaign in 2014 alone. Yes, the chairman of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology does not believe in climate change and is paid for by Big Oil. From submitted comments to VoteSmart.org:

The impact of emissions is complex and often inconclusive. We must not burden the American people with costly regulations that will kill jobs until we have all of the facts.

As for the two contradicting studies, let’s have people who know what they’re talking about report the news, not tabloid publication Daily Mail or clearly bias against climate change Fox News. How about Popular Science? You know, science people talking about…what for it…science! [gasp!]

This Popular Science report explains how the 2015 report was neither falsified nor shaky science. Essentially, the whistleblower’s study used land temperatures, whereas the 2015 study disputing the hiatus was based on ocean temperatures:

A government source who does not wish to be named emphasized that there is no evidence or even a credible suggestion that NOAA falsified data in the Karl et al (K15) study. And even if Bates’ critiques were valid—and given that this methodology, after much peer review, is now the default way that NOAA calculates land temperatures, his complaints seem problematic—it doesn’t upend the study’s conclusion.

And this:

When ocean temperature tracking switched to buoys, which stay in the water all of the time and don’t heat up, NOAA failed to control for the cooler (and arguably more accurate) water temperatures due to the lack of hot ship engines. The Karl study corrects for that temperature difference and Bates’ complaints do nothing to discredit it.

And this:

The Karl paper is also not the only one to tackle the hiatus. Studies in Nature by Stephan Lewandowsky of the Cabot Institute University of Bristol, and this one in the journal Climate Change by Bala Rajaratnam of Stanford University, all say the same thing.

Don’t forget this:

“Recommendations about doing these things have been made, but they’ve never been adequately funded. So we muddle along,” said Trenberth. “And Lamar smith under the house has been responsible for some of this, because they actually cut the funding to enable NOAA to properly deal with and process the data by 30 percent in 2012. So the ability to do this properly has actually been compromised by the House Science Committee and by Lamar Smith in particular.”

I think I made my point: Climate change is real, says nearly every scientist.

Mandated vaccinations are harmful and unethical!

The story: An Oklahoma state senator wants mandatory vaccines for everybody, putting our children at risk. Fortunately, another state senator wants to save the children by giving parents a choice. Thank God Jesus heals!

The reality: Oklahoma State Senator Ervin Yen, A F*****G DOCTOR, wants to get rid of all vaccination exemptions in the Sooner State except for those with medical exemptions, i.e. health complications that make vaccines risky. The MMR vaccine rate among kindergartners in Oklahoma has plummeted from 95 percent to 90 percent.

Per usual, there’s opposition. Republican State Sen. Nathan Dahm – engineering technician, dean of a school, producer, businessman…NOT A F*****G DOCTOR – wants to double down on current exemptions (including religious/philosophical reasons) by making it mandatory for schools to provide exemption info to parents.

Rallying behind Dahm is Oklahomans for Vaccine and Health Choice-PAC, an anti-vaxxer group. I reached out to OVHC via email to find out how many doctors were in their group. They responded with at least 10. I replied with asking them to  give me the names of said doctors so I can do some interviews. They stopped responding. Member info is not public. Do what you will with that information.

“Where there’s a risk there must be a choice,” said the leader of OVHC in the linked article.

Nay. When there’s a risk there must NOT be a choice. The risk here being if people don’t get vaccinated, measles and mumps will come back. That risk is far more likely than health complications from vaccines, not including autism because that link doesn’t exist.

Shit. Too late.

Washington state is in the middle of a mumps outbreak right now. Hmmmmm…I wonder if they have any exemptions:

vax-stats

Shhhhhhhhhhhhocker. One of only 17 states where you can refuse vaccinations because a potato chip that looks like Elvis told you to.

Anti-vaxxers will be quick to tell you that nearly 90 percent of children in Washington with mumps received the MMR vaccine, which is true. What they forget about is the science.

Science: Two doses give lifelong protection against mumps to 88%, or about 9 out of 10 people. This means about 12 out of every 100 vaccinated people are still vulnerable to mumps, especially if they have prolonged, close exposure to someone who is contagious.

That’s straight from the Washington State Department of Health. In other words, you are better off getting the vaccine because it’s more effective than it is not. Chances are the host carrier was not vaccinated, therefore infecting that 12 out of 100.

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Since the pre-vaccine era, there has been a more than 99% decrease in mumps cases in the United States.”

I can go on and on, but I’m already at nearly 1,100 words. Point has been made.

There’s still mercury in vaccines and it’s going to kill everybody!

ecowatch

The story: A new study debunks the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s claim that mercury in vaccines is safe, putting pregnant women at risk.

The reality: This article was penned by known anti-vaxxer and environmentalist attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr and a nurse. In other words, two people who are not experts. Nurses know a lot about medicine, sure. But would you take legal advice from a paralegal or a lawyer? I rest my case.

Kennedy has been on a crusade against thimerosal in vaccines for quite some time now. In 2005, he wrote an article in Rolling Stone and Salon accusing the government of a conspiracy covering up a connection between thimerosal in vaccines and autism. Salon retracted its story because it was full of shit. When a left-wing propaganda rag like Salon retracts a Kennedy story on vaccines, it must be beyond terrible.

Regarding the study, it’s a summary of other studies, so no new evidence has been provided. That doesn’t even matter because thimerosal was eliminated from vaccines back in 2001. And guess what happened to the rate of autism? It INCREASED, therefore debunking any theory that thimerosal was causing autism.

Correction: Very few vaccines still use thimerosal, none of which are available for children and some of which have a non-thimersoal replacement for pregnant woman, including flu shots:

Thimerosal has been removed from or reduced to trace amounts in all vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age and younger, with the exception of inactivated influenza vaccine (see Table 1). A preservative-free version of the inactivated influenza vaccine (contains trace amounts of thimerosal) is available in limited supply at this time for use in infants, children and pregnant women. Some vaccines such as Td, which is indicated for older children (≥ 7 years of age) and adults, are also now available in formulations that are free of thimerosal or contain only trace amounts. Vaccines with trace amounts of thimerosal contain 1 microgram or less of mercury per dose.

Anti-vaxxers love to throw out the idea that vaccines contain more mercury than a can of tuna fish. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, Oregon Department of Public Health and the official Colorado state government website, a tuna sandwich has five times MORE mercury than a single vaccine dose.

Let’s get all science-y right now. The Ecowatch article waxes pseudo-intellectual about the differences between methylmercury and ethylmercury. Brian Koberlein, an astrophysicist and Senior Lecturer of Physics and Astronomy at the Rochester Institute of Technology – i.e. a dude who probably has a complete understanding about Chemistry 101 – wrote the following in a Forbes article:

Thimerosal, the organic compound used as a preservative in some vaccines, breaks down in the body into ethyl mercury. Since our bodies can remove ethyl mercury, it doesn’t bioaccumulate. This is very different from methyl mercury, found in trace amounts in certain fish like tuna. Methyl mercury is hard for our bodies to remove and can bioaccumulate. It’s the buildup of mercury over time that can be dangerous, which is why the FDA recommends limiting consumption of certain varieties of fish. While both compounds contain mercury, the two molecules are structurally different and behave differently in our bodies. It’s similar to the difference between ethyl alcohol and methyl alcohol. The former is found in beer and wine and used as a social lubricant, while the latter is used in things like antifreeze and is highly toxic. Simply stating some vaccines contain mercury is like saying “OMG! Beer contains antifreeze!”

Leave science to scientist.

Have you come across some “fake news” being shared on your Facebook feed you would like to see publicly annihilated? Share it with Ty at ty@unassociatedpress.org.

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6 thoughts on “Facebook Fallacies: Climate change and anti-vaxxers, the usual suspects

    • Thanks for the link!

      Although donor lists and members often times overlap, they’re not necessarily the same. Considering this, the member list is in fact not public. It would not be accurate to call donors members, even if that is usually the case.

      With that said, at a quick glance of the latest donations report, there appears to be one MD and the dentist and “handful of chiropractors” you mentioned. Also a few nurses. As you noted, no pediatricians. In other words, not very well represented by experts on the matter.

  1. Pingback: “Anti-vaxxers” Are On the Move | As My World Turns

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