TV news fact-checked: health care & more + this press briefing will not be televised

by Katie Dahl and Nancy Watzman

This week the Senate released its version of health care, so to mark the occasion we offer a trio of recent health care fact checks from The Washington Post‘s Fact Checker. Other fact-checking highlights include: a claim that Saudia Arabia has been spending money on Trump hotels (true, says PolitiFact) and Ivanka Trump asserts American workers have a skill gap (also true, reports Politifact).

But before we present these fact-checks, we pause for a moment to present this commentary from CNN’s Jim Acosta on the White House’s refusal to allow cameras in a growing number of press briefings: “That wouldn’t be tolerated in city council meetings, or at a governor’s press conference,” he noted. “And here we have the representative of the president of the United States saying no you can’t cover it that way….it’s like we’re not even covering a White House anymore…it’s like we’re just covering bad reality television, is what it feels like now.”

Claim: 1.8 million jobs will be lost as a result of the AHCA (two Pinocchios)

Earlier this month, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D., Calif., said, “Americans will lose their health coverage because of his proposal. And it is a job loser. Estimated to be 1.8 million jobs lost. Donald Trump is a job loser.”

Glenn Kessler reported for the Washington Post’s Fact Checker: “We often warn readers to be wary of job claims made by politicians based on think-tank studies. This is a case in point. Pelosi was careful to say ‘estimated,’ but two groups of researchers, using apparently the same economic model, came up with different estimates of jobs losses under the AHCA by 2022 – 1.8 million and 413,000.”

Claim: the reconciliation process will be used for the AHCA (upside down Pinocchio or flip-flop)

At a recent press briefing, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R., Ky., described the upcoming legislative process for the American Health Care Act, “Unfortunately, it will have to be a Republicans-only exercise. But we’re working hard to get there.”

Kessler responded that “McConnell’s position has changed, even though he will not acknowledge it. He was against the reconciliation process for health care in 2010; he has embraced it now. He was against secrecy and closed-door dealmaking before; he now oversees the most secretive health-care bill process ever. And he was against voting on a bill that was broadly unpopular — and now he is pushing for a bill even more unpopular than the ACA in 2010.”

Claim: insurers are leaving the health care exchanges because of Obamacare (three Pinocchios)

President Donald Trump talked with Republican senators about health care, saying among other claims, “Insurers are fleeing the market. Last week it was announced that one of the largest insurers is pulling out of Ohio — the great state of Ohio.”

 Kessler wrote that Trump “ignores that many say they are exiting the business because of uncertainty created by the Trump administration, in particular whether it will continue to pay ‘cost-sharing reductions’ to insurance companies. These payments help reduce co-pays and deductibles for low-income patients on the exchanges. Without those subsidies, insurance companies have to foot more of the bill.” 

Claim: Saudi Arabia is spending big on Trump Hotels (mostly true)

The attorney general for the District of Columbia, Karl Racine, said at a recent press conference that “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whose government has important business and policy before the president of the United States, has already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at the Trump International Hotel.”

Smitha Rajan reported for PolitiFact, “The Foreign Agent Registration Act report mentions at least one filing which clearly shows that the Saudi government spent $270,000 at the Trump International Hotel for lodging and boarding expenses between October 2016 and March 2017. It’s not clear whether the entire expenses were paid before or after Trump became president. Our research showed it was some of  both.”

Claim: there are 6 million job openings but workers don’t have the skills needed (true)

During a recent interview on Fox & Friends, Ivanka Trump, assistant to the president and daughter of the president, said “There are 6 million available American jobs, so we’re constantly hearing from CEO’s that they have job openings, but they don’t have workers with the skill set they need to fill those jobs.”

For PolitiFact, Louis Jacobson rated her claim “true,” reporting “The number she cites is correct, and she’s right to say that the skills gap plays a role. Economists warn against overestimating the role played by the skills gap in all 6 million job openings, both because other factors play a role (such as the image gap) and because the skills barriers posed are often more modest than having to earn an academic degree or to obtain specialized training.”

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Connect with Internet Archive at ALA 2017—Chicago

Come meet Internet Archive Founder, Brewster Kahle and Director of Partnerships, Wendy Hanamura at ALA Annual 2017 in Chicago.

Saturday, June 24

10:30-11:30 a.m.  Making your library a digital library by 2020

  • Where:  McCormick Place W194b
  • Who:     Brewster Kahle, Founder & Digital Librarian and Wendy Hanamura, Director of Partnerships

Description:  Come hear the Internet Archive team discuss OpenLibraries—a project that will enable every US library to become a more digital library. Working with library partners and organizations serving the print disabled, the Internet Archive proposes bringing 4 million books online, through purchase or digitization, starting with the century of books missing from our digital shelves. Our plan includes at-scale circulation of these e-books, enabling libraries owning the physical works to lend digital copies to their patrons. This will enable thousands of libraries to unlock their analog collections for a new generation of learners, enabling free, long-term, public access to knowledge.

Semifinalist in MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change:  This Internet Archive project has been selected as one of the eight semifinalists in the 100&Change MacArthur Foundation Challenge which will provide $100 million over five years to an organization trying to solve one of the world’s toughest problems.  In our case: providing free access to the best knowledge available. Brewster and Wendy will describe the current state of project planning and listen to your feedback to ensure this project has transformative impact on the communities you serve.

Monday, June 26

1:30-2:15  Conversation Starter:  The Library of 2020 – Building A Collaborative Digital Collection of 4 Million Books

  • Where:  McCormick Place W183a
  • Who:     Wendy Hanamura, Dir. of Partnerships & Brewster Kahle, Digital Librarian

Description:  Even in this digital age, millions of books are not accessible to online learners and the print disabled. We in the library community haven’t been able to keep up with this digital demand, stymied by costs, eBook restrictions, and missing infrastructure. By making millions of books digitally available, we can unlock them for communities with severely limited or no access to those books. Because of distance, cost, time-constraints, or disability, people in many communities are too often unable to access physical books. Digital content is instantly available to people at a distance, at all hours, and with widely ranging physical abilities. Together with library and accessibility partners, the Internet Archive proposes bringing 4 million books online, through purchase or digitization. Our plan includes at-scale circulation of these eBooks, enabling libraries owning the physical works to lend digital copies. As 1 of 8 semifinalists for MacArthur’s 100&Change award, we seek your feedback. The goal: bringing libraries and learners 4 million eBooks, enabling the free, long-term, public access to knowledge.

NOTE:  To be live streamed via Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/internetnetarchive/

All times are in Central Daylight Time. For full schedule, visit https://www.eventscribe.com/2017/ALA-Annual/.  

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TV news fact-checked: Donald and Ivanka Trump

By Katie Dahl

Our fact-checking partners spent time on the Trumps this week, covering Ivanka Trump’s claim about women in STEM occupations and the President’s claims about James Comey and Michael Flynn, record-setting nominations delays, how long it actually took to build the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge, and his involvement in a new coal mine opening.

Claim: Trump said “let this go” referencing the FBI investigation of Michael Flynn (contradicted by Trump)

In his written testimony submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 7, former FBI director James Comey wrote that President Trump said, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

In a PolitiFact article reporting on conflicting claims between Comey and the White House, Lauren Carroll wrote that when asked about this allegation in a May 18 press conference, the President said, “No. No. Next question.”

Claim: Trump nominees faced ‘record-setting long’ delays (true)

In a comment at a cabinet meeting on June 12, President Trump said, “This is our first Cabinet meeting with the entire Cabinet present. The confirmation process has been record-setting long — and I mean record-setting long — with some of the finest people in our country being delayed and delayed and delayed.”

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Glenn Kessler reported that Trump “faced unusually sustained opposition for a new president, including cloture votes demanded for 14 of his choices,” and gave the President their “Geppetto Checkmark” for correct statements.

Claim: women make up 47% of workforce and just 23% of STEM occupations (mostly true)

In an interview this week, Ivanka Trump said, “Women… represent 47 percent of the overall work force, we only make up 23 percent of STEM-related [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] occupations.”

That is “not far off the mark,” according to PolitiFact’s Louis Jacobson. He went on to report, “Trump was correct about the percentage of the overall workforce that is female,” and “The report [2016 National Science Board and the National Science Foundation] found that in 2013, women represented 29 percent of individuals in science and engineering occupations. That’s higher than Trump’s 23 percent, although it supports her broader point — that women are underrepresented in STEM fields.”

Claim: Americans ‘built the Golden Gate Bridge in four years and the Hoover Dam in five’ (misleading)

In his weekly address on June 9, President Trump said, “we are the nation that built the Golden Gate Bridge in four years and the Hoover Dam in five. Now, it takes as much as a decade just to plan a major permit or a major infrastructure or anything even remotely major in our country, and that’s ridiculous and it’s going to change.”

Michelle Ye Hee Lee gave Trump “three Pinocchios” for this claim. She reported for the Washington Post’s Fact Checker, “Trump describes the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge and Hoover Dam as projects that were constructed over four or five years, unbound by the years of permitting and regulatory restrictions that current-day projects face. But Trump only focuses on the literal construction of the projects, and overlooks the many years of bureaucratic negotiating and regulating that took place leading up to the construction.”

Claim: Trump is putting miners back to work with the opening of a new coal mine (hard to believe)

In a speech in Cincinnati, Ohio on June 7, President Trump said, “Next week we’re opening a big coal mine. You know about that. One in Pennsylvania. It’s actually a new mine. That hadn’t happened in a long time, folks. But we’re putting the people and we’re putting the miners back to work.”

“Trump did not name the Pennsylvania mine,” reported Robert Farley for FactCheck.org, “and the White House did not respond to us. But these kinds of events are rare enough that it is clear he is referring to the June 8 grand opening of the Corsa Coal Company’s Acosta Deep Mine more than 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

What did Trump’s presidency have to do with its opening? Nothing. Development of the Acosta mine began in September, two months before the presidential election.”

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AMA about OpenLibraries–our proposal for MacArthur’s 100&Change

Live Chat on YouTube Live, Thursday, June 15 from 10-11:30 a.m. PT

with

Brewster Kahle, Founder and Digital Librarian
Wendy Hanamura, Director of Partnerships
John Gonzalez, Director of Engineering

What would it mean if you had easy online access to 4 million modern books–the equivalent of a great public or university library?  What would that mean for the print disabled and those unable to reach their public libraries? How would that change innovation and scholarship? In an era of misinformation, how can we tie information to the published works of humankind?

Those are some of the questions we’ve been asking ourselves at the Internet Archive as we hone our plans for Open Libraries–our proposal to the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change competition to tackle one of the world’s toughest problems. We are now one of eight semifinalists vying for $100 million grant to carry out our goal: democratizing access to knowledge by providing free, long-term access to a digital library of 4 million modern books. We call our project Open Libraries because we want to help every library in the nation to provide its members with digital access to its rich collections.

The Internet Archive, working with library and accessibility partners, has a plan to bring 4 million books online, through purchase or digitization, starting with the 20th century books missing from our digital shelves. Our plan includes at-scale circulation of these e-books, enabling libraries owning the physical works to lend digital copies to their patrons. Working with our accessibility partners, we will also make this collection available to the print disabled around the world.  And our team of curators will help make sure we create an inclusive, diverse collection of 20th century texts.

We now have the technology and legal frameworks to transform our library system by 2023 to provide more democratic access to knowledge–for library patrons, scholars, students and the print disabled.

We want to hear what you think.  Help us hone our plans, test our hypotheses, and dream big!

Ask us a question or post an idea in the comments below. We will answer them during our YouTube Live.  Or tweet us using #OpenLibrariesAMA.

Posted in Announcements, News | 19 Comments

TV news fact-checked: Trump, Pruitt, Gore, and Handel

By Katie Dahl

In this week’s roundup of fact-checked TV news, the term “travel ban” gets a final word from the president, new coal mining jobs numbers are questioned, Gore and Pruitt give competing claims about Paris Agreement target requirements, Trump supporters are polled for their approval of the Paris Agreement, two elements of the Iran Deal are clarified, and one of Trump’s arguments for privatizing the FAA gets a context check.

Claim: executive order is a “travel ban” (the president says it is)

In a tweet on June 5, President Donald Trump wrote: “People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!”

According to Miriam Valverde at PolitiFact, this statement ran counter to what “his spokesman, administration officials, lawyers, courts and others call it.” Among many examples collected by Valverde are three instances (1, 2, 3) of Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly calling it a “travel pause” and twice saying the executive order “is not a travel ban.” The most recent interview was May 28. PolitiFact’s conclusion: “It’s a travel ban.”

Claim: we’ve added 50,000 coal mining jobs since last quarter, 7,000 since May (misleading spin)

In three TV interviews (1, 2, 3) with major networks on Sunday, June 4, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt made this claim: “We’ve had over 50,000 jobs since last quarter, coal jobs, mining jobs, created in this country. We had almost 7,000 mining and coal jobs created in the month of May alone.”

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler, gave Pruitt a “four Pinocchio” rating for this claim, writing “the biggest problem with Pruitt’s statistic is that most of the gain in ‘mining’ jobs has nothing to do with coal. Most of the new jobs were in a subcategory called ‘support activities for mining,’ which accounted for more than 40,000 of the new jobs since October and more than 30,000 of the jobs since January.” For FactCheck.org, Eugene Kiely reported the same information and further that “BLS [Bureau of Labor Statistics] could not tell us how many of those jobs were related to coal mining, as opposed to gas, oil, metal ores and nonmetallic minerals. We do know, however, that most of those jobs support the gas and oil industries.”

Claim: US could change emissions targets under Paris Agreement without pulling out of it (Gore was right)

In dueling Sunday political talk show interviews, former Vice President Al Gore said of the Paris Agreement, “the requirements were voluntary. He [Trump] could have changed the requirements,” while EPA Administrator Pruitt, on another show, said “No, no, no. No, not under the agreement. Not under the agreement… You’re wrong” to Jake Tapper of CNN’s statement: “You can change those targets.” Pruitt went on to claim that the targets “can only be ratcheted up.”

For their SciCheck project, FactCheck.org’s Vanessa Schipani reported, “The Paris Agreement is voluntary. Countries aren’t penalized for failing to adhere to their proposed emissions cuts. So President Donald Trump could have ignored or changed the U.S. pledged emissions targets without withdrawing from the agreement.”

Claim: most Trump supporters wanted the US to stay in the Paris Agreement (mostly false)

In another interview on Sunday, Gore said, “A majority of President Trump’s supporters and voters wanted to stay in” the Paris Agreement.

For PolitiFact, John Kruzel reported that on “Gore’s central point, the poll [Yale-George Mason poll] found that among Trump voters, 47 percent wanted to participate in the Paris Agreement, compared to 28 percent who supported opting out, with a quarter expressing no opinion.

So, 47 percent support among Trump voters amounts to a plurality — not a majority, as Gore said.”

Claim: US flew $2 billion to Iran and Obama administration said it was used for terrorism (half true)

In a debate between Jon Ossoff and Karen Handel leading up to a special election for Georgia’s sixth congressional district later this month — the election resulted from Tom Price being tapped by the Trump administration to lead the Department of Health and Human Services — Handel made this claim. “Nearly $2 billion in cash was flown over to Iran, money that the Obama administration has admitted is being used for terrorists and to support further activities there.”

According to Jon Greenberg of PolitiFact, “The Iran deal focused on reducing Iran’s stockpiles of nuclear-grade material, but a key provision unlocked Iranian assets that had been frozen for decades. How much money was there is a matter of debate.” He went on to report that John Kerry, then Secretary of State in the Obama administration, appeared on TV and said “‘I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps) or of other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists,’ Kerry said. ‘To some degree, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that every component of that can be prevented.'”

Claim: the Obama administration spent over $7 billion on the aviation system and failed (two Pinocchios)

In comments announcing a plan to privatize part of the federal air traffic control apparatus, President Trump said “the previous administration spent over $7 billion trying to upgrade the system and totally failed. Honestly, they didn’t know what the hell they were doing.”

Michelle Ye Hee Lee reported for the Washington Post’s Fact Checker that “Trump characterizes this program as an Obama-era error, but the planning for the massive overhaul began in 2000. Congress authorized the FAA to tackle these changes in 2003, and the Department of Transportation launched the NextGen program in January 2004… There have been delays and changes in the project, but high-priority projects have made progress.” She gave this claim “two Pinocchios.”

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Help Us Defend Net Neutrality!

Please stand with the Internet Archive and over 50 allies in the effort to protect free speech by adding your name in support of net neutrality and writing to your Congressperson today. We have only 40 days left to stop a current FCC proposal that could upend the government’s prior commitment to net neutrality and seriously threaten free speech online. If you represent an organization, please consider participating in the movement on July 12 to inform the public on how to take action.

The end of net neutrality could be devastating to the Internet community at large in a multitude of ways. For example, relatively small organizations like the Archive don’t have the resources to negotiate special deals with ISPs, let alone pay new tolls in order to reach users who rely on our service to broadcast their voice. Many like us could be relegated to an Internet “slow lane” while bigger sites and closer partners of ISPs enjoy faster speeds.

We have fought against threats to a free and open Internet before and won. On September 10, 2014, we came together as hundreds of organizations and over 4 million people to support net neutrality and speak out against SOPA. In 2015, the FCC heard our voices and issued a landmark ruling called the “Open Internet Order” that declared the Internet a neutral public utility which couldn’t be censored or manipulated by corporate interests.

Fast forward to 2017. Only 18 months after the FCC reached a decision to protect our free speech, they have switched stances and are doing everything in their power to pass Docket 17-108, which would reverse the 2015 decision we worked so hard to achieve. The effort is led by a commissioner who was formerly a lawyer for one of the ISPs that has lobbied hardest against net neutrality and stands to directly benefit from this policy reversal. At our expense.

We need your help. Protect digital free speech and universal access to all knowledge. Please make your voice heard: send comments to the FCC, contact your Congressperson, and connect your organization with the July 12 campaign, and share these links with your friends.

 

 

Posted in Announcements, News | 6 Comments

Comcast’s Blocking and Un-Blocking of Archive.org – What We Know So Far

Comcast Internet users found themselves unable to access archive.org starting late Thursday afternoon due to Comcast blocking access to our site. The earliest time Comcast users reported problems was around 4:30 PM PST and access was restored around 6:15 AM the next day (a span of about 13 hrs 45 min).

Comcast informed us that the block was put into place due to detection of an apparent Xfinity-branded phishing page posted to archive.org by an uploader. According to Comcast, we had taken that page down promptly, but Comcast’s block was nevertheless implemented without notice on late Thursday afternoon. Hours after our reporting the blocking to friends at Comcast they diagnosed the issue, removed the block and restored their customers’ access to archive.org.

In addition to a significant number of archive.org users, some of our employees use Comcast for access and were unable to do some of their work during the block.  This was also reported on in Vice’s Motherboard.

We searched our communications for any reports from Comcast preceding the block and found only one email sent to us Thursday morning reporting a phishing page, which we took down promptly. Sent by an outside security company working for Comcast, the email did not mention any possibility of a block. The email and our removal of the item preceded the first known instance of the block by about eight hours.

This is the gist of what we know at this point. We continue to gather information and take this incident very seriously.

Posted in Announcements, News | 12 Comments

Dreaming of Semantic Audio Restoration at a Massive Scale

I believe we can do a fabulous job of bringing the music from the 78rpm era back to vibrant life if we really understand wear and if we could model the instruments and voices.

In other words, I believe we could reconstruct a performance by semantically modeling the noise and distortion we want to get rid of, as well as modeling the performer’s instruments.

To follow this reasoning—what if we knew we were examining a piano piece and knew what notes were being played on what kind of piano and exactly when and how hard for each note—we could take that information to make a reconstruction by playing it again and recording that version. This would be similar to what optical character recognition (OCR) does with images of pages with text—it knows the language and it figures out the words on the page and then makes a new page in a perfect font. In fact, with the OCR’ed text, you can change the font, make it bigger, and reflow the page to fit on a different device.

What if we OCR’ed the music? This might work well for the instrumental accompaniment, because then we would handle a voice, if any, differently. We could have a model of the singer’s voice based on not only this recording and other recordings of this song, but also all other recordings of that singer. With those models we could reconstruct the voice without any noise or distortion at all.

We would balance the reconstructed and the raw signals to maintain the subtle variations that make great performances.   This could also be done for context as sometimes digital filmmakers add in some scratched film effects.

So, there can be a wide variety of restoration tools if we make the jump into semantics and big data analysis.

The Great 78 Project will collect and digitize over 400,000 digitized 78rpm recordings to make them publicly available, creating a rich data set to do large scale analysis. These transfers are being done with four different styli shapes and sizes at the same time, and all recorded at 96KHz/24bit lossless samples, and in stereo (even though the records are in mono, this provides more information about the contours of the groove). This means each groove has 8 different high-resolution representations of every 11 microns. Furthermore, there are often multiple copies of the same recording that would have been stamped and used differently. So, modeling the wear on the record and using that to reconstruct what would have been on the master may be possible.

Many important records from the 20th century, such as jazz, blues, and ragtime, have only a few performers on each, so modeling those performers, instruments, and performances is quite possible.  Analyzing whole corpuses is now easier with modern computers, which can provide insights beyond restoration as well as understand playing techniques that are not commonly understood.

If we build full semantic models of instruments, performers, and pieces of music, we could even create virtual performances that never existed.  Imagine a jazz performer virtually playing a song that had not been written in their lifetime. We could have different musician combinations, or singers performing with different cadences. Areas for experimentation abound once we cross the threshold of full corpus analysis and semantic modeling.

We hope the technical work done on this project will have a far-reaching effect on a full media type since the Great 78 Project will digitize and hold a large percentage of all 78rpm records ever produced from 1908 to 1950.  Therefore, any techniques that are built upon these recordings can be used to restore many many records.

Please dive in and have fun with a great era of music and sound.

 

(we get a sample every 11microns when digitizing the outer rim of a 78rpm record at 96KHz.   And given we now have 8 different readings of that, with 24bit resolution, we hopefully can get a good idea of the groove.   There are optical techniques that are very cool, but those have their own issues, I am told

10″ * 3.14 = 31.4″ circumference = 80cm/revolution

@ 78rpm:  60 seconds/min / 78revolutions/minute = .77 seconds / revolution

80cm/rev   / (.77sec/rev)  = 104cm/sec

96Ksampes/sec

104cm/sec / (96ksamples/sec) = 11microns )

 

Posted in 78rpm, Announcements, Audio Archive, Music | 3 Comments

TV news fact-checked: climate change edition

by Katie Dahl & Nancy Watzman

With President Donald Trump’s announcement on Thursday that the U.S. would pull out of the international Paris climate agreement dominating TV news screens, we devote this round up to the issue of climate change.

Global climate agreement news trending

As of Friday morning, reports on Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement was trending across TV news channels, driving out reports on investigations of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections and possible Trump campaign involvement. The one exception was MSNBC, where “Russia” was a top trending topic, while “Paris” was at the top of the list for other cable stations, according to the Television Explorer tool created by Kalev Leetaru, which draws on closed captioning from the TV News Archive to allow users to search news coverage. (The tool now incorporates recent TV news broadcasts, so general trends can be seen as the data rolls in, although for definitive results it is best to wait 24 hours to search.)

“Paris” was trending everywhere but MSNBC, where “Russia” was leading. Source: Television Explorer, TV News Archive

Claim: Paris Agreement would cause $3 trillion drop in US GDP (flawed study) 

Fact-checkers quickly analyzed Trump’s Rose Garden speech (full video available here) where he laid out his reasons for withdrawing from the agreement.  Among them: he said the “cost to the economy at this time would be close to $3 trillion in lost GDP.”

A team of reporters at FactCheck.org provided context. “That figure is for the year 2040 and for one scenario in a report that found a smaller impact under a different scenario. Another analysis estimated the potential economic impact of meeting the Paris Agreement emissions targets would be ‘modest’ and the cost of delaying action would be ‘high.'”

Similarly, PolitiFact’s Jon Greenberg wrote: “Take these statistics with a grain of salt… Yale professor Kenneth Gillingham said the NERA model tends to result in higher costs than other economic models. The study assumes certain hypothetical regulations, but ‘one could easily model other actions with much lower costs.'”

The Washington Post’s Fact Checkers, Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee, reported his statistics are from a “study that was funded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Council for Capital Formation, foes of the Paris Accord. So the figures must be viewed with a jaundiced eye.”

Of course Trump and his surrogates have made many claims in the past on TV news shows, which were fact-checked. Also worth a look: this compilation Mother Jones created last December of Trump’s statements over the years on different media (including TV news) about global warming.

Claim: the Paris Agreement is one-sided (needs context)

In April 2017, President Donald Trump decried the Paris agreement on climate as “one-sided… where the United States pays billions of dollars while China, Russia and India have contributed and will contribute nothing.”

Reporter Vanessa Schipan from FactCheck.org wrote that the “U.S. has promised to contribute $3 billion to this fund [Green Climate Fund]” and “China and India haven’t contributed to the Green Climate Fund… Russia hasn’t contributed any funds either, but it also hasn’t ratified the Paris Agreement or submitted an outline of what actions it will take…” She also reported “that, per capita, the U.S. emitted more greenhouse gases than China and India combined in 2015.”

Claim: China and India have no obligations under agreement until 2030 (four Pinocchios)

In a related statement on April 13, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt said “China and India had no obligations under the agreement until 2030.”

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler, reported “China, in its submission, said that, compared to 2005 levels, it would seek to cut its carbon emissions by 60 to 65 percent per unit of GDP by 2030. India said it would reduce its emissions per unit of economic output by 33 to 35 percent below 2005 by 2030… Note that both countries pledge to reach these goals by 2030, meaning they are taking steps now to meet their commitments.”

Claim: human activity, or carbon dioxide emissions, is not the primary contributor to global warming (science says, wrong)

In an interview on CNBC in March, EPA administrator Pruitt said “I would not agree that it’s [human activity or CO2] a primary contributor to the, to the global warming that we see.”

For FactCheck.org, Vanessa Schipani reported that “[S]cience says he’s wrong.” She wrote that “[a]ccording to the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fifth assessment report, it is ‘extremely likely’ (at least 95 percent probable) that more than half of the observed temperature increase since the mid-2oth century is due to human, or anthropogenic, activities.”

Claim: scientists cannot precisely measure climate change (they can with different levels of certainty)

In a lengthy article for their SciCheck project, FactCheck.org’s Vanessa Schipani reviewed statements by several Trump administration officials on this question of whether we can measure climate change with precision and whether we can measure the human impact. Among those who have made this claim are EPA’s Scott Pruitt, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. Schipani reported “scientists can measure that impact with varying levels of certainty and precision” by going through the science for the greenhouse effect, global warming to climate change, and measuring and predicting extreme weather.

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MIT Press Classics Available Soon at Archive.org

For more than eighty years, MIT Press has been publishing acclaimed titles in science, technology, art and architecture.  Now, thanks to a new partnership between the Internet Archive and MIT Press, readers will be able to borrow these classics online for the first time. With generous support from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing, this partnership represents an important advance in providing free, long-term public access to knowledge.

“These books represent some of the finest scholarship ever produced, but right now they are very hard to find,” said Brewster Kahle, founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive. “Together with MIT Press, we will enable the patrons of every library that owns one of these books to borrow it online–one copy at a time.”

This joint initiative is a crucial early step in Internet Archive’s ambitious plans to digitize, preserve and provide public access to four million books, by partnering widely with university presses and other publishers, authors, and libraries.  The Internet Archive is one of eight groups named semi-finalists in 100&Change, a global competition for a single $100 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The competition seeks bold solutions to critical problems of our time.

MIT Press’ Kelly McDougall (l) and Editor, Amy Brand, holding one of the publisher’s classic books.

MIT Press Director, Amy Brand said, “One of my top ambitions for the MIT Press has been to ensure that our entire legacy of publications is digitized, accessible, searchable, discoverable now and in perpetuity. Partnering with Internet Archive to achieve this objective is a dream come true not only for me and my colleagues at the Press, but also for many of our authors whose earlier works are completely unavailable or not easily accessible.”  

Lending online permits libraries to fulfill their mission in the digital age, allowing anyone  to borrow through the ether copies of works they own,” said Professor Peter Baldwin, co-founder of Arcadia.  “The IA-MIT collaboration is a big step in the direction of realizing a universal library, accessible to anyone, anywhere.”

One of the hundreds of titles coming soon to archive.org

We will be scanning an initial group of 1,500 MIT Press titles at Internet Archive’s Boston Public Library facility, including Cyril Stanley Smith’s 1980 book, From Art to Science: Seventy-Two Objects Illustrating the Nature of Discovery, and Frederick Law Olmsted and Theodora Kimball’s Forty Years of Landscape Architecture: Central Park, which was published in 1973. The oldest title in the group is Arthur C. Hardy’s 1936 Handbook of Colorimetry.

John Palfrey, Head of School at Phillips Academy Andover and well-known public access advocate, described the partnership as “a truly ground-breaking development in open scholarship that I hope will inspire other university presses to follow suit, since so many excellent and important books are effectively out of circulation by virtue of being analog-only in a digital world.”

The Internet Archive has already begun digitizing MIT Press’ backlist and they will be available at archive.org soon. The set of 1500 deep backlist works should be available by the end of 2017.

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