Rebuttal Update Project - Summer break and relaxed publication schedule

Regular readers might be surprised to not see another "At a glance" highlight for an updated rebuttal given that it's Tuesday when this blog post gets published and that we've done just that "regularly as clockwork" since February 2023. Please read on to find out why we are going on a little summer break now and how we plan to switch to a more relaxed publication routine for updated rebuttals following that.

Summer break

November 2022 saw us set off on a bit of a journey. It wasn't just that there was a mountain of rebuttals debunking well-known denier talking-points, waiting to be updated. More ambitiously, we had also decided after some debate to restructure them, for the purpose of improved public accessibility. You will therefore immediately know that you landed upon an updated rebuttal if it begins with "At a glance".

Since late 2022 it's been pretty much flat out, with John Mason drafting one or two updated rebuttals a week and Bärbel Winkler, Ken Rice and others reviewing their content. We started our weekly highlighting of updated rebuttals on February 14th 2023 and up until now have continued that procedure without fail, passing 50 updated rebuttals at the end of January 2024. All told, almost 100 updated rebuttals have been drafted with 71 published and highlighted as of this post. It's been a lot of hard work, in other words. But it's the summer holidays soon and we think we deserve a break!

We always aimed to have plenty of rebuttals in the pipeline at all times and we have. That will continue through the summer with a steady feed topping up the pool in reserve. However, our pageviews show clearly that we have now updated almost all of the most popular ones, so we are left with the more obscure denier talking-points.


Nevertheless, when science deniers make talking-points, many people repeat them. That's how their disinformation-machine works. So we will carry on, but we'd like a hand. If you see a dubious claim going a bit viral - across social media for example - it would be great if you let us know via our contact form or the Gigafact tipline. Please remember to include that all-important link to the claim's source!

New myths periodically emerge, like those regarding the European heatwave last summer. These have already been taken apart via blog-posts, but with the forthcoming new Skeptical Science website, there will be scope to add these to the database and format them suitably to fit into the style of our rebuttals, that constitute the core resource of this website.

In addition, we have been working with the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, who have dealt with common claims regarding renewable energy’s dependence on subsidies plus its potential harms to people or wildlife. This area, often referred to as 'solutions denial', is becoming more commonly encountered and it is right that Skeptical Science should have a resource that deals with the phenomenon, too.

Over the coming months, we are therefore going to publish both climate change and solutions-denial rebuttals. Starting in the autumn, we will be highlighting several climate science denial rebuttals at a time, every few weeks. Solutions-denial rebuttals will take their place in the weekly spotlight. 

So that's where we are and where we are heading. It's nice to have a breather. But if you see something from the Usual Suspects doing the rounds (or even something from someone completely novel), please let us know and it can be fast-tracked to our production-line!

Gigafact Tipline

Posted by John Mason on Tuesday, 2 July, 2024

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