QAnon: Did 365,348 children go missing in the US in 2020?
In December, Republican politician Lauren Boebert tweeted the claim that ‘365,348 children went missing in 2020’. This is a shocking statistic but is it true and does it mean what we think it means? We speak to Gabriel Gatehouse, international editor of Newsnight, who has been investigating conspiracy theories including the Qanon conspiracy theory for a new podcast, The Coming Storm.
Omicron, pandemic birth rates and boosters
The pandemic seems to be entering a new phase as Omicron has taken hold. Is it milder? And how might we make decisions based on the latest data?
Predictions that lockdowns might lead to a baby boom have proven wrong - in fact fertility is falling.
We re-examine a baffling claim about the number of children being abducted every year in the US after claims by a Republican politician on social media, and we run our statistical measuring tape up the inside leg of the government’s promise to give everyone a booster jab before New Year’s Day.
How much plastic is in the Ocean and can Mr Beast make a difference?
In October of last year popular Youtubers Mark Rober and the enigmatically named Mr Beast pledged to remove 30 million pounds of plastic from the Ocean – if they could raise $30 million dollars. A dollar per pound of plastic sounds like a fairly good deal, but how much plastic is out there and will they actually be removing anything from the Ocean at all?
(Image: Sahika Encumen dives amid plastic waste in Ortakoy coastline: photo by Sebnem Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Will the population of Nigeria be larger than Europe’s?
In recent years population growth has slowed rapidly. Experts believe that the global population will stabilise somewhere around 11 billion people. But just because global population is stabilising doesn’t mean each country is following the global trend. Some projections estimate that the population of Nigeria will increase rapidly to the point that there will be more people living in Nigeria than the whole of Europe combined. We look at the methods behind this claim.
Numbers of 2021
A guide to the most concerning, striking and downright extraordinary numbers of 2021. Tim Harford asks three More or Less interviewees about their most significant and memorable figure over the past year. From the excess death toll of Covid-19; to declining total fertility rates, and a spike in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, we showcase the numbers that tell us something about the year gone by.
During this programme, we speak to Hannah Ritchie, head of research at Our World in Data and senior researcher at the University of Oxford; Marina Adshade, Economics Professor at the University of British Columbia; and Heleen De Coninck, professor at Eindhoven University of Technology, and a lead author on several reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.