Steorts Dismisses Factual Errors As ‘Irrelevancies,’ Demands Corrections From ThinkProgress

Jason Steorts, author of the National Review cover story on global warming, dismisses multiple factual errors exposed by ThinkProgress as “irrelevancies.” Apparently, even though Steorts concedes he made numerous mistakes, we need to correct ourselves for pointing them out. Steorts says ThinkProgress has “failed to correct the errors and omissions I have pointed out in its replies to me.”

Steorts identifies four. At ThinkProgress, we take accuracy seriously. Let’s take Steorts claims in order:

1. The “assertion that I wrote that when you factor coastal ice loss into Davis’s study, it still shows that the Antarctic ice sheet is growing.”

Steorts did assert that when you factor in coastal loss Antarctica is still growing. Here’s the quote “Since this unstudied area lies in the ice sheet’s interior, it almost certainly gained ice over the course of the study, and would accordingly have offset the (also unmeasured) coastal loss.”

2. The “claim that my discussion of Ola Johannessen’s study of ice buildup in interior Greenland failed to acknowledge coastal loss.”

We never claimed Steorts failed to acknowledge costal losses in Greenland. In fact we quoted Steorts saying “Various studies show that warmer temperatures are causing the ice sheet [in Greenland] to lose mass at the margins.”

3. The “claim that my discussion of Greenland’s temperature history is contradicted by average global temperature records.”

Greenland’s temperature history is contradicted by average global temperature records. Steorts claims a forthcoming study in Geophysical Research Letters found it was warm in Greenland in the early 20th century. If true, that’s more relevant than the global average.

4. The “implication that I’d denied that human activity causes warming, when what I’d said was that there is disagreement about how much warming it causes.”

We never claimed Steorts denied human activity causes global warming. We illustrated that Steorts overstated the disagreement about how much human activity is responsible for global warming.

The real test for the National Review is if they buy Steorts argument factual errors are “irrelevant.” The magazine should take accuracy seriously and print a correction in their print edition.