Steorts Issues ‘Clarification’ On Misleading Global Warming Article, Makes Another Error

ThinkProgress has documented several critical errors in the National Review’s June 5 cover story on global warming, “Scare of the Century.”

In the new issue of National Review, Steorts owns up to one of his errors in a “clarification” letter to the editor. Here’s an excerpt:


My article “Scare of the Century” (June 5) quoted University of Virginia climate scientist Patrick J. Michaels as saying that “Antarctica has been gaining ice,” and, based on Michaels’s view, called 2002 a “high-water mark for Antarctic ice.” Michaels cited a study by Curt Davis to support his position. Davis subsequently noted that his study did not measure ice changes over all of Antarctica. It showed that a large part of the East Antarctic ice sheet was growing while much of the West Antarctic ice sheet was shrinking. Davis wrote in his study that, if the observed growth pattern held for all of East Antarctica, it would outweigh estimated ice loss in West Antarctica; but he did not conclusively prove this to be the case.


Steorts’ “clarification” also contains an error. Davis’ study is for the interior of Antartica only. The fact that Davis wrote that growth in the Eastern interior may outweigh losses in the Western interior can’t be used to suggest that Antartica is gaining ice overall. The study doesn’t cover losses on the costal areas, where loses are known to be substantial.

Steorts tries to argue his error was irrelevant:

The argument in “Scare of the Century,” however, did not depend on Davis’s study; in fact, it noted that research subsequent to Davis’s shows a current net ice loss for Antarctica.

Steorts, however, dismissed that subsequent research out of hand, relying on the same false claim 2002 was “a high water mark for ice.” Steorts wrote that “Alarmism over [that] study is on the order of going to the beach at high tide, drawing a line at the water’s edge, and fretting a few hours later that the oceans are drying up.”

The lesson here is simple. On global warming issues, the National Review can’t be trusted.