Global Warming: Krugman v. the National Review

Hat tip to Ezra Klein for taking on the personal attacks on Al Gore from Jonah Goldberg who we noted has a reading comprehension problem regarding the facts regarding global warming.

Via Mark Thoma comes Paul Krugman who does know how to read the evidence:

Mr. Gore couldn’t have asked for a better illustration of disinformation campaigns than the reaction of energy-industry lobbyists and right-wing media organizations to his film. … As evidence that global warming isn’t really happening, [the National Review] offers the fact that some Antarctic ice sheets are getting thicker … Curt Davis, … whose work is cited … has already protested. … He points out that an initial increase in the thickness of Antarctica’s interior ice sheets is a predicted consequence of a warming planet, so that his results actually support global warming … [T]hey [also] issue hysterical warnings about the economic consequences of environmentalism. “Al Gore’s global warming movie: could it destroy the economy?” Fox News asked. Well, no, it couldn’t. There’s … broad consensus that even a very strong program to reduce emissions would have only modest effects on economic growth. At worst, G.D.P. growth might be, say, one-tenth or two-tenths of a percentage point lower over the next 20 years. ….

And if one needs evidence that the National Review is guilty as charged, read Rich Lowry:

The Antarctic Peninsula has indeed been melting, but it constitutes only 2 percent of Antarctica’s total area. 2002 study in Nature found that two-thirds of the continent actually got colder from 1966 to 2000. A 2005 study published in Science looked at about 70 percent of Antarctica’s surface area and reported that the East Antarctic ice sheet had gained – yes, gained – 45 billion tons of ice annually between 1992 and 2003.

Yes, that 2% does sound small – doesn’t it? Of course, the National Review crows over a couple of billion dollars in Federal spending reductions as if that’s going to solve the massive Federal deficit problem even though it is only 0.2% of GDP. But has Lowry done the math as to the effect of the additional water in the oceans and their effects on coastal property. No, Aunt Bee of Topeka, Kansas has more to worry about from NSA wiretaps of her calls than she does in terms of her backyard being flooded – but there are a lot of people who do live near the shores.

Lowry also linked to Jason Lee Steorts who writes:

What is not moral is to distort the truth for political ends – which is precisely what has been done with the ice-caps story.

I guess Steorts was talking about the distortions found in the National Review.