The Global Warming Challenge

Evidence-based forecasting for climate change

Archive for the ‘al gore’ Category

Who would win the ‘Climate Bet’, Al Gore or Scott Armstrong?

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In his talk on March 9, 2009 at the International Climate Change Conference in New York City, Wharton Professor J. Scott Armstrong will announce the launch of a prediction market on the outcome of the „Climate Bet‟ he proposed to Mr. Gore in 2007. Prediction markets are a structured scientific approach to eliciting and summarizing peoples‟ opinions. The Climate Bet prediction market is part of a project led by Andreas Graefe, a researcher at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany, to examine the use of prediction markets for controversial public policy issues. Are prediction markets useful in aiding the democratic process? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by mzfeldm

February 23, 2009 at 11:24 pm

Test Your Climate Change IQ

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Take this one-question quiz and see how well you can forecast global average temperatures (Available for download here) Read the rest of this entry »

Written by mzfeldm

February 19, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Global Warming “cancelled”, 2009 International Climate Change Conference is on.

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As they did in 2008, organizers of The International Climate Change Conference are hosting a similar forum entitled “Global Warming Canceled” in New York on March 8-10 of 2009.  The Conference, sponsored The Heartland Institute, is intended to encourage an unbiased scientific evaluation of global warming.

Dan Miller, executive vice president of The Heartland Institute explains, “No corporate dollars earmarked for the event were solicited or accepted.” This creates a unique setting for a discussion of global warming; an issue that often incorporates political and corporate interests. Nearly 1000 scientists and experts from around the world will be attending the conference…more

Written by mzfeldm

October 24, 2008 at 4:12 pm

Audio recordings now available for the International Conference on Climate Change

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On March 2-4 2008, more than 500 scientists, economists, and policy analysts from around the world met in New York City for the inaugural International Conference on Climate Change.  The audio recordings of all 103 presentations from all five tracks (paleoclimatology, climatology, impacts, economics, and politics) are now available on a 35-CD set. It is clear that there is no scientific consensus on the causes and consequences of climate change nor on the direction of the changes.

The complete set is available from The Heartland Institute for $119.
Call (312) 377-4000 to order, or use the online order form at http://www.heartland.org/newyork08/proceedings.html.

Armstrong responds to Andrew C. Revkin’s “Gore Group Plans Ad Blitz on Global Warming”

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Professor J. Scott Armstrong responds to Andrew C. Revkin’s April 1st New York Times article, “Gore Group Plans Ad Blitz on Global Warming” through Google News Comments:

Gore’s Global Warming Campaign Raises Ethical and Legal Questions

As a professor who has taught advertising at the Wharton School since the 1970s, I wonder whether Mr. Gore’s advertising campaign raises ethical and legal concerns.

Advertisers should be able to support their claims. Yet, as I have pointed out to Mr. Gore on numerous occasions since June 2007, there are no scientific forecasts to support claims of global warming. Details on this conclusion can be found in a paper that I and Dr. Kesten Green published titled, “Global Warming: Forecasts by Scientists versus Scientific Forecasts,” (available in full text at http://publicpolicyforecasting.com). Advertisers should be expected to support their claims. In this regard, on June 19, 2007, I asked Mr. Gore to participate in a Global Warming Challenge to test his theories (see http://theclimatebet.com ). He has not agreed to the challenge.

On page 10 of his book, The Assault on Reason, Mr. Gore stated:

“We must . . . stop tolerating the rejection and distortion of
science. We must insist on an end to the cynical use of pseudostudies
known to be false for the purpose of intentionally clouding the
public’s ability to discern the truth. . . . The climate crisis, in
particular, could cause us to reject and transcend ideologically
based distortions of the best available scientific evidence.”

Consistent with this, in March of this year I asked him: “When and under what conditions would you be willing to engage in a scientific test of your forecasts?”

I am still waiting for an answer.

I expect that Mr. Gore’s campaign will avoid two-sided messages such as might might be found in educational programs or in messages related to health (e.g., pharmaceutical advertising). Instead they will be based heavily on innuendos, anecdotes, emotion, and repetition of claims. These are approaches that are commonly used for propaganda campaigns that lack scientific evidence.

J. Scott Armstrong

Written by climatebet

April 8, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Al Gore misses the March 26 deadline for the Global Warming Challenge

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The extended due date for the Global Warming Challenge passed with no word from Mr. Gore. Although he and Professor Armstrong have had a number of communications, Mr. Gore offered no response to the key question:

“When and under what conditions would you be willing to engage in a scientific test of your forecasts?”

Validation of forecasting methods is a key issue in climate change because, although we know that climate varies, we have been unable to locate a single scientific forecast that supports global warming. If Mr. Gore or anyone else is aware of such a forecast, they should reveal the source to the scientific community. Claims that science supports global warming forecasts have, to date, failed to provide sources.

A history of the Global Warning Challenge is provided at http://theclimatebet.com. It includes all correspondence between Scott Armstrong and Al Gore. The site will post all papers that purport to provide scientific forecasts of global warming. The papers must provide full disclosure on how the forecasts were made, as full disclosure is one of the basic principles of science.

Scott Armstrong’s letter to Al Gore follows:

March 28, 2008
Honorable Albert Gore
2100 West End Avenue,
Suite 620
Nashville, TN 37203
Fax: 615-327-2227

Dear Mr. Gore,

The extended deadline for the Global Warming Challenge has passed and, despite the fact that I have responded to all of your concerns to date regarding the challenge, you have not been willing to engage in a scientific test of your forecasts of dangerous global warming.

Despite our literature searches and our appeals both on the Internet and in our published paper on climate change, my colleague and I have been unable to find a single scientific forecast to support global warming. If you are aware of such a study, I appeal to you directly to reveal it to the scientific community so that it can be subject to peer review and so the public can see the scientific basis for your claims.

In addition we need to continue scientific studies. Thus, I pose this question:

“When and under what conditions would you be willing to engage in a scientific test of your global warming forecasts?”

I look forward to your responses. By your own words, the global warming issue remains an important one for the future of the world. Given the enormous expenditures on this issue, I hope that as a concerned and influential citizen, you will take an active role in encouraging the application of science to this issue.

Sincerely,

J. Scott Armstrong

Written by climatebet

March 28, 2008 at 8:25 am

Gore proposes new condition on climate forecasting challenge . . . Armstrong accepts and awaits a reply

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On June 19, 2007, Professor Armstrong proposed the Global Warming Challenge to Mr. Gore in an effort to stimulate a scientific approach to forecasting climate change. The Challenge asked that Armstrong and Gore each put $10,000 into a Charitable Trust Fund on December 1, 2007. Armstrong bet that over the next ten years he could forecast temperature change more accurately than any climate model that Mr. Gore might nominate. (Armstrong’s forecast would be that global mean temperature would not change over the ten years.)

On July 6, Mr. Gore sent a cordial reply stating that he was too busy. In response, on November 28, 2007, Dr. Armstrong extended the deadline to March 26, 2008, and made the task easier: Mr. Gore was asked merely to provide a checkmark beside a leading climate model and to sign his name.

Mr. Gore’s spokesperson replied on Armstrong’s answering phone on around February 5. The caller apologized for being so late for responding to the November 28 letter. She said, “Senator Gore declines.” No reason was given. She said to call if there were any questions. Attempts to reach her by phone failed despite leaving callback messages. Armstrong then contacted her by email with questions for Mr. Gore:

“You have made dramatic forecasts of a dire future and have asked people to make big sacrifices on the basis of those forecasts. I would be grateful if you would explain:

1. Why are you unwilling to back your forecasts in a challenge intended to promote scientific forecasting of climate change?

2. Under what conditions would you be willing to back your forecasts in a challenge against my forecasts from a simple scientific method that is appropriate in situations of high uncertainty: the naïve “no change” method?”

The spokesperson said that with respect to question #1, “Mr. Gore simply does not wish to participate in a financial wager.” Armstrong responded that it was fine by him and that we could “merely do it for its scientific value.” The spokesperson said that she would ask Mr. Gore. Armstrong asked if Mr. Gore would also respond to question #2.

The second question is of particular importance given that we have not been able to find any scientific forecasts to support global warming –or any that would support negative effects from global warming –or any to support the notion that efforts to reduce man-made CO2 would have a favorable impact on the climate. See Green & Armstrong’s paper “Global Warming: Forecasts By Scientists Versus Scientific Forecasts,” Energy & Environment 18 (2007), 995-1019.

Armstrong said that this is a scientific issue, not a political issue. Opinion polls do not provide a scientific approach in this situation, even when some of the respondents are climate experts. However, procedures do exist that would allow us to make scientific forecasts.

Meanwhile, Professor Armstrong awaits Mr. Gore’s response to the revised challenge.

Written by climatebet

February 14, 2008 at 9:14 pm