A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Bill Nye offers lame bets on pointless noise, talks of slavery, jail — other “sciencey” stuff

Bill Nye and co at DeSmog are congratulating themselves on his bold $10K offer to bet that 2016 will be one of the ten “hottest” ever years. But 2016 is already the hottest ever year — it’s been reported in The Guardian, and New Scientist. And even if it isn’t the hottest ever year yet,  it will be one day after the results get post hoc adjusted.

Heck, It only has to be two hundreds of a degree hotter to get a NOAA and NASA special spin and press release. In 2014 the error bars were 500% bigger than the record but it’s the spirit that counts, not the signal-to-noise ratio.

Forget century-trends, in it’s dying days, the Trillion Dollar CO2 theory apparently boils down to 8 month bets on El Nino ephemera. Which coupled climate model predicted this El Nino from way back in 2010?

Marc Morano was totally right to call it “silly”. Nye’s other bet on offer was o’so bravely predicting that essentially the next three years won’t be super cool. O Bravo. Will the current decade be the “hottest on record”?  The climate just has to stay the same as it has for [...]

Too funny. Roy Spencer invented satellite temperature analysis, gets called “a blogger”

Careful Cheryl Jones, your groupthink is showing. She’s a science writer who writes today in The Australian about “climate bets”, but without seemingly using The Internet.

Here’s how she describes Roy Spencer:

Although a blogger, Spencer does publish research in the scientific journals. He was not surprised that Newman had invoked his name. “I’ve testified in the United States Congress probably half a dozen times,” he tells The Australian. “My name is out there.”

To put this in perspective, this is Roy Spencer, Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He’s not just a climate scientist either.  Roy Spencer and John Christy were the first two scientists to develop a method for getting temperatures from satellites, and the pair won NASA’s Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, and the American Meteorological Society’s “Special Award.” But Roy does write an excellent blog…

No sure bets in the climate debate

Cheryl Jones, The Australian

LAST summer, Nobel laureate Brian Schmidt challenged Tony Abbott’s chief business adviser Maurice Newman to bet $10,000 that the Earth’s average surface temperature would be lower in 20 years than now.

If Cheryl Jones had gone so far as to type “climate bets” into a [...]

Brave brave CSIRO climate scientists willing to bet on “any warming above zero”

So how sure are they of their climate model predictions? So sure they demand we pay billions but when it comes to betting their own money, the modelers are all bravado over the chance to bet on any warming “above zero” 20 years from now.

The Guardian:

Some of Australia’s top climate scientists, including those from the CSIRO, have said they will be willing to bet Tony Abbott’s business adviser Maurice Newman $10,000 that the world will warm over the next 20 years.

These gutsy scientists are offering bets that the climate “might” warm, and which might pay out to a man who will be 95 at their completion. The Guardian takes them seriously?

Here’s an offer to those climate scientists, yes I’m interested in a bet, for sure, but I won’t be offering you a shot at winning in a situation where you predict (and we pay to prevent) far more warming than you are willing to bet on. Hypocrisy what? Your own models are abject failures, and we are forced to pay for policies fueled by your failures and your salary as well.

So show you have the balls and come and talk about a real bet [...]

I already have a climate bet with a Brian Schmidt, I’d like to do another

[See the concise and updating story of our bet with the US Brian Schmidt here.]

Brian Schmidt offered to bet against Maurice Newman, but what’s interesting is just how startlingly weak and underconfident the bet is.

How times have changed.  In 2007 the IPCC seemed to be 90% confident that the world would warm by about 0.4 degrees over the next two decades. Now Brian Schmidt braves up to offer a bet of “anything above zero”. Is he really a sceptic? It appears so.

How much should we pay now to prevent “any warming above zero” in the next twenty years? $4.5 billion a year? How about nothing.

I sent something similar to this to three Australian editors yesterday, unfortunately at least two were out of the office. Holiday season.

As Australia’s largest sceptical climate blogger, I would be delighted to take up Brian’s offer of a bet (made to Maurice Newman).

Here’s the bizarre thing, I’m already a party to one of the largest bets on global temperatures, and would you believe, with a man also called Brian Schmidt? (My husband, David Evans, carved out that bet long ago in 2007, and as it happens, [...]

The story of one of the largest private wagers on the climate. A real climate bet.

[See our concise and updating story of the bet here.]

Commenters often ask us if I am prepared to make a bet and put “your money where your mouth is.” The answer is: been there — done that. We (as in David Evans and I) already have and a long time ago. As far as I know, it’s one of the largest private bets going on the climate*. David bet against Brian Schmidt, $6,000 to $9,000, in early 2007 on outcomes over 10, 15 and 20 years.

The bet was made a year before I started blogging. It was literally the first action we took as skeptics (instigated and hammered out almost entirely by David, with my support).  So we have $6,000 exposure — betting that global temperatures would not rise faster than 0.15C per decade, as judged by GISTemp. How are we doing on this bet? Judging by the trend at the moment, pretty well. Brian is still optimistic that he will win on the later outcomes. (This is part of the reason we are particularly interested in trends from 2005, which is when the bet temperatures begin to count.) Kudos to Brian both for being one [...]