Archive for the ‘press’ Category
The Italian newspaper La Stampa published an Alain Elkann Interview of Scott Armstrong on Sunday April 12 titled “J. Scott Armstrong: “Vi spiego perché le previsioni sul clima sono sbagliate”” here. Alain was particularly interested to know about the subject of theclimatebet.com: Professor Armstrong’s challenge to Al Gore to bet that temperatures will increase dangerously, as Mr Gore has threatened will happen.
Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with the Challenge, but for those of you who are not, or who are interested to read a fresh summary of what scientific forecasting tells us about 21st Century temperatures, you can find the full interview in English on Alain Elkann’s own site here. For those of you who have friends who are struggling to make sense of the dangerous manmade global warming alarm, the interview is a good place to start.
As we’ve written before, trends appear to emerge in the data, then reverse, on all timescales. January 2013’s relative warmth turned out to be a one-month spike, with temperatures in February again below the 2007 global average temperature. Since the first month of Scott Armstrong’s “bet” with Al Gore, the UAH monthly temperature anomaly has been cooler than the 2007 average for 34 out of the 62 months. In other words, to date 55% of months have been cooler
In response to a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Bjorn Lomborg, Scott Armstrong, Kesten Green, and Willie Soon wrote the following letter questioning Lomborg’s poorly-justified advocacy.
“Let’s Deal in Science and Facts” – A letter to the Wall Street Journal
Bjorn Lomborg (“Can Anything Serious Happen in Cancun?”, op-ed, Nov. 12) claims that government spending on global warming policies is wasted, but he assumes that global warming caused by carbon dioxide is a fact. It is not. We base this statement not on the opinions of 31,000 American scientists who signed a public statement rejecting this warming hypothesis (the “Oregon Petition”), but rather because the forecasts of global warming were derived from faulty procedures.
We published a peer-reviewed paper showing that the forecasting procedures used by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change violated 72 of 89 relevant principles (e.g., “provide full disclosure of methods”). The IPCC has been unable to explain why it violated such principles. In response, we developed a model that follows the principles. Because the climate is complex and poorly understood, our model predicts that global average temperatures will not change.
In testing the models on global temperature data since 1850, we found that the long-range (91-to-100-years ahead) forecast errors from the IPCC’s projection were 12 times larger than the errors from our simple model.
Mr. Lomborg concludes there are better ways for governments to spend the funds devoted to global warming. We suggest this money should instead be returned to taxpayers.
J. Scott Armstrong, Kesten C. Green. Willie Soon.
See the letter on the WSJ site here.
Decimation of the polar bear: bearfaced lies?
A leading expert in forecasting tells spiked that research into the impact of climate change on polar bears has been shockingly shoddy.
Despite the steady growth of the polar bear population over the past 40 years – it now stands between 20,000 and 25,000 – there is no shortage of doom-laden reports about the bears’ imminent demise on our warming planet. Some refer to polar bears as the ‘canaries of climate change’. Indeed, so strong is the misery-mongering about polar bears that the US is currently trying to list them as an endangered species; and its campaign has been aided and abetted by several pieces of US government-sponsored research into polar bear numbers. Yet according to experts in the field of forecasting methods, official rumours of the polar bear’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.
Retired physicist Roger Cohen offers a public wager of $5,000 that the Earth will be cooler in 10 years, setting Feb. 9th as the deadline for individuals to take him up on the challenge; he cites Armstrong’s $10,000 challenge to Gore as inspiration. Click here for Durango Herald’s full article.
Below are details of the challenge from Roger Cohen:
Herald readers have had the opportunity to discern the flimsiness of the climate catastrophe case and to witness catastrophe advocates’ anger against those who disagree and their reluctance to debate technical issues. If advocates remain confident of impending climate catastrophe and firm in their belief that worldwide government interventions are urgently needed, they will seize the opportunity I offer here.
- I offer a public wager of $5,000 that the Earth will be cooler in 10 years.
- The wager is open to one individual or group of individuals. If more than one individual or group is interested, I will choose one and notify the others.
- The determining metric will be simple: whether the global average temperature for the year 2017 is higher or lower than 2007, as determined by the authoritative “HadCRUT3” data set (Climatic Research Unit, U.K.), or its successor.
- Funds will be deposited in an escrow account. Interest earned will be paid to the escrow agent.
- There will be a simple written agreement between the parties (I will pay legal counsel to prepare), and the parties will sign an escrow agreement relating to the deposited funds.
- My winnings will be donated to a local charitable organization promoting science education.
The wager is aimed at focusing attention on the critical issue: future climate and our ability to predict it. The United Nation’s climate panel relies on computer models for its projections and predicts that the Earth will likely be warmer in 10 years. The wager involves actual global climate data – no computer predictions, cherry-picked anecdotes, appeals to “majority opinion,” distortions of fact, or unfounded proclamations.
No excuses. If the amount is too high, advocates can run a fundraiser. If it seems low, propose a different amount. Want a different data set? Propose one. Trying to divert attention to those “nasty energy companies” and similar smokescreens will only emphasize the weakness of your position.
Parties should respond by mail – P.O. Box 3162, Durango 81302 – within 20 days of this publication. If no one responds by that time, there will be no wager.
Roger W. Cohen, Durango
The following are some excerpts from the article discussing Alaska’s decision whether to list polar bears as endangered or not. Click here for the full text available online.
Ken Taylor has had easier jobs than this one. It’s not like the good old days chasing rhinos, climbing into bear dens and wrestling beluga whales in shallow water.
These days, sitting at a desk as deputy commissioner of fish and game, the veteran wildlife biologist has to muster the best science he can find to argue that Alaska’s polar bears are in good shape and need no special protection from hypothetical doomsday scenarios.
This requires Taylor to stand up to the prevailing wisdom about global warming in most of the world’s scientific community and the public — not to mention some pretty strong opinions in his own department.
But Taylor, the Palin administration’s point man on polar bears, argues that the scientific justification simply isn’t there — at least not yet — to declare the polar bear “threatened” and touch off a cascade of effects under the Endangered Species Act. A decision on the bears is expected from the U.S. Department of the Interior in the next few weeks.
“From my perspective, it’s very difficult to put a population on the list that’s healthy, based on a projection 45 years into the future,” Taylor says. “That’s really stretching scientific credibility.”
The state also pokes at studies used to predict the future of polar ice, quoting at length from the climate scientists’ own demurrals about margins of error. The chain of predicted problems following from those studies are based on “unsupported conjecture,” the state says.
The state’s critique was based on the work of a consultant, J. Scott Armstrong, a University of Pennsylvania expert on mathematical forecasting who has elsewhere challenged former vice president Al Gore to a $10,000 bet on whether the globe is truly warming.
Paul Georgia on National Review Online concludes with a reference to the Green and Armstrong (2007) paper in his article “Speculation Elimination,” critiquing the press’s emphasis on the Bush administration’s “censoring” of science.
The claim that the Bush Administration censored science is without merit. What it seems to have done, is cut the portions of the testimony that were based in expert speculation about the future. According to the scientific literature on forecasting, expert opinion is the least reliable source for accurate predictions.
A new paper by Professors Scott Armstrong and Kesten Green, leading experts on forecasting, argues that “Comparative empirical studies have routinely concluded that judgmental forecasting by experts [rather than scientific forecasting] is the least accurate of the methods available to make forecasts.” They also show that, “Agreement among experts is weakly related to accuracy,” when it comes to forecasting.
The media storyline is backwards. Rather than censoring science, the Bush Administration responsibly removed baseless speculation from the CDC’s testimony. If the purpose of congressional hearings is “fact finding,” then such speculation is inappropriate and the Administration acted appropriately.
Bonner Cohen’s article on TCS Daily, “Gore Dodges Repeated Calls to Debate Global Warming” covers the increasing numbers of skeptics who have challenged Bush, including Armstrong. Does understanding both viewpoints change public opinion? Below is an excerpt summarizing a recent debate between skeptics and alarmists, and audience reaction:
“Gore’s reluctance to go toe-to-toe with global warming skeptics may have something to do with the – from the standpoint of climate change alarmists – unfortunate outcome of a global warming debate in New York last March. In the debate, a team of global warming skeptics composed of MIT scientist Richard Lindzen, University of London emeritus professor of biogeology Philip Stott, and physician-turned novelist/filmmaker Michael Crichton handily defeated a team of climate alarmists headed by NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt. Before the start of the nearly two-hour debate, the audience of several thousand polled 57.3 percent to 29.9 percent in favor of the proposition that global warming is a “crisis.” At the end of the debate, the numbers had changed dramatically, with 46.2 percent favoring the skeptical point of view and 42.2 percent siding with the alarmists.”
In the Australian Financial Review (September 8, 2007), Mark Lawson’s article, “Global warming sceptics fuel hot debate” features Dr. Green, and highlights the Green and Armstrong paper. The following is an excerpt:
Global warming sceptics fuel hot debate
(Click here for full text)
“Despite being scorned, derided and accused of links with oil companies, the climate change sceptics are still out there and, although the greenhouse lobby will never admit it, occasionally scoring major points. They may also be more numerous than the greenhouse lobby or politicians believe…
A much more serious, if not devastating, attack on greenhouse claims concerning likely future temperature increases was the recent release of a paper entitled Global Warming: Forecasts by Scientists versus Scientific Forecasts.
Written by J. Scott Armstrong, a professor of marketing at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and Kesten Green, of the International Graduate School of Business, University of South Australia, the paper assessed, as forecasts, the temperature projections made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change earlier this year. It found little to approve.”