The Global Warming Challenge

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Auditing Public Policy Forecasting: Climate Change, Gun Control, and Other Issues

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International Symposium on Forecasting

At one of the concluding sessions of the 27th Annual International Symposium on Forecasting (ISF) titled “Auditing Public Policy Forecasting: Climate Change, Gun Control, and Other Issues”, Scott Armstrong, Paul Goodwin, and John Lott each gave presentations during the hour-long session. Below is information on the speakers as well as talk summaries.

Scott Armstrong on Climate Change
Professor of Marketing, University of Pennsylvania
International Symposium on Forecasting

Click for a brief video of Armstrong’s talk.

Presented his and Kesten Green’s findings from the paper, “Global Warming: Forecasts by Scientists Versus Scientific Forecasts,” where they applied forecasting principles to Section 8 of the 2007 IPCC report, revealing that scientists did not adhere to proper forecasting procedure. These critical violations of forecasting principles led them to conclude that they have been unable to identify scientific forecasts to support global warming. The presentation concluded with an explanation of the challenge to Al Gore, as well as

Paul Goodwin on Business Forecasting
Professor of Management Science, University of Bath (UK)
International Symposium on Forecasting
How do models fit in with business forecasting? Goodwin explained how the use of ‘the system’ and high-tech software analytics creates models that are merely used to support desired forecasts, instead of the back-and-forth relationship that should exist between models and forecasters’ interests. He left the audience with the question: in a world where billions of dollars are at stake, how to firms stay afloat if they only see what they want to see?

John Lott on Gun Control
Senior Research Scientist, University of Maryland
International Symposium on Forecasting
Controversial economist John Lott concluded the session by highlighting the strength of emotion against the facts, present in most major public policy debates. His issue? Gun control. Lott explained why we are much more likely to see violent gun crimes in the mass media, and why we rarely hear of the use of guns in self-defense or to ward off criminals. Though the first is much more memorable, the latter is far more common. These facts must be used when making public policy decisions that are emotionally charged.

The session concluded with questions and discussion, as well as this impromptu photo of Armstrong and Trenberth encouraging scientists to facilitate discussion across opinions:
International Symposium on Forecasting

Written by climatebet

June 28th, 2007 at 2:08 pm

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