Thursday, September 22, 2005

Betting on glacier retreat

I've got a new bet offer on global warming, or actually two bets. First, I will give 2:1 odds that any randomly-selected glacier will retreat rather than advance at the end of a ten-year period. Second, I'll give 3:1 odds that the majority of seven or more randomly-selected glaciers will retreat rather than advance at the end of a ten year period.

Why bet on glaciers rather than global temperatures?
  • It eliminates the "noise" factor that a single year at the start or finish of the period will be particularly hot or cold for reasons unrelated to climate change. The single-glacier bet introduces a different "noise" factor of local conditions, so my betting opponents just get 2:1 odds. At seven-plus glaciers, the local conditions factor should be less important.
  • It's more fun - maybe I'll get to go visit the glaciers that my money is (slowly) riding on.
I'll also note that the 3:1 offer leaves William Connolley's 7:3 offer far behind, coughing in my glacier dust. Of course, all these offers should be tremendously attractive to global warming denialists who actually believe a word that they say.

My other bet offers are here, and James Annan has a betting update here (also see William's at the link above). I may also be getting some traction on this offer after all - we're doing some emailing. But I'm not holding my breath.

UPDATE: I forgot to include the third reason for betting on glaciers: to needle that idiot, Michael Crichton, who claimed in his stupid book (State of Fear) that we don't know enough about glaciers to determine whether the climate is changing. I'd like him to put his considerable money where his mouth is.

key: global warming, bet

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