Friday, April 24, 2015

Noted with little comment

Roger Pielke Jr::
Placing bets on the future state of the climate makes sense, but in a research mode, not just in public displays of "calling out" particular opponents....

This recent flurry of calling people out (reminds me of elementary schoolyard brawls - "I'm faster than you!" "No you're not!" "Prove it!" "Meet you after school on the playground!") no doubt has a high element of drama....

I think that while such chest thumping displays are certainly entertaining, they tell us little about the broader state of uncertainty among experts or the public....

Nate Silver:
I’m not particularly certain when pointing out the fact that it might be cool or rainy in your hometown one afternoon became subject for worthwhile blog material, but you have started to see this all the time on certain conservative blogs, probably led by the example of Matt Drudge. 
Therefore, because I’d like to see more accountability on all sides of this debate and because I’m tired of people who don’t understand statistics and because I’d like to make some money, I issue the following challenge.

You are eligible for this challenge if [limits bets to certain category of bloggers].... 
The rules of the challenge are as follows: 
1. For each day that the high temperature in your hometown is at least 1 degree Fahrenheit above average, as listed by Weather Underground, you owe me $25. For each day that it is at least 1 degree Fahrenheit below average, I owe you $25.

2. The challenge proceeds in monthly intervals, with the first month being August. At the end of each month, we’ll tally up the winning and losing days and the loser writes the winner a check for the balance.

3. The challenge automatically rolls over to the next month until/unless: (i) one party informs the other by the 20th of the previous month that he would like to discontinue the challenge (that is, if you want to discontinue the challenge for September, you’d have to tell me this by August 20th), or (ii) the losing party has failed to pay the winning party in a timely fashion, in which case the challenge may be canceled at the sole discretion of the winning party.

My little comment is that at the time, I thought Nate's bet was a marginal one.