In 2007, Professor Scott Armstrong bet professional alarmist Al Gore $10,000 that time would prove Gore had exaggerated the global warming trend. Seems from the temperature graph below that Armstrong – so far – was right.
Here’s part of the challenge Armstrong set Gore:
Al Gore has claimed that there are scientific forecasts that the earth will become warmer and that this will occur rapidly. University of Pennsylvania Professor J. Scott Armstrong, author of Principle of Forecasting: A Handbook for Researchers and Practitioners, and Kesten C. Green, of the University of South Australia (and Armstrong’s Co-Director of forecastingprinciples.com), have been unable to locate a scientific forecast to support that viewpoint. As a result, Scott Armstrong offers a challenge to Al Gore that he will be able to make more accurate forecasts of annual mean temperatures than those that can be produced by current climate models…
Al Gore is invited to select any currently available fully disclosed climate model to produce the forecasts (without human adjustments to the model’s forecasts). Scott Armstrong’s forecasts will be based on the naive (no-change) model; that is, for each of the ten years of the challenge, he will use the most recent year’s average temperature at each station as the forecast for each of the years in the future…
Specifically, the challenge will involve making forecasts for ten weather stations that are reliable and geographically dispersed… Starting at the beginning of 2008, one-year ahead forecasts then two-year ahead forecasts, and so on up to ten-year-ahead forecasts of annual “mean temperature” will be made annually for each weather station for each of the next ten years…
The aim of the bet is really to promote the proper use of science, rather than the opinion-led science we have seen lately.
Al Gore, normally so keen to make predictions of disaster and a super-heated planet, refused to now put his money where his mouth was:
On July 6, Mr. Gore sent a cordial reply stating that he was too busy. In response, on November 28, 2007, Dr. Armstrong extended the deadline to March 26, 2008, and made the task easier: Mr. Gore was asked merely to provide a checkmark beside a leading climate model and to sign his name.
Mr. Gore’s spokesperson replied on Armstrong’s answering phone on around February 5… She said, “Senator Gore declines.” No reason was given. She said to call if there were any questions. Attempts to reach her by phone failed despite leaving callback messages. Armstrong then contacted her by email with questions for Mr. Gore:
“You have made dramatic forecasts of a dire future and have asked people to make big sacrifices on the basis of those forecasts. I would be grateful if you would explain:
1. Why are you unwilling to back your forecasts in a challenge intended to promote scientific forecasting of climate change?
2. Under what conditions would you be willing to back your forecasts in a challenge against my forecasts from a simple scientific method that is appropriate in situations of high uncertainty: the naïve “no change” method?”
The spokesperson said that with respect to question #1, “Mr. Gore simply does not wish to participate in a financial wager.” Armstrong responded that it was fine by him and that we could “merely do it for its scientific value.” The spokesperson said that she would ask Mr. Gore. Armstrong asked if Mr. Gore would also respond to question #2.
The second question is of particular importance given that we have not been able to find any scientific forecasts to support global warming –or any that would support negative effects from global warming –or any to support the notion that efforts to reduce man-made CO2 would have a favorable impact on the climate.
Gore has not responded. (The Gillard Government similarly refuses to issue any cost-benefit analysis or even raw data to demonstrate what damage will be averted by its horrendously expensive carbon tax and $10 billion clean energy fund.)
Professor Armstrong nevertheless determined to pursue his proposed test of the alarmist forecast. By using the commonly adopted U.N. Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change forecast—3°C of warming per century—to represent Mr. Gore’s position, the theclimatebet.com has tracked the Armstrong-Gore “bet” with monthly updates.
Mr. Gore should be pleased to find that his grave concerns about a “tipping point” have turned out to be unfounded. As shown on theclimatebet.com, Professor Armstrong’s forecasts have been more accurate than Mr. Gore’s for 40 of the 60 months to date and for four of the five years. In fact, the latest global temperature is exactly where it was at the beginning of the “bet.”
Professor Armstrong was not surprised. With some minor exceptions, his forecast was consistent with evidence-based forecasting principles. In contrast, the IPCC’s forecasting procedures have been found to violate 72 of the 89 relevant principles.
Sure, there are still five years to go on the bet, and five years is too short a time frame to be meaningful. But more embarrassing for Gore is that the planet hasn’t actually warmed for 16 years now, and Britain’s Met Office predicts no further warming for at least another four years.
If the Met is right, and despite its furious insistence that the world really is warming long-term, there will have been no warming for two decades. Given global warming alarmism was built on two decades of warming up to 1997, two decades of no warming should finally force a revision of the climate models that have spread such panic and rent-seeking around the world. The world clearly isn’t warming as fast and dangerously as we were led to expect.
And in Australia it should finally become the height of responsibility to ask: where in earth is this global warming we are spending billions on trying to help “stop”?
Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.