Al Gore Proposes New Condition on Climate Change Forecasting Challenge
Dr. Scott Armstrong accepts and awaits a reply
Written By: Harriette Johnson
Published In: News Releases
Publication Date: February 29, 2008
Publisher: The Heartland Institute
New York, NY, February 29, 2008 — Last year, Professor Scott Armstrong of the Wharton School of Business, who will be a featured speaker at the International Conference on Climate Change March 2-4 in New York (Marriott Marquis Hotel, March 4 at 8:45am, Empire Complex, 7th Floor) proposed a Global Warming Challenge debate to former Vice President Al Gore in an effort to stimulate a scientific approach to forecasting climate change.
The challenge asked that Armstrong and Gore each put $10,000 into a charitable trust fund. Armstrong bet that over the next 10 years he could forecast temperature change more accurately than any climate model that Mr. Gore might nominate. (Armstrong would forecast that global mean temperature would not change over the 10 years.)
Mr. Gore said he was too busy. In response, Dr. Armstrong asked Mr. Gore merely to provide a checkmark beside a leading climate model and to sign his name. Mr. Gore declined.
Dr. Armstrong replied: “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:
Why are you unwilling to back your forecasts in a challenge intended to promote scientific forecasting of climate change?
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?”
A spokesman for Mr. Gore said that with respect to the first question, “Mr. Gore simply does not wish to participate in a financial wager.” Dr. Armstrong responded that it was fine by him and that they could “merely do it for its scientific value.” The spokesperson said she would ask Mr. Gore. Dr. Armstrong asked if Mr. Gore would also respond to the second question
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