Mark Bahner's climate bet offer

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James Annan

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Jun 13, 2005, 2:52:00 AM6/13/05
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Mark Bahner recently wrote an article on his blog challenging me to a
series of bets relating to GHG emissions and climate change. Rather
than blogging back-and-forth, I think it is more sensible to discuss
the offers on an open forum. So here is my reply. His full original can
be seen at:

http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2005/06/proposed_bets_f.html

My comments are interleaved:

> Proposed bets for James Annan, regarding IPCC TAR
>
> I have been having a discussion with James Annan about betting on
> climate change. James Annan asked, "So, Mark, will you step in where all
> these sceptics fear to tread and bet against the consensus on 20-30 year
> temperature changes?"
>
> Here are my responses:
>
> a) Don't you mean, "septics?" (See your comment on William Connolley's
> blog, "...I have tried to contac(sic) Mark Bahner about his bet, but have
> not received a reply and he seems to be doing the same wriggle and
> squirm that all the septics do when asked to put their money where
> there(sic) mouths are.")
>
> b) You seem to know-or think you know-what the IPCC "consensus" is. (As
> if "consensus" even had any scientific value!) But you have not
> identified what you think the IPCC "consensus" is.

There's your first mistake, because I have previously pointed directly
(at least twice) to the obviously relevant sentence in the TAR Summary:

http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/008.htm

"anthropogenic warming is likely to lie in the range of 0.1 to 0.2°C
per decade over the next few decades"

[Reference to this is on my blog at
http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2005/06/reason-betting-on-climate-change-its.html
and also mentioned at
http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2005/06/predicting-climate-change-2.html)

> c) If I was personally trying to figure out what the "consensus" was in
> the farce known as the IPCC TAR, I'd go to Wigley and Raper's 2001
> article in Science

To put it bluntly, that is your problem, not mine, and this is your
second mistake.

> I'm willing to bet against that "consensus," based on satellite
> measurements of the temperature in the lower troposphere in 1990 versus
> in 2030.

Lower troposphere? Surely you cannot be unaware of the fact that all of
the projections, model results and predictions are provided in terms of
_surface_ air temperature, (conventionally 2m). Strike three...but I'll
keep going.

>The measurements should be based on a three-year average
> centered around those years (i.e., satellite measurements for 1989,
> 1990, 1991 versus satellite measurements for 2029, 2030, and 2031).

Which satellite measuremments? There are at least 4 interpretations,
which give historic trends ranging from 0.09 to 0.24/decade. That is,
Spencer and Christy, Mears et al, Vinnikov and Grady, Fu et al.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_temperature_record

No doubt you will demand to use whichever analysis gives the coldest
result...or perhaps argue that it is all too uncertain. Sounds like you
are trying to build in an escape route. Strike 4?

I've already suggested using the _surface_ air temperature analysis
(um...to judge the _surface_ air temperature forecast which you
dispute) of NASA GISS. If you think this analysis is seriously
disputed, then some citations of alternatives would be appreciated. If
you are going to wibble about urban heat islands, we could use only the
ocean surface data, but that would require some revision of the
temperatures in the bet (since the ocean warming will obviously be
lower than the land).

> If
> the temperature increase in the lower troposphere is more than 0.75
> degrees Celsius, I will pay you $100. If the temperature increase is
> between 0.62 and 0.75 degrees Celsius, I will pay you $50. If the
> temperature increase is between 0.48 and 0.62 degrees Celsius, you will
> pay me $50. If the temperature increase is less than 0.48 degrees
> Celsius, you will pay me $100.

Huh? That bet is centred on 0.62C warming in 4 decades. That's more
(just) than the IPCC forecast! How is this contradicting the consensus?
Why would I want to bet on that? The bet has negative value to anyone
who takes the IPCC summmary at face value.

So I reckon that makes 5 mistakes. I'm afraid that is only worth a
"could do better", but I sincerely hope you do try, annd I look forward
to your revised offer.

If you could predict what _you_ think the temperature change will be by
2030, as measured by surface air measurements, then I could also try to
form a mutually acceptable bet rather than simply shooting holes in
your rather ill-considered offer.

I do, however, wonder if many of the critics of the IPCC report have
actually read it...

> However, I also challenge you to bet on methane atmospheric
> concentrations, and CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentrations.

Well, these are primarily issues of politics, population growth,
economics and technology, none of which is my field, and the IPCC makes
no forecasts on these matters. In fact it quite explicitly states that
the scenarios do not form any sort of probabilistic prediction. So
basically, I have little interest in your challenges here.

However:

> CO2 concentrations: The CO2 atmospheric concentration in 1990 was
> approximately 354 ppm. The IPCC TAR projects a 50 percent chance that
> the CO2 atmospheric concentration will be more than 438 ppm in 2030. If
> the CO2 atmospheric concentration is more than 438 ppm in 2030, I will
> give you $25. If the CO2 atmospheric concentration is less than 438 ppm
> in 2030, you give me $1. Again, I'm offering you 25-to-1 odds on
> something that, if the IPCC TAR was correct, should be even money.

This sounds sufficiently attractive that I will take you up on it, even
though I am not primarily interested in predicting CO2 emissions and
the IPCC explicitly avoids making such a forecast.

To make it worthwhile, I suggest upping the stakes a bit - how about my
$100 v $2500 from you (I'll go substantially higher if you are prepared
to), and also I'd like to inflation-proof it by tying the value to the
retail price index (I'd suggest the UK RPI, but probably there is a USA
equivalent, and I'm not really too fussy about which one we use)?
Although gambling debts may be hard to enforce, we should try arranging
this in the form of a contract that is binding on our estates.

Better confirm that you will aceept Mauna Loa measurements, and won't
pull some random Russian's back-garden observations out of a hat...

Look forward to hearing your further commments,

James
--
James Annan
see web pages for email
http://www.ne.jp/asahi/julesandjames/home/
http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/

w...@bas.ac.uk

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Jun 13, 2005, 4:28:30 AM6/13/05
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James Annan <still_th...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>Mark Bahner recently wrote an article on his blog challenging me to a

>> However, I also challenge you to bet on methane atmospheric


>> concentrations, and CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentrations.

>Well, these are primarily issues of politics, population growth,
>economics and technology, none of which is my field, and the IPCC makes
>no forecasts on these matters. In fact it quite explicitly states that
>the scenarios do not form any sort of probabilistic prediction. So
>basically, I have little interest in your challenges here.

This is probably a bit unfair, because (apart from the commitment
component) T rise scales fairly well to CO2 equivalent, so if you're
prepared to bet on T you should be happy with CO2 too.

-W.

--
William M Connolley | w...@bas.ac.uk | http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/wmc/
Climate Modeller, British Antarctic Survey | Disclaimer: I speak for myself
I'm a .signature virus! copy me into your .signature file & help me spread!

James Annan

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Jun 13, 2005, 6:20:13 AM6/13/05
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w...@bas.ac.uk wrote:
> James Annan <still_th...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>>Mark Bahner recently wrote an article on his blog challenging me to a
>
>
>>>However, I also challenge you to bet on methane atmospheric
>>>concentrations, and CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentrations.
>
>
>>Well, these are primarily issues of politics, population growth,
>>economics and technology, none of which is my field, and the IPCC makes
>>no forecasts on these matters. In fact it quite explicitly states that
>>the scenarios do not form any sort of probabilistic prediction. So
>>basically, I have little interest in your challenges here.
>
>
> This is probably a bit unfair, because (apart from the commitment
> component) T rise scales fairly well to CO2 equivalent, so if you're
> prepared to bet on T you should be happy with CO2 too.
>

That's a pretty big "apart from" and the CO2 projections are assigned no
likelihood in the TAR. I see no reason to assume that averaging them is
a reasonable thing to do.

Over the next 30 years, the difference in temperature change between
plausible emissions scenarios is very small and dominated by uncertainty
in the climate system (which is what I'm trying to bet on). Besides, you
snipped the bit where I _accepted_ his bet on CO2 (I have never looked
at CH4 and it is very small beer by comparison)!

Thomas Palm

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Jun 13, 2005, 11:07:40 AM6/13/05
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w...@bas.ac.uk wrote in news:42ad...@news.nwl.ac.uk:

> James Annan <still_th...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>Mark Bahner recently wrote an article on his blog challenging me to a
>
>>> However, I also challenge you to bet on methane atmospheric
>>> concentrations, and CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentrations.
>
>>Well, these are primarily issues of politics, population growth,
>>economics and technology, none of which is my field, and the IPCC makes
>>no forecasts on these matters. In fact it quite explicitly states that
>>the scenarios do not form any sort of probabilistic prediction. So
>>basically, I have little interest in your challenges here.
>
> This is probably a bit unfair, because (apart from the commitment
> component) T rise scales fairly well to CO2 equivalent, so if you're
> prepared to bet on T you should be happy with CO2 too.

Given the inertia of the climate system much of the warming of the next few
decades should already be in the pipeline because of our current emissions,
so variations in emissions should have a small impact in the short term.

This bet is uncertain since any number of political changes can change the
outcome, but since Bahner gives such favorable odds it makes sense for
Annan to accept. Bahner may win the bet if he ends up on the losing side of
the political issue of CO2 reductions.

Thomas Palm

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Jun 13, 2005, 11:12:04 AM6/13/05
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"James Annan" <still_th...@hotmail.com> wrote in
news:1118645520.6...@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com:

> Mark Bahner recently wrote an article on his blog challenging me to a
> series of bets relating to GHG emissions and climate change. Rather
> than blogging back-and-forth, I think it is more sensible to discuss
> the offers on an open forum. So here is my reply. His full original
> can be seen at:

>>The measurements should be based on a three-year average


>> centered around those years (i.e., satellite measurements for 1989,
>> 1990, 1991 versus satellite measurements for 2029, 2030, and 2031).
>
> Which satellite measuremments? There are at least 4 interpretations,
> which give historic trends ranging from 0.09 to 0.24/decade. That is,
> Spencer and Christy, Mears et al, Vinnikov and Grady, Fu et al.

Given how newer generations of satellites aren't directly compatible with
the original MSU such a trend will likely be impossible to derive even if
these different authors reconcile their opinions in the intervening years.

w...@bas.ac.uk

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Jun 13, 2005, 12:54:33 PM6/13/05
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James Annan <still_th...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>Besides, you
>snipped the bit where I _accepted_ his bet on CO2 (I have never looked
>at CH4 and it is very small beer by comparison)!

I confess, I did!

James Annan

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Jun 13, 2005, 6:01:13 PM6/13/05
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Thomas Palm wrote:

Well, I was waiting for him to say "spencer and christy, of course"
before pointing out that neither they, nor the satellites they rely on,
are likely to be around for that long (as researchers) :-)

So far no reply from him....not worth chasing him up for $25 but I will
certainly take that CO2 bet for any stake I can get!

Joshua Halpern

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Jun 13, 2005, 8:02:26 PM6/13/05
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James Annan wrote:
SNIP....

>>I'm willing to bet against that "consensus," based on satellite
>>measurements of the temperature in the lower troposphere in 1990 versus
>>in 2030.
>
> Lower troposphere? Surely you cannot be unaware of the fact that all of
> the projections, model results and predictions are provided in terms of
> _surface_ air temperature, (conventionally 2m). Strike three...but I'll
> keep going.
>

Not necessarily a bad thing, as according to current GCMs the trends
should follow one another

>>The measurements should be based on a three-year average
>>centered around those years (i.e., satellite measurements for 1989,
>>1990, 1991 versus satellite measurements for 2029, 2030, and 2031).
>
> Which satellite measuremments? There are at least 4 interpretations,
> which give historic trends ranging from 0.09 to 0.24/decade. That is,
> Spencer and Christy, Mears et al, Vinnikov and Grady, Fu et al.
>

There, of course, is the rub. Again, given that S&C appear to be
creaping up to the others and the others are not far off or even higher
than the surface records this is not necessarily a bad thing from JAs
POV. More concerning from the POV of making a bet is that the satellite
records are moving targets with the algorithm(s) constantly being
refined. The algorithm in 2025 is going to be a lot different from
today, while the surface temperature records have been relatively
stable. Is the bet going to be determined based on some algorithm that
exists in 2025 where at least the 1990 data will have been reprocessed,
or some application of the 2005 algorithm for the 2025 data which may
not exist.

josh halpern

Joshua Halpern

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Jun 13, 2005, 8:06:30 PM6/13/05
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James Annan wrote:
SNIP....

>
> To make it worthwhile, I suggest upping the stakes a bit - how about my
> $100 v $2500 from you (I'll go substantially higher if you are prepared
> to), and also I'd like to inflation-proof it by tying the value to the
> retail price index (I'd suggest the UK RPI, but probably there is a USA
> equivalent, and I'm not really too fussy about which one we use)?
> Although gambling debts may be hard to enforce, we should try arranging
> this in the form of a contract that is binding on our estates.
>
CPI (Consumer Price Index, there is also a wholesale price index). If
you are betting in dollars, you need a US index

> Better confirm that you will aceept Mauna Loa measurements, and won't
> pull some random Russian's back-garden observations out of a hat...
>

Better make sure you specify either yearly averages or same month.
There is a 5-8 ppm seasonal variation.

> Look forward to hearing your further commments,

josh halpern

mark....@sbcglobal.net

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Jun 13, 2005, 8:15:36 PM6/13/05
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James Annan writes, "There's your first mistake, because I have

previously pointed directly (at least twice) to the obviously relevant
sentence in the TAR Summary:.."

And then provides the following quote, "anthropogenic warming is likely


to lie in the range of 0.1 to 0.2°C per decade over the next few

decades".

Yes, James, that was my mistake. I apologize for not being aware of
the level of your ignorance. Is this the full quote to which you were
referring?

"On timescales of a few decades, the current observed rate of warming
can be used to constrain the projected response to a given emissions
scenario despite uncertainty in climate sensitivity. This approach
suggests that anthropogenic warming is likely7 to lie in the range of
0.1 to 0.2°C per decade over the next few decades under the IS92a
scenario, similar to the corresponding range of projections of the
simple model used in Figure 5d."

If so, would you care to explain why you left out the words, "under
the IS92a scenario..."? Did you think they were irrelevant? (Hint:
They're not.)

I wrote, "c) If I was personally trying to figure out what the


"consensus" was in the farce known as the IPCC TAR, I'd go to Wigley

and Raper's 2001 article in Science..."

To which you replied, "To put it bluntly, that is your problem, not
mine,..."

To put it bluntly, James, how exactly is your further demonstration of
ignorance--this time apparently of the implications of the Wigley and
Raper paper--***my*** problem, James?

Have you even read the Wigley and Raper paper, James? If so, would you
care to summarize what you think it means?

I'm especially curious about what you think about the bottom row--for
year 2030--of Table 1. Can you calculate the warming rates represented
by the temperature increases in that row? (Or would you like some help
on that? Hint: Rate is equal to temperature increase divided by
elapsed time.) After you calculate the warming rates, what do you
think they mean?

After we cover this very basic material, I'll address your other
comments.

Sincerely,

Mark

P.S. I assume you're not a member of the IPCC?

Joshua Halpern

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Jun 13, 2005, 8:26:16 PM6/13/05
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mark....@sbcglobal.net wrote:
SNIP....

> Mark
>
> P.S. I assume you're not a member of the IPCC?
>
Only governments are members of the IPCC
>
http://www.ipcc.ch/about/faq/IPCC%20Who%20is%20who.pdf

josh halpern

mark....@sbcglobal.net

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Jun 13, 2005, 8:48:42 PM6/13/05
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Yes, pardon me. I meant one of the 450 lead authors or 800
contributing authors to the IPCC TAR.

Joshua Halpern

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Jun 13, 2005, 9:16:59 PM6/13/05
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mark....@sbcglobal.net wrote:
> Yes, pardon me. I meant one of the 450 lead authors or 800
> contributing authors to the IPCC TAR.
>
You could look it up
http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/558.htm
http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg2/688.htm
http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg3/452.htm
http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/vol4/english/203.htm


But, then again, the TAR is so yesterday.

josh halpern

James Annan

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Jun 13, 2005, 9:39:29 PM6/13/05
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mark....@sbcglobal.net wrote:

> I wrote, "c) If I was personally trying to figure out what the
> "consensus" was in the farce known as the IPCC TAR, I'd go to Wigley
> and Raper's 2001 article in Science..."
>
> To which you replied, "To put it bluntly, that is your problem, not
> mine,..."

And so it is. You want to bet against Wigley and Raper, then feel free
to get in touch with them. I have always been quite specific in
referring to the TAR.

> After we cover this very basic material, I'll address your other
> comments.

You made a specific offer on CO2: I would like to take you up on it,
although as I said, I'd rather increase the stake to a worthwhile
level. Your comment above makes it sound like you are getting cold feet
already!

Coby Beck

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Jun 13, 2005, 10:01:57 PM6/13/05
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"James Annan" <still_th...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1118713169.8...@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

>
> mark....@sbcglobal.net wrote:
>
>> I wrote, "c) If I was personally trying to figure out what the
>> "consensus" was in the farce known as the IPCC TAR, I'd go to Wigley
>> and Raper's 2001 article in Science..."
>>
>> To which you replied, "To put it bluntly, that is your problem, not
>> mine,..."
>
> And so it is. You want to bet against Wigley and Raper, then feel free
> to get in touch with them. I have always been quite specific in
> referring to the TAR.

James, you should focus. It doesn't matter where the numbers come from,
just name your temperature range (again) and don't let the issue get
clouded!

I want to know why he put the even money at .62 degrees C, does he or
doesn't he think the GW crowd are out to lunch?

Mark? Do you think it will get warmer or not? Even odds on .62 higher over
30 yrs seems just like what all the "alarmists" are crying aobut. And why
do you have a problem with the surface temperature record?

--
Coby Beck
(remove #\Space "coby 101 @ bigpond . com")


Athiest 4 Bush

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Jun 13, 2005, 11:07:22 PM6/13/05
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Dood:


I can't stand to see a man so desparate.

Have you tried this guy yet?

Gerd Rainer-Weber has made a wager that in this decade global warming
will not increase by as much as the lowest IPCC projection. He is
offering $5000 or 5000 Euros to any person, NGO or organisation willing
to stake a similar amount on the bet. He pays them if the lowest IPCC
projection of global warming is at least reached during the present
decade. He has posted the wager at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/climatesceptics/messages

You can place a bet on this:

http://www.nenanaakiceclassic.com/


You could invest in 'ecomagination' GE.

Or one of those feel good bat killer wind farms.

Good luck.


--

When the Rapture comes, can I have your car?
When global warming comes, can I have your coat?

James Annan

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Jun 13, 2005, 11:18:35 PM6/13/05
to

Athiest 4 Bush wrote:
> Dood:
>
>
> I can't stand to see a man so desparate.
>
> Have you tried this guy yet?
>
> Gerd Rainer-Weber has made a wager that in this decade global warming
> will not increase by as much as the lowest IPCC projection. He is
> offering $5000 or 5000 Euros to any person, NGO or organisation willing
> to stake a similar amount on the bet. He pays them if the lowest IPCC
> projection of global warming is at least reached during the present
> decade. He has posted the wager at
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/climatesceptics/messages
>

Can you give a better reference than this?

James

Athiest 4 Bush

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Jun 13, 2005, 11:36:26 PM6/13/05
to
James Annan wrote:

I picked it up here:

http://www.spiked-online.com/Articles/00000002D36E.htm

>
> James

Thomas Palm

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Jun 14, 2005, 1:30:55 AM6/14/05
to
mark....@sbcglobal.net wrote in
news:1118708136.2...@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com:

> James Annan writes, "There's your first mistake, because I have
> previously pointed directly (at least twice) to the obviously relevant
> sentence in the TAR Summary:.."
>
> And then provides the following quote, "anthropogenic warming is
> likely to lie in the range of 0.1 to 0.2°C per decade over the next
> few decades".
>
> Yes, James, that was my mistake. I apologize for not being aware of
> the level of your ignorance. Is this the full quote to which you were
> referring?

Regardless of whether you think this statement represents IPCC:s opinion or
not, this is what Annan says he finds to be a likely warming. Please just
decide if you think this is too high, and if you are willing to bet that
the warming will be considerably lower.

James Annan

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Jun 14, 2005, 3:47:59 AM6/14/05
to

Athiest 4 Bush wrote:
> James Annan wrote:
>
> >
> > Athiest 4 Bush wrote:
> >
> >>Dood:
> >>
> >>
> >>I can't stand to see a man so desparate.
> >>
> >>Have you tried this guy yet?
> >>
> >>Gerd Rainer-Weber has made a wager that in this decade global warming
> >>will not increase by as much as the lowest IPCC projection. He is
> >>offering $5000 or 5000 Euros to any person, NGO or organisation willing
> >>to stake a similar amount on the bet. He pays them if the lowest IPCC
> >>projection of global warming is at least reached during the present
> >>decade. He has posted the wager at
> >>http://groups.yahoo.com/group/climatesceptics/messages
> >>
> >
> >
> > Can you give a better reference than this?
>
> I picked it up here:
>
> http://www.spiked-online.com/Articles/00000002D36E.htm
>

Shame. Didn't realise this was an old offer. I might still drop him an
email.

James

Thomas Palm

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Jun 14, 2005, 11:52:26 AM6/14/05
to
"James Annan" <still_th...@hotmail.com> wrote in
news:1118645520.6...@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com:

> There's your first mistake, because I have previously pointed directly
> (at least twice) to the obviously relevant sentence in the TAR
> Summary:
>
> http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/008.htm
>
> "anthropogenic warming is likely to lie in the range of 0.1 to 0.2°C
> per decade over the next few decades"

Somthing very odd is going on here. Annan has a new entry at the
realclimate blog where he states:

"One obvious starting point would be to look at model predictions and
historical data. This is essentially what the IPCC does, eg with its
estimate of 0.3+-0.1C/decade for anthropogenically-forced warming over the
next 20 years in the absence of substantial mitigation of emissions (at the
"likely" level, ie 66%-90% probability)."
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=161#more-161

Dano

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Jun 14, 2005, 12:58:58 PM6/14/05
to

[snip]

> Regardless of whether you think this statement represents IPCC:s opinion or
> not, this is what Annan says he finds to be a likely warming. Please just
> decide if you think this is too high, and if you are willing to bet that
> the warming will be considerably lower.

Bahner will huff and puff and handwave for days unless you guys stop
parsing and snipping and hammer home the terms of the bet.

Don't fall for his blustering cr*p. Don't rise to any bait. Don't
answer any phrases he writes except the ones specifically regarding the
terms of the bet.

Stop trying to make little points about things he says [which are
designed to dissemble and distract] and insist on nailing him down on
his terms. Take the CO2 bet and get him nailed on the temps.

Don't do anything else but this, else this process will take weeks. You
will then give up in frustration, and Bahner will claim you guys won't
take him up on his bets.

That is what will happen, mark my words.

HTH,

D

w...@bas.ac.uk

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Jun 14, 2005, 3:04:42 PM6/14/05
to

James Annan

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Jun 14, 2005, 5:37:16 PM6/14/05
to
Dano wrote:

> Stop trying to make little points about things he says [which are
> designed to dissemble and distract] and insist on nailing him down on
> his terms. Take the CO2 bet and get him nailed on the temps.

I agree. I have said I will take his CO2 bet, and am waiting to see if
he will agree to increasing the stake to a worthwhile level.

If he makes any sensible proposals on temperatures, I will certainly
consider them. I've already stated my expectation of 0.15/decade over
the next 20-30 years.

James Annan

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Jun 14, 2005, 5:39:38 PM6/14/05
to
Thomas Palm wrote:
> "James Annan" <still_th...@hotmail.com> wrote in
> news:1118645520.6...@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com:
>
>
>>There's your first mistake, because I have previously pointed directly
>>(at least twice) to the obviously relevant sentence in the TAR
>>Summary:
>>
>>http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/008.htm
>>
>>"anthropogenic warming is likely to lie in the range of 0.1 to 0.2ーC

>>per decade over the next few decades"
>
>
> Somthing very odd is going on here. Annan has a new entry at the
> realclimate blog where he states:
>
> "One obvious starting point would be to look at model predictions and
> historical data. This is essentially what the IPCC does, eg with its
> estimate of 0.3+-0.1C/decade for anthropogenically-forced warming over the
> next 20 years in the absence of substantial mitigation of emissions (at the
> "likely" level, ie 66%-90% probability)."
> http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=161#more-161

Sorry, that was a typo - I was caught between writing 0.15+-0.05/decade

and 0.3+-0.1 over 20 years...

I see that Chip Knappenburger has popped up with a bet offer with a
mid-market rate of...0.325/decade! And a big "dead spot" on top of
that.

Bluster and point-scoring apart, I hope that all innocent bystanders
have noticed how effectively the betting meme has worked at actually
bringing people together towards a consensus. So far, no-one has come
anywhere near actually disagreeing with the IPCC.

w...@bas.ac.uk

unread,
Jun 14, 2005, 5:51:43 PM6/14/05
to
James Annan <still_th...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>I agree. I have said I will take his CO2 bet, and am waiting to see if
>he will agree to increasing the stake to a worthwhile level.

It looks like Bahner is trying to weasel out by only accepting offers
from IPCC authors. But RP has apologised for "mischaracterising" the
state of play:

http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/climate_change/000462betting_on_climate.html#comments

-W.

James Annan

unread,
Jun 15, 2005, 5:28:11 PM6/15/05
to
w...@bas.ac.uk wrote:

> James Annan <still_th...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>>I agree. I have said I will take his CO2 bet, and am waiting to see if
>>he will agree to increasing the stake to a worthwhile level.
>
>
> It looks like Bahner is trying to weasel out by only accepting offers
> from IPCC authors.

Oh no! Mark, please tell me it isn't so!

No comment...

mark....@sbcglobal.net

unread,
Jun 15, 2005, 9:40:21 PM6/15/05
to
Coby Beck asks, "I want to know why he put the even money at .62

degrees C, does he or doesn't he think the GW crowd are out to lunch?"

The short answer is that the people who wrote the IPCC TAR projections
lied. But they were very clever liars, and made their lies more and
more outrageous the further they got out in time.

Coby asks, "Do you think it will get warmer or not?"

My prediction for lower tropospheric temperature in 2100 relative to
1990 is a 50 percent chance of warming of 1.2 degrees Celsius, and a 90
percent chance that the warming will be between 0 and 2.5 degrees
Celsius.

Here are my temperature projections, versus what's in the IPCC TAR (as
analyzed by Wigley and Raper...the Wigley and Raper values are in
yellow, and my eyeball estimates based on the Wigley and Raper values
are in white):

http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2005/01/temperature_pro.html

Note: I bumped up my predictions very slightly a little bit later:

http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2005/01/prujections_ipc.html

"Even odds on .62 higher over 30 yrs seems just like what all the
"alarmists" are crying aobut."

That 0.62 degrees was from 1990 to 2030 (40 years). But like I said,
the IPCC TAR lies got bigger and bigger the further out they got in
time. (It didn't make sense to lie too outrageously too close to the
present.)

"And why do you have a problem with the surface temperature record?"

The main reason is that it's not the appropriate parameter for
determing warming from greenhouse gases. Surface changes in albedo
change the temperature at the surface...but they don't change the
temperature throughout the lower troposphere.

Coby Beck

unread,
Jun 16, 2005, 11:16:15 AM6/16/05
to
<mark....@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
news:1118886021....@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...

> Coby Beck asks, "I want to know why he put the even money at .62
> degrees C, does he or doesn't he think the GW crowd are out to lunch?"
>
> The short answer is that the people who wrote the IPCC TAR projections
> lied. But they were very clever liars, and made their lies more and
> more outrageous the further they got out in time.

This is really an extraordinary claim. I note that you did not say they
exagerated, or were mistaken but said lied and indeed called them "clever
liars". I would also note that the "cleverness" of making the lying
projections far into the future also applies to accusations of lying
projections.

Can you please provide some examples of lies in the report along with enough
of an explanation to see how it is a lie? I very much like to know when I
am being lied to and have thus far had no reason to be uncomfortable taking
the IPCC report in good faith and with a great degree of confidence in the
science it presents. I'm not asking you to write a novel, but simply saying
X is a lie is not sufficient, I would appreciate some help to see it myself.
I'm happy to just follow links you might provide also.

> Coby asks, "Do you think it will get warmer or not?"
>
> My prediction for lower tropospheric temperature in 2100 relative to
> 1990 is a 50 percent chance of warming of 1.2 degrees Celsius, and a 90
> percent chance that the warming will be between 0 and 2.5 degrees
> Celsius.
>
> Here are my temperature projections, versus what's in the IPCC TAR (as
> analyzed by Wigley and Raper...the Wigley and Raper values are in
> yellow, and my eyeball estimates based on the Wigley and Raper values
> are in white):
>
> http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2005/01/temperature_pro.html
>
> Note: I bumped up my predictions very slightly a little bit later:
>
> http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2005/01/prujections_ipc.html

Ok, if I am reading you right, it would seem that you don't disagree that
much with the current understanding of climate science. Your beef is mostly
with projections of GHG level rises, right? All I can say there is that
predicting that is not a matter for science, more a matter for a psychic.
Also I note that it is something that is in fact in our (human) control.

I don't think that the IPCC assigned probablity to GHG emmisions
projections, did they?

> "Even odds on .62 higher over 30 yrs seems just like what all the
> "alarmists" are crying aobut."
>
> That 0.62 degrees was from 1990 to 2030 (40 years). But like I said,
> the IPCC TAR lies got bigger and bigger the further out they got in
> time. (It didn't make sense to lie too outrageously too close to the
> present.)

I must also guess from what you are saying that you don't think that a jump
of between 1.2 and 2.5 C is any cause for worry.

> "And why do you have a problem with the surface temperature record?"
>
> The main reason is that it's not the appropriate parameter for
> determing warming from greenhouse gases. Surface changes in albedo
> change the temperature at the surface...but they don't change the
> temperature throughout the lower troposphere.

Then why are surface readings rising so clearly on a global basis? My
understanding of the changes in albedo is that the biggest impact is from
ice coverage changes. Also, if this were true I would expect a marked
difference between changes over land versus changes over sea. According to
the IPCC TAR the net impact of albedo forcing has been negative, not
positive. http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/243.htm

What is your basis for this belief? I am also curious as to why you add the
qualification "from greenhouse gases" to "determining warming". Does it
matter exactly which portion of the warming is due to what? Don't we just
want to know what the climate will be like where we and most of the other
creatures live (at the surface)?

w...@bas.ac.uk

unread,
Jun 16, 2005, 12:39:09 PM6/16/05
to
Coby Beck <cb...@mercury.bc.ca> wrote:
>This is really an extraordinary claim. I note that you did not say they
>exagerated, or were mistaken but said lied and indeed called them "clever
>liars".

Ah, you see, thats we're they're so very very cunning: their lies are so
clever that they are the truth.

Lloyd Parker

unread,
Jun 16, 2005, 9:18:08 AM6/16/05
to
In article <1118886021....@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com>,

mark....@sbcglobal.net wrote:
>Coby Beck asks, "I want to know why he put the even money at .62
>degrees C, does he or doesn't he think the GW crowd are out to lunch?"
>
>The short answer is that the people who wrote the IPCC TAR projections
>lied.

And your scientific expertise is superior how?

A Google search turns up you commenting in blogs and other web sites, but no
mention of a scientific position or scientific education or degrees or
anything.


>But they were very clever liars, and made their lies more and
>more outrageous the further they got out in time.
>
>Coby asks, "Do you think it will get warmer or not?"
>
>My prediction for lower tropospheric temperature in 2100 relative to
>1990 is a 50 percent chance of warming of 1.2 degrees Celsius, and a 90
>percent chance that the warming will be between 0 and 2.5 degrees
>Celsius.
>
>Here are my temperature projections, versus what's in the IPCC TAR (as
>analyzed by Wigley and Raper...the Wigley and Raper values are in
>yellow, and my eyeball estimates based on the Wigley and Raper values
>are in white):
>
>http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2005/01/temperature_pro.html

Oh great, you publish in a blog! Scientific credibility < snake's belly.

>
>Note: I bumped up my predictions very slightly a little bit later:
>
>http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2005/01/prujections_ipc.html
>
>"Even odds on .62 higher over 30 yrs seems just like what all the
>"alarmists" are crying aobut."
>
>That 0.62 degrees was from 1990 to 2030 (40 years). But like I said,
>the IPCC TAR lies got bigger and bigger the further out they got in
>time. (It didn't make sense to lie too outrageously too close to the
>present.)
>
>"And why do you have a problem with the surface temperature record?"
>
>The main reason is that it's not the appropriate parameter for
>determing warming from greenhouse gases. Surface changes in albedo
>change the temperature at the surface...but they don't change the
>temperature throughout the lower troposphere.
>

So why don't you publish this in a real scientific journal?

GRap...@gmail.com

unread,
Jun 16, 2005, 3:09:06 PM6/16/05
to
>I see that Chip Knappenburger has popped up with a bet offer with a
>mid-market rate of...0.325/decade! [...]So far, no-one has come

>anywhere near actually disagreeing with the IPCC.

You wanted an even bet. Chip's bet was calculated to have even odds for
somebody who believes all the IPCC scenarios are equally likely, so /of
course/ the midpoint is within the IPCC range. This does constitute
disagreeing with the people who think the high estimates are the most
likely.

Given the range of natural variability, the wide range of IPCC
predictions, and the possibility that we might be in a warming trend
quite apart from significant human influence, if you want a bet that's
totally outside the IPCC range you're probably going to have to offer
odds.

-Glen Raphael
http://petdl.com/blogjack
raphael at pobox dot com

James Annan

unread,
Jun 16, 2005, 6:22:40 PM6/16/05
to
GRap...@gmail.com wrote:

>>I see that Chip Knappenburger has popped up with a bet offer with a
>>mid-market rate of...0.325/decade! [...]So far, no-one has come
>>anywhere near actually disagreeing with the IPCC.
>
>
> You wanted an even bet. Chip's bet was calculated to have even odds for
> somebody who believes all the IPCC scenarios are equally likely,

No it wasn't. Whether the blame for your misunderstanding lies with his
deception or your cluelessness is not something I can determine, but
no-one (that I am aware of) has ever suggested that >0.3C/decade in the
near future is likely.

> so /of
> course/ the midpoint is within the IPCC range. This does constitute
> disagreeing with the people who think the high estimates are the most
> likely.

If I find such a person, maybe I will bet against them, but for the time
being, they appear to be made of straw.

James Annan

unread,
Jun 16, 2005, 6:52:10 PM6/16/05
to
Coby Beck wrote:


> I don't think that the IPCC assigned probablity to GHG emmisions
> projections, did they?

No, in fact this point is made very explicitly in the SRES, which I
quoted in comments on the RC thread

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=161#comment-2474

At least Chip Knappenburger had the good grace to admit that he was
wrong in his mischaracterisation of the IPCC position (although he
personally _does_ seem to believe all the scenarios are equally likely).
Mark Bahner appears to be so caught up in his paranoid conspiracy
theories that he is impervious even a direct cited quote from the IPCC.

And he's obviously chickening out of the bet he offered, which I want to
accept (see top of thread).

James

Coby Beck

unread,
Jun 16, 2005, 8:42:50 PM6/16/05
to

"James Annan" <still_th...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:d8svlp$j39$1...@inews.gazeta.pl...

>
> And he's obviously chickening out of the bet he offered, which I want to
> accept (see top of thread).

Did you see this:
http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2005/06/free_money_offe.html

Joshua Halpern

unread,
Jun 16, 2005, 9:27:52 PM6/16/05
to
James Annan wrote:
> Coby Beck wrote:
>
>
>> I don't think that the IPCC assigned probablity to GHG emmisions
>> projections, did they?
>
>
> No, in fact this point is made very explicitly in the SRES, which I
> quoted in comments on the RC thread
>
> http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=161#comment-2474
>
> At least Chip Knappenburger had the good grace to admit that he was
> wrong in his mischaracterisation of the IPCC position (although he
> personally _does_ seem to believe all the scenarios are equally likely).
> Mark Bahner appears to be so caught up in his paranoid conspiracy
> theories that he is impervious even a direct cited quote from the IPCC.
>
> And he's obviously chickening out of the bet he offered, which I want to
> accept (see top of thread).
>
> James
IMHO, they sort of said these are the possibilities, but OTOH it seems
to me that one could reasonably assign relative probabilities to them

josh halpern

James Annan

unread,
Jun 17, 2005, 2:08:06 AM6/17/05
to

Anyone who is willing to make such socioeconomic forecasts over the
next century could certainly do so, but it seems to me that this is not
really an exercise in climate science. Just out of interest, what
relative probabilities would you assign, and why?

James

w...@bas.ac.uk

unread,
Jun 17, 2005, 6:36:00 AM6/17/05
to
James Annan <still_th...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>Mark Bahner recently wrote an article on his blog challenging me to a
>series of bets relating to GHG emissions and climate change. Rather
>than blogging back-and-forth, I think it is more sensible to discuss
>the offers on an open forum. So here is my reply. His full original can
>be seen at:

>http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2005/06/proposed_bets_f.html

Also: http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2005/06/free_money_offe.html

(someone else pointed this out but I can't find where).

The "bet" is now extended to me... but he is still weaselling. He won't
actually bet with us, oh no, we are to rustle up people for him, ho ho.
He wants to bet on the satellite record, but doesn't say which. All most
unsatisfactory.

James Annan

unread,
Jun 17, 2005, 7:13:34 AM6/17/05
to
w...@bas.ac.uk wrote:

> James Annan <still_th...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>>Mark Bahner recently wrote an article on his blog challenging me to a
>>series of bets relating to GHG emissions and climate change. Rather
>>than blogging back-and-forth, I think it is more sensible to discuss
>>the offers on an open forum. So here is my reply. His full original can
>>be seen at:
>
>
>>http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2005/06/proposed_bets_f.html
>
>
> Also: http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2005/06/free_money_offe.html
>
> (someone else pointed this out but I can't find where).
>
> The "bet" is now extended to me... but he is still weaselling. He won't
> actually bet with us, oh no, we are to rustle up people for him, ho ho.

I guess this must be his way of saying that he really is chickening out
of the CO2 bet that he offered me then....

I wonder what must be going through his head to think that single-figure
$ offers are remotely interesting.

Dano

unread,
Jun 17, 2005, 1:16:35 PM6/17/05
to

James Annan wrote:

[snip]

> I guess this must be his way of saying that he really is chickening out
> of the CO2 bet that he offered me then....
>
> I wonder what must be going through his head to think that single-figure
> $ offers are remotely interesting.
>
> James

I take it you've seen Bahner's blatant flimflam on RC. He's cranking up
his bamboozle machine.

If I may, I suggest that everyone avoid answering his outrageous
statements that are surely coming and direct your attention to nailing
him down on James' bet. Surely he'll have some counter bet. Simply
point out its ridiculousness (use citations) and move on.

Best,

D

w...@bas.ac.uk

unread,
Jun 17, 2005, 5:34:42 PM6/17/05
to
James Annan <still_th...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>w...@bas.ac.uk wrote:
>> James Annan <still_th...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>>Mark Bahner recently wrote an article on his blog challenging me to a
>>>series of bets relating to GHG emissions and climate change. Rather
>>>than blogging back-and-forth, I think it is more sensible to discuss
>>>the offers on an open forum. So here is my reply. His full original can
>>>be seen at:
>>
>> The "bet" is now extended to me... but he is still weaselling. He won't
>> actually bet with us, oh no, we are to rustle up people for him, ho ho.

>I guess this must be his way of saying that he really is chickening out
>of the CO2 bet that he offered me then....

>I wonder what must be going through his head to think that single-figure
>$ offers are remotely interesting.

And in a blatant bit of advertising, I point you all to:

http://mustelid.blogspot.com/2005/06/betting-on-climate-change-or-not.html

which carefully avoids mentioning certain persons by name, as D suggests.
I also recommend the just-previous post too. Unless you're a monopod.

Joshua Halpern

unread,
Jun 17, 2005, 10:41:56 PM6/17/05
to

Well, you might better ask someone who does policy, but IMHO there are
five major issues

1. The oil peak (I think the price of oil will stay at the $50/bbl
level for some time and then increase). This, by itself will increase
fleet mileage world wide. Probably emissions from transport will
stabilize when you add together increased miles travelled and increased
efficiency.

2. China

3. India

Both are great races between efficiency and increased standards of living

4. Europe - probably will stabilize emissions

5. US - don't look for much progress beyond an increase in fleet
efficiency because of oil cost. Has the potential to start a world wide
depression

The rest doesn't much matter.

In SRS terms A2 if we are lucky. Probably with a significant
mid-century world wide depression which will cut emissions (see Former
Soviet Union).

josh halpern

josh halpern

>

Joshua Halpern

unread,
Jun 17, 2005, 10:44:11 PM6/17/05
to
w...@bas.ac.uk wrote:
> James Annan <still_th...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>>Mark Bahner recently wrote an article on his blog challenging me to a
>>series of bets relating to GHG emissions and climate change. Rather
>>than blogging back-and-forth, I think it is more sensible to discuss
>>the offers on an open forum. So here is my reply. His full original can
>>be seen at:
>
>
>>http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2005/06/proposed_bets_f.html
>
>
> Also: http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2005/06/free_money_offe.html
>
> (someone else pointed this out but I can't find where).
>
> The "bet" is now extended to me... but he is still weaselling. He won't
> actually bet with us, oh no, we are to rustle up people for him, ho ho.
> He wants to bet on the satellite record, but doesn't say which. All most
> unsatisfactory.

Giving the proceeds to charity means that he can deduct the bet on his
taxes today. This significantly reduces his exposure. What would be
amusing would be if he tries to deduct matching bets on the grounds that
he is sure to win.

josh halpern

Mark Bahner

unread,
Jun 18, 2005, 9:08:56 AM6/18/05
to
Hi Josh,

I don't have time to address the projections that you made later. (I
basically completely disagree with them. ;-))

But one thing I hope we both can agree on:

"If there are NO probabilities estimated, then there is NO science."

Suppose I told you that I have two predictions:

1) In the next 10 years, an asteroid will hit that will end all human
life on this planet, and 2) An asteroid will hit the earth sometime in
this century, and will kill over 100,000 people.

Well, if I give absolutely no estimate of the likelihood of those two
(conflicting) projections, then the projections aren't worth anything,
scientifically speaking. And they are also worthless, from the
standpoint of formulating policy.

If the FIRST projection is accurate, we all need to drop EVERYTHING,
and focus 365 days a year on ONLY that asteroid. We absolutely MUST
make sure that at least some people survive, and our houses and cars
and soccer practices and all of that means absolutely nothing.

Whereas, if the SECOND projection is accurate...well, it's something
worth thinking about. (If that asteroid/comet that hit in Russia early
in the 20th century had hit near a city, a lot of folks would have been
killed.) But it's definitely NOT a "drop everything!" type of problem.

And in fact, I did not say whether that second projection was "100
percent certain" or a "50/50 chance"...or simply, "a longshot chance."


To bring this back to the IPCC TAR: not only does the IPCC TAR NOT
estimate probabilities, it **specifically advises against** anyone
using the projections to estimate probabilities. That's simply not
science!

In fact, not only does the IPCC TAR NOT estimate the probabilities of
the various projections, it does not even estimate the probability that
the actually warming will be ***within the range*** of the projections!
This is especially relevant, because my own projection is that there
is about a 50/50 chance that the warming will be LOWER than the IPCC
TAR's LOWEST projection!

I have to go, but keep up the good thinking.

Mark

P.S. Here is *my* take on the economics of the 21st century:

http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2004/09/second_thoughts.html

http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2004/10/3rd_thoughts_on.html

Mark Bahner

unread,
Jun 18, 2005, 9:26:25 AM6/18/05
to
Hi Coby,

I wrote, "The short answer is that the people who wrote the IPCC TAR


projections lied. But they were very clever liars, and made their lies
more and more outrageous the further they got out in time."

You wrote, "This is really an extraordinary claim. I note that you did


not say they
exagerated, or were mistaken but said lied and indeed called them
'clever

liars.'"

Yes, it's an extraordinary claim. I've already made a claim you might
consider even more extraordinary:

http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2005/01/resolved_the_ip.html

"The IPCC Third Assessment Report's (TAR's) projections for methane
atmospheric concentrations, carbon dioxide emissions and atmospheric
concentrations, and resultant temperature increases constitute the
greatest fraud in the history of environmental science."

I think it was Carl Sagan who first made the excellent comment:
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof."

I never have done a posting on my weblog that details many or all of my
reasons for calling the IPCC TAR's projections, "the greatest fraud in
the history of environmental science." I hope to do that within the
next few days. In the meantime, you can go here to get at least one
major reason:

http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2005/06/comments_to_pro.html

The most outrageously high projections in the IPCC TAR were
(apparently...no one has ever disputed this, to my knowledge) inserted
AFTER SCIENTIFIC PEER REVIEW. That, to me, ALONE is sufficient to
constitute major scientific fraud.

I started a global warming website, but I've never got around to
polishing it up. You can view it at the website below.

CAUTION: DO NOT VIEW THIS WEBSITE WITHOUT POPUP BLOCKER! It's a
"freebie" web hosting company that I used just because I was having
such trouble with a pay site. ( I simply must get switched over
sometime!)

http://markbahner.50g.com/

The part of the website that deals with the IPCC TAR projections is
this webpage (again, do NOT view without popup blocker!):

http://markbahner.50g.com/what_will_happen_to_us.htm

I have to go, but I hope to address your excellent comments soon.

Best wishes,
Mark

James Annan

unread,
Jun 18, 2005, 10:18:26 AM6/18/05
to
Joshua Halpern wrote:

That is what I would have thought too. Not sure how many climate
scientists would claim to be capable of making such predictions.


but IMHO there are
> five major issues
>
> 1. The oil peak (I think the price of oil will stay at the $50/bbl
> level for some time and then increase). This, by itself will increase
> fleet mileage world wide. Probably emissions from transport will
> stabilize when you add together increased miles travelled and increased
> efficiency.
>
> 2. China
>
> 3. India
>
> Both are great races between efficiency and increased standards of living
>
> 4. Europe - probably will stabilize emissions
>
> 5. US - don't look for much progress beyond an increase in fleet
> efficiency because of oil cost. Has the potential to start a world wide
> depression
>
> The rest doesn't much matter.
>
> In SRS terms A2 if we are lucky. Probably with a significant
> mid-century world wide depression which will cut emissions (see Former
> Soviet Union).

1% pa CO2 increase? Hmmm. Would certainly make my $25 safe.

Coby Beck

unread,
Jun 18, 2005, 11:06:43 AM6/18/05
to
"Mark Bahner" <mark....@verizon.net> wrote in message
news:1119100136.1...@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

> "If there are NO probabilities estimated, then there is NO science."
>
> Suppose I told you that I have two predictions:
>
> 1) In the next 10 years, an asteroid will hit that will end all human
> life on this planet, and 2) An asteroid will hit the earth sometime in
> this century, and will kill over 100,000 people.
>
> Well, if I give absolutely no estimate of the likelihood of those two
> (conflicting) projections, then the projections aren't worth anything,
> scientifically speaking. And they are also worthless, from the
> standpoint of formulating policy.

Yes! Analogies, my favorite educational tool.. ;)

Mark, there is a big flaw in the way you are presenting the mix of
projection, prediction, probability and policy making. Let's take a
slightly different disaster analogy so we can restore the essential but
missing element: control.

Suppose you have to build a town somewhere on a two island long chain of
volcanic islands. Suppose I told you that I have two predictions: 1) that
sometime in the next 10 years volcano A will erupt and kill half the people
living on Island A and 2) sometime in the next 1000 years volcano B will
erupt and kill all the people on Island B.

Clearly I can not give you an estimate of the likely number of deaths over
the next 1000 years *because it depends on your choice* as to where you will
build your town. Yet it is clearly worth something from the standpoint of
formulating policy. I think this simple argument is quite sufficient to
dismiss your claim that a lack of probablistic detail about key elements of
a future scenario renders it useless.

Now, with that in mind, let's take another look at what the IPCC had to do
in terms of giving policy makers the information needed to set policy. They
have a body of science that ties climate change to GHG emmissions. They
have historical information about trends in GHG emmissions. They have data
about current emmissions.

So they say, this is what has happened so far and why and this is what is
happening now and why. What about the future, what will happen? Well, that
depends on what actions are taken now and in the future. So all they can do
is say here are the possible future emmissions scenarios and the range of
effects of each. Which it will be depends on the policy you now set.

This is exactly the right thing to do. Taking them to task for not reading
the tea-leaves and telling you which scenario will happen is a mis-guided
criticism. Saying, oh don't worry about it, emmissions will probably be
lower is irresponsible. You should take that information and work hard to
*make sure* that emmissions do in fact stay lower than the point where risks
are unacceptable.

People also complain that it is scare-mongering to describe the absolute
worst possible scenarios. This is completely wrong. Not presenting the
worse case scenarios would be irresponsible. Decision making requires
understanding the risks, you can not make the best decisions if the worst
consequences are hidden from you or glossed over. If the worst case
scenario is demise of the human species (I said if, let's not get into that
now) then perhaps people will decide that even a 1% chance is an
unacceptable risk. But if you never tell me that that is in the (albeit)
extreme range of possible outcomes, how can I make a responsible decision.

That is the purpose of the IPCC assessment, to give policy makers all the
information they need to do a risk analysis, some cost-benefit analysis and
then set policy to *control* future emmissions, rather than just bet on
future emmissions.

Coby Beck

unread,
Jun 18, 2005, 11:37:44 AM6/18/05
to
"Mark Bahner" <mark....@verizon.net> wrote in message
news:1119101185.0...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

> Hi Coby,
>
> I wrote, "The short answer is that the people who wrote the IPCC TAR
> projections lied. But they were very clever liars, and made their lies
> more and more outrageous the further they got out in time."
>
> You wrote, "This is really an extraordinary claim. I note that you did
> not say they
> exagerated, or were mistaken but said lied and indeed called them
> 'clever
> liars.'"
>
> Yes, it's an extraordinary claim. I've already made a claim you might
> consider even more extraordinary:
>
> http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2005/01/resolved_the_ip.html
>
> "The IPCC Third Assessment Report's (TAR's) projections for methane
> atmospheric concentrations, carbon dioxide emissions and atmospheric
> concentrations, and resultant temperature increases constitute the
> greatest fraud in the history of environmental science."

Well, this is just a very small extension of the lie claim.

> I think it was Carl Sagan who first made the excellent comment:
> "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof."
>
> I never have done a posting on my weblog that details many or all of my
> reasons for calling the IPCC TAR's projections, "the greatest fraud in
> the history of environmental science." I hope to do that within the
> next few days. In the meantime, you can go here to get at least one
> major reason:
>
> http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2005/06/comments_to_pro.html
>
> The most outrageously high projections in the IPCC TAR were
> (apparently...no one has ever disputed this, to my knowledge) inserted
> AFTER SCIENTIFIC PEER REVIEW. That, to me, ALONE is sufficient to
> constitute major scientific fraud.
>
> I started a global warming website, but I've never got around to
> polishing it up. You can view it at the website below.
>
> CAUTION: DO NOT VIEW THIS WEBSITE WITHOUT POPUP BLOCKER! It's a
> "freebie" web hosting company that I used just because I was having
> such trouble with a pay site. ( I simply must get switched over
> sometime!)
>
> http://markbahner.50g.com/
>
> The part of the website that deals with the IPCC TAR projections is
> this webpage (again, do NOT view without popup blocker!):
>
> http://markbahner.50g.com/what_will_happen_to_us.htm
>
> I have to go, but I hope to address your excellent comments soon.

I look forward to it.

I have reviewed the material in the links you provided above and as near as
I can tell, your beef is only with the projections of future emissions. If
ever you do address that beef here I will try to explore why I think your
reasoning is weak at best. But I must give you advance notice that even if
you do successfully demonstrate that your emmissions projections are indeed
much more likely than any/all/the average of the IPCC's scenarios, this
still does not rise to the level of the extraordinary evidence you need to
provide to justify the extraordinary claim that they are not just wrong, but
they are fraudulent liars. The only support I saw for that in the material
you have on your blogs was an article from www.sepp.org that makes claims
about political shenanigans but provides no supporting material whatsoever
and some vague insinuation based on Robert Watson being fired, again
unsupported.

Anyway, that's just so you know what I am looking for in terms of evidence.
Hope you do get back to me.

Joshua Halpern

unread,
Jun 18, 2005, 5:17:12 PM6/18/05
to
Looks good to me!

josh halpern

Joshua Halpern

unread,
Jun 18, 2005, 5:24:16 PM6/18/05
to
Mark Bahner wrote:
> Hi Josh,
>
> I don't have time to address the projections that you made later. (I
> basically completely disagree with them. ;-))
>
> But one thing I hope we both can agree on:
>
> "If there are NO probabilities estimated, then there is NO science."

No.

josh halpern

Mark Bahner

unread,
Jun 23, 2005, 9:06:53 PM6/23/05
to
This is a comment I just made to "Real Climate."

I dare you to make me the same offer!

Comment to "Real Climate":

William Connolley and James Annan have repeatedly asked me whether I
will accept "James Annan's bet."

For those who don't know the history, I proposed (and James Annan
accepted) a bet on the atmospheric CO2 concentration that is the year
2030 "midpoint" in the IPCC TAR's analysis: 438 ppm. If the IPCC TAR is
to be believed, there is about a 50/50 chance that the CO2
concentration in 2030 will be above 438 ppm. I offered James Annan $25
if the concentration in 2030 was above 438 ppm, where he would only
have to pay $1 if the concentration was below 438 ppm. In other words,
I offered 25-to-1 odds on what should be an even-money bet.

After accepting the 25-to-1 odds on the $1 bet, James Annan proposed
that he should also get 25-to-1 odds on a $100 bet. If the
concentration was above 438 ppm, I'd give him $2500, if the
concentration was below 438 ppm, he'd give me $100.

Of course I'm not interested.

Since the "offer" itself seems to reflect a lack of understanding
of basic economics, let me explain. James Annan's offer can be viewed
in two ways, which both produce the same basic answer (that the offer
is a farce):

1) The worth of the bet to me is equal to the likelihood I'll win
times the amount I'd win, minus the likelihood I'll lose times the
amount I'll lose. Since the likelihood I'll win is 24/25 and the
likelihood I'll lose is 1/25, the value to me of James Annan's
proposed bet is = (24/25 * $100) - (1/25 * $2500) = -$5. (Note: The
value of the bet in which I give James Annan $25 to his $1 is also
negative to me. But I'm made the offer to prove a point, not to win
money.)

2) Another way to look at the bet is as an investment. James Annan is
offering me a 96% chance that I'll win 4% "interest" (i.e. $100)
on my "principal" of $2500 dollars. But there's a 1 in 25 chance
that I'll lose my entire principal.

Have James Annan and William Connolley ever made an "investment"
where they could earn at most 4% interest on the investment, but had a
1-in-25 chance of losing the entire principal? If not, why--other than
possible complete ignorance of basic economics--would they make the
"offer" to me?

But just to show I have no hard feelings about James Annan's
insulting "offer," I have the following two counter-offers:

1) James, I'll be happy to bet you an extra $25 at even money. In
other words, if the concentration is below 438 ppm, you owe me $26 ($1
from the original bet, plus $25 from this new offer), but if the
concentration is above 438 ppm, I'll owe you $50. I'm sure, since you
think the IPCC TAR's projections are accurate, you'll be happy to
accept this new offer. ;-)

2) But I've got an even better offer for you both...a New and Improved
Free Money Offer. I have boosted my offer to an incredible $8 per IPCC
TAR author's vote on my bet #181 on Long Bets (that my projections are
more accurate than the IPCC TAR's). That's for up to a maximum of $200
(25 votes). I can't think of any reason why y'all would refuse this
offer. You can bet *I* wouldn't, if y'all made the offer to me!

Coby Beck

unread,
Jun 23, 2005, 9:46:21 PM6/23/05
to
"Mark Bahner" <mark....@verizon.net> wrote in message
news:1119574199.3...@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...

> 1) The worth of the bet to me is equal to the likelihood I'll win
> times the amount I'd win, minus the likelihood I'll lose times the
> amount I'll lose. Since the likelihood I'll win is 24/25 and the
> likelihood I'll lose is 1/25, the value to me of James Annan's
> proposed bet is = (24/25 * $100) - (1/25 * $2500) = -$5. (Note: The
> value of the bet in which I give James Annan $25 to his $1 is also
> negative to me. But I'm made the offer to prove a point, not to win
> money.)

Hi Mark,

This is of course between you and James but I will just give you a hint as
to what at least one outsider is looking at in these "put your money where
your mouth is" challenges.

The idea is to demonstrate the confidence and strength of your convictions
by risking something of a value. From here, it looks to me like you are not
willing to risk more than 50$, hence it is hard to believe you have any real
confidence in what you predict. The whole point of this exercise for those
of us sceptical of the sceptics is to see if they truly believe what they
say they believe. It is easy to loudly proclaim that you are sure something
is going (or not going) to happen, and one would think that unless it were a
lie you would be willing to risk something.

James increasing the stakes did not look like any kind of an insult only a
test of the strength of your convictions.

> 2) But I've got an even better offer for you both...a New and Improved
> Free Money Offer. I have boosted my offer to an incredible $8 per IPCC
> TAR author's vote on my bet #181 on Long Bets (that my projections are
> more accurate than the IPCC TAR's). That's for up to a maximum of $200
> (25 votes). I can't think of any reason why y'all would refuse this
> offer. You can bet *I* wouldn't, if y'all made the offer to me!

I can't speak to James Annan's and William Connolley's motivations (or lack
there of) but this would have no hope of interesting me either. It means
unsolicited contact and trying to convince colleagues to take part in
something that is a very personal choice. I would not do it either.

I'll give you $100 if you get Lindzen or Michaels, $200 for both, to bet
against James that warming by 2030 will be lower than the IPCC range James
always refers to. Free money.

Joshua Halpern

unread,
Jun 23, 2005, 10:51:33 PM6/23/05
to
This reminds me of the idiot stores that ask you to donate to charity in
their name...."Now that you have made your purchase sir, do you want to
give to the boy's club?"

Nuts to that Mark. James is not in this for charity.

josh halpern

James Annan

unread,
Jun 24, 2005, 12:51:43 AM6/24/05
to

Mark Bahner wrote:

> 1) The worth of the bet to me is equal to the likelihood I'll win
> times the amount I'd win, minus the likelihood I'll lose times the
> amount I'll lose. Since the likelihood I'll win is 24/25 and the
> likelihood I'll lose is 1/25, the value to me of James Annan's
> proposed bet is = (24/25 * $100) - (1/25 * $2500) = -$5. (Note: The
> value of the bet in which I give James Annan $25 to his $1 is also
> negative to me. But I'm made the offer to prove a point, not to win
> money.)

Jeez, what a flake this guy is. He offers a trivial bet, and when I
suggest upping the stakes to something worthwhile, he backs out, saying
that the bet has a negative expected value for him. Well, duh...

So we both agree that in fact CO2 has more than a 4% chance of
exceeding 438ppm in 2030. Score one more for the value of betting in
helping people to reach a consensus.

James

Thomas Palm

unread,
Jun 24, 2005, 4:41:13 AM6/24/05
to
"Mark Bahner" <mark....@verizon.net> wrote in
news:1119574199.3...@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com:

> After accepting the 25-to-1 odds on the $1 bet, James Annan proposed
> that he should also get 25-to-1 odds on a $100 bet. If the
> concentration was above 438 ppm, I'd give him $2500, if the
> concentration was below 438 ppm, he'd give me $100.
>
> Of course I'm not interested.

> Since the "offer" itself seems to reflect a lack of understanding
> of basic economics, let me explain. James Annan's offer can be viewed
> in two ways, which both produce the same basic answer (that the offer
> is a farce):
>
> 1) The worth of the bet to me is equal to the likelihood I'll win
> times the amount I'd win, minus the likelihood I'll lose times the
> amount I'll lose. Since the likelihood I'll win is 24/25 and the
> likelihood I'll lose is 1/25, the value to me of James Annan's
> proposed bet is = (24/25 * $100) - (1/25 * $2500) = -$5. (Note: The
> value of the bet in which I give James Annan $25 to his $1 is also
> negative to me. But I'm made the offer to prove a point, not to win
> money.)

Here is a simple lesson in economics for you: If your first offer was
honest, in the sense that you figured the odds were in your favor, you
should be interested. Betting more money would simply give you a larger
expected profit. Apparently that bet of your wasn't honest, though. You
didn't expect to win, you were just offering a bet at ridiculous odds
because you figured that it would be worth $25 to you to give the
impression that CO2 levels couldn't rise as fast as IPCC predicts.



> 2) Another way to look at the bet is as an investment. James Annan is
> offering me a 96% chance that I'll win 4% "interest" (i.e. $100)
> on my "principal" of $2500 dollars. But there's a 1 in 25 chance
> that I'll lose my entire principal.

If you thought the odds really were 1 in 25 you should have offered a bet
at 1 in 20 or something like that. The idea with bets like this is that
you make a suggestion where you are convinced the odds are in your favor,
while the other side is equally convinced the odds are in his favor. Then
both sides will be willing to bet more than a symbolic sum.



> Have James Annan and William Connolley ever made an "investment"
> where they could earn at most 4% interest on the investment, but had a
> 1-in-25 chance of losing the entire principal? If not, why--other than
> possible complete ignorance of basic economics--would they make the
> "offer" to me?

You were the one who made the offer. Annan merely increased the sum to
see if you were serious, and he called your bluff.

> 1) James, I'll be happy to bet you an extra $25 at even money. In
> other words, if the concentration is below 438 ppm, you owe me $26 ($1
> from the original bet, plus $25 from this new offer), but if the
> concentration is above 438 ppm, I'll owe you $50. I'm sure, since you
> think the IPCC TAR's projections are accurate, you'll be happy to
> accept this new offer. ;-)

Why would he want to do that? 438 ppm is the midpoint for IPCC so he'd
have no average profit from those extra $25. All you've managed to prove
with that new bet is that you really don't have any confidence in your
own estimates of low CO2 growth. Like other sceptics, when your own money
is at stakes you revert to using the IPCC report as basis for how to
calculate the odds.

Mark Bahner

unread,
Jun 24, 2005, 12:02:04 PM6/24/05
to
James Annan writes, "So we both agree that in fact CO2 has more than a

4% chance of exceeding 438ppm in 2030. Score one more for the value of
betting in helping people to reach a consensus."

I don't see how we have reached a consensus. I think there is a 4%
chance of exceeding 438 ppm in 2030. The IPCC TAR thinks there is a
50% chance of exceeding 438 ppm in 2030.

*You* claim to agree with the IPCC TAR. But I don't see you putting
your money where your mouth is.

Thomas Palm

unread,
Jun 24, 2005, 1:16:08 PM6/24/05
to
"Mark Bahner" <mark....@verizon.net> wrote in
news:1119628924.3...@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:

What about you two split the difference making a bet based on a 14% chance
that CO2 levels exceed 438 ppm? Could both of you agree on that? (I choose
geometrical mean, which seems most appropriate)

Mark Bahner

unread,
Jun 24, 2005, 2:46:42 PM6/24/05
to
Coby Beck writes, "I'll give you $100 if you get Lindzen or Michaels,

$200 for both, to bet against James that warming by 2030 will be lower
than the IPCC range James always refers to. Free money."

???

Why throw up this bogus straw man, Coby? If you're seriously
interested in duplicating my offer, you can!

Why don't you offer **me** $8 (up to $200) for every primary or
secondary author of the IPCC TAR who I get to vote on my bet #181 on
Long Bets?

In fact, why don't offer me even $4 (up to $200) for every primary or
secondary author of the IPCC TAR who I get to vote on my bet #181 on
Long Bets?

Why don't you make me either of those offers (precisely matching the
offers I've made to James Annan and William Connolley)? Is the reason
you don't make me those offers is because you know I'd accept?

James Annan

unread,
Jun 24, 2005, 4:55:32 PM6/24/05
to
Mark Bahner wrote:

> James Annan writes, "So we both agree that in fact CO2 has more than a
> 4% chance of exceeding 438ppm in 2030. Score one more for the value of
> betting in helping people to reach a consensus."
>
> I don't see how we have reached a consensus. I think there is a 4%
> chance of exceeding 438 ppm in 2030.

No you don't. You just admitted that your 25:1 odds was a stupid offer
that had negative expected value for you.

I refer, of course, to this comment in your previous post:

"(Note: The value of the bet in which I give James Annan $25 to his $1
is also negative to me. But I'm made the offer to prove a point, not to
win money.)"

> The IPCC TAR thinks there is a
> 50% chance of exceeding 438 ppm in 2030.

The IPCC TAR can be found at
http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/

and the SRES is at
http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc/emission/

I suggest you try to find a reference supporting your statement in
either of the above.

Joshua Halpern

unread,
Jun 24, 2005, 9:12:24 PM6/24/05
to
Let me teach you something Mark, people bet to make money, not to give
it to charity.

josh halpern

Mark Bahner

unread,
Jun 24, 2005, 9:21:43 PM6/24/05
to
I wrote, "I don't see how we have reached a consensus. I think there
is a 4%
chance of exceeding 438 ppm in 2030. The IPCC TAR thinks there is a

50% chance of exceeding 438 ppm in 2030."

James Annan replies, "No you don't. You just admitted that your 25:1


odds was a stupid offer that had negative expected value for you."

Heh, heh, heh! James, here's a little math problem for you:

Suppose there are 25 ping-pong balls in a container (like a lottery
container). The ping-pong balls are numbered 1 through 25. Mike bets
George $1 that George can't pull the number 19 ball out on one try.

1) If George has his eyes closed when he sticks his hand in, and the
balls are in a completely random pile, what is the percentage chance
that George will pull out the number 19 ball?

2) If Mike agrees to pay George $25 if George pulls out the number 19
ball, and agrees to accept only $1 if George fails to pull out the
number 19 ball, what is the value of the bet to Mike?