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Climatologists Wager on Global Warming

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the dollars-for-degrees dept.

Science 591

coflow writes "The Guardian is carrying a story about a $10,000 bet that a pair of Russian scientists have entered with British climate expert James Annan. According to the article, the Russians believe the world will be cooler in 10 years. "If the temperature drops Dr Annan will stump up the $10,000 (now equivalent to about £5,800) in 2018. If the Earth continues to warm, the money will go the other way.""

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After the bet... (4, Funny)

Nuclear Elephant (700938) | more than 8 years ago | (#13363984)

According to the article, the Russians believe the world will be cooler in 10 years.

Unfortunately, $9,999 will have gone towards building a giant air conditioner in the middle of Moscow.

Re:After the bet... (0, Troll)

nidalap (908883) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364036)

And how many nerds actually care about a bet between scientists? Last I checked, they were supposed to be researching, not making bets.

Re:After the bet... (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364205)

Well, it is pretty telling that the for the most part, the slimate skeptics do not like the idea of taking the bets except for ridiculous odds (where they have no risks). So yeah, I do care. I like to know that the ppl who are making these claims believe in it enough (and their science), that they are willing to take major risks.

Of course, it is just possible the Russians will win due to the thermal conveyor being shutdown and bringing a new ice age to Europe.

Re:After the bet... (1)

Cerdic (904049) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364045)

Don't forget that air conditioners and refrigerators generate more heat than they actually take away. For example, if you left your freezer door open for several hours, the room temperature would actually increase.

That said, it doesn't mean those Russian scientists don't have some crazy, world-cooling scheme to win that $10,000. Bringing down large, icy asteroids might do the trick.

Re:After the bet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13364059)

Nah, they'll just use a giant parasol.

Re:After the bet... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13364091)

Trust me, we understand the concepts of thermodynamics... in other words the bit about building a huge air-conditioner in Russia was a joke moron.

2018? (0)

Nicky G (859089) | more than 8 years ago | (#13363991)

And here I thought it was 2005... Where have the last three years gone? My goodness, time does seem to fly by these days...

Re:2018? (1, Offtopic)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364002)

Where have the last three years gone?
The same place all those socks and the grammar skills of /. editors went.

Re:2018? (3, Informative)

richdun (672214) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364155)

"To decide who wins the bet, the scientists have agreed to compare the average global surface temperature recorded by a US climate centre between 1998 and 2003, with temperatures they will record between 2012 and 2017."

I believe the reason for the extra three years is so that the data from 2012-2017 can be collected and processed, thus giving an "average" temperature for 2015...at least, that's what TFA seems to say.

I know, I know, no need to read TFA when you can make a snappy remark for free +1 Funny points but look like an idiot cause you didn't read the article you are trying to poke fun at.

I think.... (1)

Kellan (891621) | more than 8 years ago | (#13363993)

Global warming won't be a serious problem for a long time. But It is approaching. Those crazy Russians.... They lost ten grand.

Re:I think.... (4, Funny)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364092)

Ah, thanks for settling this one for us. If they only would have talked w/ you before they made their bet they could have saved themselves $10,000.

Re:I think.... (2, Funny)

craXORjack (726120) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364293)

Yeah but when it comes time to pay up:

"Not so fast, Comrade. You have heard of NUCLEAR VINTER?"

Bet that this is an FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13363994)

If I fail it I will perform autofellatio!

pls post pics. thx. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13364039)

You are not logged in. You can log in now using the convenient form below, or Create an Account, or post as Anonymous Coward.

Wagers = (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13363995)

Advance in Science.

terminology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13363999)

Guess it depends on the Russian's definition of "cool".

Re:terminology (1)

craXORjack (726120) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364277)

That's so true. They could be referring to the spread of that crazy russian rock music. It's cool, man.

What Metric? (0)

Spock the Baptist (455355) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364000)

What metric will they use to determine if the world has cooled or warmed?

Re:What Metric? (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364019)

What metric will they use to determine if the world has cooled or warmed?

Ah, perhaps that's the sublime nature of this little jest! It's hard to settle a bet about a change when no one can settle on the baseline.

From TFA... (5, Informative)

Keamos (857162) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364040)

"To decide who wins the bet, the scientists have agreed to compare the average global surface temperature recorded by a US climate centre between 1998 and 2003, with temperatures they will record between 2012 and 2017"

I'd say to RTFA next time, but this is /., not like anyone would listen anyway...

Re:What Metric? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13364124)

A thermometer?

umm... (0, Offtopic)

jazzman251 (887873) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364007)

Climatologists Wager on Global Warming:
 
  This is a bet, so why is it under science?

Re:umm... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13364102)

"This is a bet, so why is it under science?"

God plays at dice.;)

Re:umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13364139)

As soon as we figure out this whole "dice" thing that is being played, its only a matter of time before we rig it to win it!

Re:umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13364163)

It's called "putting your money where your mouth is", and it is very apropos to what would otherwise be a scientific topic due to how politicized the whole thing has become.

I can't see very many Vegas odds-makers taking up this one though... they tend to think shorter-term, just like Congress.

Russian weather-control technology (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13364008)

The russians investigated weather control far more deeply than the USA (though the british did some experiments too, ended up flooding a small town). Maybe they're going to plunge the world into a new ice age, so they can swan about in their fur hats while the rest of us freeze.

Re:Russian weather-control technology (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364254)

I, for one, welcome our new fur hat wearing...oh, wait. No. Never mind.

Global warming, eh? (2, Interesting)

42Penguins (861511) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364012)

I'm not sure about the rest of the world, but I think we could use some global warming in northern Ohio. After a while, the bipolar weather patterns aren't so bad, but the winters can get pretty nasty. I realize it probably won't change too much in my lifetime, but it's a thought.

As for the climatologists, is a bet really news?

Re:Global warming, eh? (1)

vansloot (89515) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364077)

Being from Minnesota and living in Chicago, I would usually agree with you, but after this summer, I could do without it. Those 25+ days over 90 degrees were enough for a northern midwesterner like myself.

Re:Global warming, eh? (2, Insightful)

pin_gween (870994) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364087)

we could use some global warming in northern Ohio...winters can get pretty nasty

You know, you do live in America and you ARE free to move south where it's warmer

SHUT UP NIGGER! SHUT UP NIGGER! SHUT UP NIGGER! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13364017)

SHUT UP NIGGER!

already slow- (-1, Redundant)

Commander Trollco (791924) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364018)


Climate change sceptics bet $10,000 on cooler world

Russian pair challenge UK expert over global warming

David Adam, science correspondent
Friday August 19, 2005
The Guardian

Two climate change sceptics, who believe the dangers of global warming are overstated, have put their money where their mouth is and bet $10,000 that the planet will cool over the next decade.

The Russian solar physicists Galina Mashnich and Vladimir Bashkirtsev have agreed the wager with a British climate expert, James Annan.

The pair, based in Irkutsk, at the Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics, believe that global temperatures are driven more by changes in the sun's activity than by the emission of greenhouse gases. They say the Earth warms and cools in response to changes in the number and size of sunspots. Most mainstream scientists dismiss the idea, but as the sun is expected to enter a less active phase over the next few decades the Russian duo are confident they will see a drop in global temperatures.

Article continues
Dr Annan, who works on the Japanese Earth Simulator supercomputer, in Yokohama, said: "There isn't much money in climate science and I'm still looking for that gold watch at retirement. A pay-off would be a nice top-up to my pension."

To decide who wins the bet, the scientists have agreed to compare the average global surface temperature recorded by a US climate centre between 1998 and 2003, with temperatures they will record between 2012 and 2017.

If the temperature drops Dr Annan will stump up the $10,000 (now equivalent to about £5,800) in 2018. If the Earth continues to warm, the money will go the other way.

The bet is the latest in an increasingly popular field of scientific wagers, and comes after a string of climate change sceptics have refused challenges to back their controversial ideas with cash.

Dr Annan first challenged Richard Lindzen, a meteorologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who is dubious about the extent of human activity influencing the climate. Professor Lindzen had been willing to bet that global temperatures would drop over the next 20 years.

No bet was agreed on that; Dr Annan said Prof Lindzen wanted odds of 50-1 against falling temperatures, so would win $10,000 if the Earth cooled but pay out only £200 if it warmed. Seven other prominent climate change sceptics also failed to agree betting terms.

In May, during BBC Radio 4's Today programme, the environmental activist and Guardian columnist George Monbiot challenged Myron Ebell, a climate sceptic at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, in Washington DC, to a £5,000 bet. Mr Ebell declined, saying he had four children to put through university and did not want to take risks.

Most climate change sceptics dispute the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which suggest that human activity will drive global temperatures up by between 1.4C and 5.8C by the end of the century.

Others, such as the Danish economist Bjorn Lomborg, argue that, although global warming is real, there is little we can do to prevent it and that we would be better off trying to adapt to living in an altered climate.

Dr Annan said bets like the one he made with the Russian sceptics are one way to confront the ideas. He also suggests setting up a financial-style futures market to allow those with critical stakes in the outcome of climate change to gamble on predictions and hedge against future risk.

"Betting on sea level rise would have a very real relevance to Pacific islanders," he said. "By betting on rapid sea-level rise, they would either be able to stay in their homes at the cost of losing the bet if sea level rise was slow, or would win the bet and have money to pay for sea defences or relocation if sea level rise was rapid."

Similar agricultural commodity markets already allow farmers to hedge against bad weather that ruins harvests.

I am spam, spam i can? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13364022)

1. Make bet against Global Warming
2. Build giant air conditioner
3. ??
4. Profit!

Oh Goody! (1, Insightful)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364023)

Global warming means nothing more than a bet!

Cooler or warmer, if we are the ones doing it then we are all fsck'd.

Re:Oh Goody! (1)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364067)

RTFA. The Russian scientists believe the increasei n global temperature is due to sun spot activities, not human activities... unless we're causing the sun spots!! OMGWTFLOLBBQ

Re:Oh Goody! (0, Troll)

rlp (11898) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364116)

Ingolfke writes:

The Russian scientists believe the increasei n global temperature is due to sun spot activities, not human activities...

All left thinking people know that global warming, war, famine, pestil#########pollution, and zits are all caused by the Bush administration.

Re:Oh Goody! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13364285)

All left thinking people know that global warming, war, famine, pestil#########pollution, and zits are all caused by the Bush administration.

I assume you mean the ones that use the left side of their brain - the analytical side - as opposed to the right side - the emotional side. Count me in.

U.S. Residents Wager On The U.S. Economy: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13364025)


failing from Massive Military-Industrial Complex Spending [whitehouse.org] . Are you old
enough to remember the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Thanks and have a Bush_Cheney_Rice_Rove_Rumsfeld_free-day.

Patriotically,
KIlgore Trout, C.E.O.

I'm sorry. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13364027)

But ./ you are no longer my homepage.

Its been a fun ride, but damn honey you're tainted.

I'm leaning towards the Ruskies on this one... (3, Interesting)

drewcaster (517860) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364028)

I thought I'd never say that. It's interesting how mainstream media has declared that a majority of scientists say global warming is real and directly tied into carbon emissions. When the only consensus is that things are getting warmer (opposite of when the planet was getting cooler in the 50's through 60's and causing the global cooling panic).

I have no trouble accepting that carbon emissions could cause warming, however the evidence isn't there yet. I have several friends in climatology, geology and astronomy who shake their heads everytime a new panic prediction is released. They're not right-wing anti-environmentalist idealogues. They're scientists who see multiple cause for global warming, man being only one of them.

The "better something than nothing" crowd loses traction with me when it comes to Kyoto. It's just a bad plan.

Re:I'm leaning towards the Ruskies on this one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13364121)

I am not surprised when anyone from SlashDot leans anywhere except for America. My God, you folks are so damned paranoid and full of conspiracy theories.

Re:I'm leaning towards the Ruskies on this one... (1)

Xaositecte (897197) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364128)

Why is this Modded down as a Troll?

If anything it should be modded up for insightful or interesting.

on what grounds? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13364142)

The IPCC is as close to consensus as you get, and they attribute global warming significantly to carbon emissions, and carbon emissions such as carbon dioxide and methane are known greenhouse gases in that the laws of physics dictate their behavior.

Or would you have us believe that for some reason it just so happens to be overwhelmed by other factors than carbon emissions?

If industry PR consultants had a plausible method by which anything other than carbon emissions would be causing global warming I'd be interested in so far as that we shouldn't be contributing further to global warming since, regardless of the primary method of global warming (which you can believe differently all you want), greenhouse gases will _still_ cause earth to warm on a global scale.

Furthermore, you claim Kyoto is "just a bad plan" without reason. If it's such a bad plan, surely you have some reason to think that which you can state publicly.

So, what's your plausible alternative warming mechanism, to save face?

Re:on what grounds? (3, Informative)

SidV (800332) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364196)

"So, what's your plausible alternative warming mechanism,"


A. Sun (I know it's a crackpot theory, but some people actually do think the sun has something to do with Earths Climate, and the Suns output does vary)

B. Water vapor (Much greater greenhouse gas than either Methane or CO2, also dictated by the laws of Physics, also increasing over time through natural means)

C. Natural variation (Entropy, ringing)

D. Loss of cloud cover

E. Natural emissions of greenhouse gasses (Volcanoes, deepwater CO2 and Methane out-gassing)


Do you honestly think that's mans carbon emissions are the ONLY thing that effects climate. Do you think that the earth had no climate variations before man?

Re:on what grounds? (1)

thc69 (98798) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364276)

"So, what's your plausible alternative warming mechanism,"


A. Sun (I know it's a crackpot theory, but some people actually do think the sun has something to do with Earths Climate, and the Suns output does vary)
You know, I hadn't taken the time to consider this, and now I'm probably missing something very basic and fundamental, but...The sun constantly adds energy to the earth. Animals convert matter into energy, and afaik, photosynthesis is merely the use of solar energy to mess with matter, rather than actually making matter out of energy.

Is that all correct? If so, where is the energy going?

Re:I'm leaning towards the Ruskies on this one... (-1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364189)

It's interesting how mainstream media has declared that a majority of scientists say global warming is real

No, it's not at all interesting. Global warming is happening. That is fact. Don't try to dispute it, or you'll look like an even bigger idiot.

What is debatable is how much does human activity contribute to it?

Re:I'm leaning towards the Ruskies on this one... (2, Interesting)

geek (5680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364221)

"No, it's not at all interesting. Global warming is happening. That is fact. Don't try to dispute it, or you'll look like an even bigger idiot."

It is? As far as I know we barely have 60 years of factual concrete weather data. From that you people wish to extrapolate the entire warming and cooling of the planet over 4 billion years and then yell and scream when the temperature goes up 2 degrees.

You fail completely to take into account the planets warming and cooling trends. For Gods sake, the Sahara desert was once a swamp. Had that change happened in the last 100 years people like you would be crying "end of the world".

The only one here looking like an idiot is you for flaming this guy for making a reaosnable and sensible post.

Re:I'm leaning towards the Ruskies on this one... (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364242)

You've responded to a very simple point by attempting to redefine "global warming", completely changing the subject, and making baseless assumptions about my views. Good job.

Re:I'm leaning towards the Ruskies on this one... (1)

geek (5680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364256)

The only point you made was that you are really bad at calling people idiots while assuming you know everything, which you obviously do not.

Re:I'm leaning towards the Ruskies on this one... (0, Flamebait)

SidV (800332) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364232)

"Global warming is happening. That is fact. Don't try to dispute it, or you'll look like an even bigger idiot."


From what date/time to when.


From Noon today till now (8:30 PM) I have noticed considerable cooling.


From December 2004 till 2005 I have noticed considerable Warming


From 1971 till 2005 I have noticed considerable warming.


From 1939 till 2005 records show little change in either direction


From 1998 till 2005 I have noticed slight cooling


All of this considers only the present era.

Re:I'm leaning towards the Ruskies on this one... (1, Insightful)

arminw (717974) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364267)

....scientists who see multiple cause for global warming,....

Climate goes in cycles, like so many things in nature. Human written records attest to warmer as well as cooler times. I too think that natural causes, such as the variation in solar output have much more effect than mankind putting back some carbon atoms into the atmosphere that were there ages ago when the fossils and fossil fuels were buried in the ground. The carbon in the fossil fuels must have at some point been available to the living creatures that converted the sunshine of ancient times into plant and animal matter. One or more sudden burials of many of those living organisms made the fossils and the fossil fuels. Today no fossils are being made, since upon death living organisms are reduced to their basic constituents by the micro-organisms of decay.

Re:I'm leaning towards the Ruskies on this one... (1)

C32 (612993) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364284)

"kyoto a bad plan" => american

It'd be a shame if you had to give up your giant SUVs and air-conditioning and live like the other ~5.7B of us here on earth..

10,000 $ ? (1, Funny)

darthgnu (866920) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364030)

Real men bet on drinks and not on wee little girly-men dollahs. Listen to me now, believe me later, there is no such thing as global warming...

Re:10,000 $ ? (0, Flamebait)

flyneye (84093) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364064)

I'll toss in my liquor with yours for a side wager that every scientist involved is either a socialist of some flavor or a democrat or recieving funding from the same.
I'll also bet this does my already cancerous karma no good.

A Simon vs Ehrlich type wager (4, Interesting)

John Jorsett (171560) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364038)

Obviously inspired by the 10-year Julian Simon/Paul Ehrlich wager of 1980.M [wikipedia.org] Simon had Ehrlich choose five of several commodity metals. Ehrlich chose 5 metals: copper, chrome, nickel, tin, and tungsten. Simon bet that their prices would go down. Ehrlich bet they would go up. Simon won.

Re:A Simon vs Ehrlich type wager (1)

Ithika (703697) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364112)

I considered it might have been in the style of the Hawking/Preskill [wikipedia.org] bet. But then I'm sure science is full of friendly (and not so) bets going back to antiquity. 'Twill be interesting to see the outcome, though my money is on it warming.

Re:A Simon vs Ehrlich type wager (4, Informative)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364129)

What an obscure and insightful reference. Great post.

An interesting quote from the wikipedia article you cited:

"[Simon] always found it somewhat peculiar that neither the Science piece nor his public wager with Ehrlich nor anything else that he did, said, or wrote seemed to make much of a dent on the world at large. For some reason he could never comprehend, people were inclined to believe the very worst about anything and everything; they were immune to contrary evidence just as if they'd been medically vaccinated against the force of fact. Furthermore, there seemed to be a bizarre reverse-Cassandra effect operating in the universe: whereas the mythical Cassandra spoke the awful truth and was not believed, these days "experts" spoke awful falsehoods, and they were believed. Repeatedly being wrong actually seemed to be an advantage, conferring some sort of puzzling magic glow upon the speaker." [4] [wired.com]

Are climate change skeptics cowards? (4, Informative)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364046)

Scientists who stand firm on the belief that humans are causing global warming, have been involved in several bet-challenges with skeptics. Here's how two of them panned out:

"Dr Annan first challenged Richard Lindzen, a meteorologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who is dubious about the extent of human activity influencing the climate. Professor Lindzen had been willing to bet that global temperatures would drop over the next 20 years.

No bet was agreed on that; Dr Annan said Prof Lindzen wanted odds of 50-1 against falling temperatures, so would win $10,000 if the Earth cooled but pay out only £200 if it warmed. Seven other prominent climate change sceptics also failed to agree betting terms."
- In other words, Lindzen made it so it wasn't a fair bet. He poisoned the wager.

"In May, during BBC Radio 4's Today programme, the environmental activist and Guardian columnist George Monbiot challenged Myron Ebell, a climate sceptic at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, in Washington DC, to a £5,000 bet. Mr Ebell declined, saying he had four children to put through university and did not want to take risks."- In other words, Monbiot flat out chickened out.

The thing is, what happens if (by a miracle) enough nations enact policies that cause lower greenhouse gas emissions and global warming stops? Then who wins?

Re:Are climate change skeptics cowards? (2, Insightful)

DevanJedi (892762) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364089)

Even if that happens, warming in the short term should still occur; and maybe even in the long term. I can't say I'm an expert in global warming, but I would imagine that even if everyone stopped emitting greenhouse gases today, what's already out there is already out there.

Re:Are climate change skeptics cowards? (1)

abulafia (7826) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364145)

Even if that happens, warming in the short term should still occur; and maybe even in the long term. I can't say I'm an expert in global warming, but I would imagine that even if everyone stopped emitting greenhouse gases today, what's already out there is already out there.

Well, that really says it all, doesn't it?

Re:Are climate change skeptics cowards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13364147)

The thing is, what happens if (by a miracle) enough nations enact policies that cause lower greenhouse gas emissions and global warming stops? Then who wins?
What happens if, by a miracle, enough nations enact policies that cause lower greenhouse gas emissions and we enter a new ice age?

What happens if, by a miracle, enough nations enact policies that cause lower greenhouse gas emissions and global warming continues at its same pace?

What happens if, by a miracle, enough nations enact policies that cause lower greenhouse gas emissions and an 'excluded' Kyoto country, let's say China, takes advantage of this and imports a significant chunk of global industry by not restricting CO2 emissions?

What happens if, by a miracle, enough nations enact policies that cause lower greenhouse gas emissions and aliens invade and kill us all?

What happens if, by a miracle, NO nations enact policies that cause lower greenhouse gas emissions and things strt getting cooler anyway?

Re:Are climate change skeptics cowards? (3, Insightful)

joebutton (788717) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364174)

"In May, during BBC Radio 4's Today programme, the environmental activist and Guardian columnist George Monbiot challenged Myron Ebell, a climate sceptic at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, in Washington DC, to a £5,000 bet. Mr Ebell declined, saying he had four children to put through university and did not want to take risks."- In other words, Monbiot flat out chickened out.

Those are indeed other words. In fact they're words with a completely different meaning to the previous ones.

Re:Are climate change skeptics cowards? (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364296)

No, they arent.

If he is such a dependable man, so concerned about his children, then why has he no problem with wagering the future of all mankind by downplaying global warning?
He doesnt trust his believes enough for $15k, so why should anybody trust him when the future of billions is on the table?

there is a school of thought (2, Interesting)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364047)

That says global warming may well stave off the next ice age, and this wiill be no bad thing for our species. Now I suspect that this would be better acheived deliberately and with planning, rather than through polution. Whichever way it happens though, given that I live in england, a country which was covered to a depth of several kilometers in ice during the last ice age, I can't say I mind too much, however it happens.

Re:there is a school of thought (2, Funny)

Half-Baked (771927) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364090)

I saw a documentary that had the theory global warming will cause the next ice age, i think it was called the day after tomorrow.

Re:there is a school of thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13364103)

Before you start praising the idea of global warming, think about these things:

1) Fresh water. Availability of fresh water is affected strongly by climate; expect most new wars in the near future to be about access to limited supplies.

2) Coastal populations. A huge majority of the human race exist next to the sea. Rising sea levels will mean pressure for land and other resources, and might have adverse effects on established cities.

These things are issues whether or not global warming has large effects, but can only get worse if the predicted ranges of change from global warming occur.

Re:there is a school of thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13364170)

1) Fresh water. Availability of fresh water is affected strongly by climate; expect most new wars in the near future to be about access to limited supplies.

The hotter it is, the larger the moisture cycle is (evaporation-condensation-precipitation). The ice ages were, on average, drier than the warming periods.

Of course, there will be places where the climate gets drier -- somewhere that used to get lots of rain might not get as much if the earth warmed a few degrees -- but that would be offset by other places getting more rain. Pump the cycle enough, and you might put a savannah on the Sahara.

In 10 years (or 2018 whichever comes first) (2, Insightful)

slickwillie (34689) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364069)

$10,000 will be worth about $1.98 in today's dollars, due to the coming hyperinflation.

Money Where Mouths Once Were (3, Interesting)

DevanJedi (892762) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364075)

Finally somebody putting their money where their mouths are. This will be interesting- though I can't understand the math that makes 2005+10=2018. I just hope this isn't one of those stories that you hear the first half of but never the second; meaning that in 2015 (or 2018), nobody will remember this story and the winning of the bet won't be news enough. Scientific bets have been happening for many, many years. Some famous wagers include:
  • Feynman bet a $1000 that no one could construct a motor no bigger than 1/64th of an inch on a side
  • Hawking bet against his own theory of black holes (a subscription of Penthouse to the winner, no less)
And other similar stuff...

Re:Money Where Mouths Once Were (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364177)

Feynman didnt BET 1000$ that nobody could build it, he offered a challenge to build one with a winning price.

Thats 2 very different things.

Russians should start saving in case they lose. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13364088)

Russian scientists make much less than $10000/year, they should start saving in case they lose. Typically they make a few hundred bucks a month.

Russian salaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13364118)

I am not sure about now, but 7 years ago $500/month was a VERY GOOD SALARY in Russia.

Re:Russians should start saving in case they lose. (1)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364127)

Maybe, but in ten years, they will likely be making $10,000 per day...

Weather futures (4, Informative)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364113)

This type of "betting" has been going on for a while now at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Weather futures [cme.com] lets companies and traders buy and sell the risk of high or low temperatures For example a utility company might fear that it will incur high costs if the summer weather is too hot and a softdrink maker might fear that the summer weather will be too cold. These parties can agree to trade a weather future contract that profits the utility if the weather is hot (offsetting the extras costs) and pays the drink maker if the weather is cold (offseting the lost sales). Both sides reduce their own risks. Agriculture and energy traders can also use weather futures to hedge or correct for weather-related price changes in commodities to profit from non-weather-related effects.

Re:Weather futures (4, Interesting)

abulafia (7826) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364188)

Sure. This is a longer-term gamble (and a PR stunt, even if a good one, and with a purpose). AFAIK, one can't buy, say, 20 year futures on the weather.

Robin Hansen [gmu.edu] has been trying [gmu.edu] to set up markets in this sort of thing [wired.com] for a while, but with little success. It seems that, for the most part, people get more than a little conservative*, and not only don't want to bet, but also don't want to see the odds.

*I'm using that in the general sense, not the current flame-fest sense.

Oh, forgot to add... (1)

abulafia (7826) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364220)

Sorry to follow up on my own post, but I meant to add that a similar betting-pool idea for knowledge aggregation was put forth by John Brunner's brilliant (IMO) book Shockwave Rider [amazon.com] , in 1975. (If you like SF, read it, if you haven't. There's a lot more than just the betting thing going on that still echos in modern SF fiction, plus, it is a great story, even if the writing sort of sucks. But we're used to that is SF, yes?)

Russia will get warmer while the U.S freezes (1)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364131)

Anyone realised its not a case of the world getting warmer or colder. its a case of climate changing.

The poor old UK will sink, the equators are going to cool down, while the artic is going to warm up. Looks like this bet was fixed after all.

Obligatory Futurama... (5, Funny)

Achra (846023) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364140)

Pretty soon Earth is chock full of sunbeams...their rotting corpses heating our atmosphere.

Fortunately our handsomest politicians came up with a cheap, last minute way to combat global warming.
Ever since 2063 we drop a giant ice cube into the ocean every now and then.

Of course, since the greenhouse gases are still building up, it takes more and more ice each time.
Thus solving the problem once and for all.

Re:Obligatory Futurama... (1)

Mishra100 (841814) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364183)

I think it's mandatory that some nerd needs to quote Futurama for a real future scenario about once a day. But I do agree, that is funny. :)

Cheap advertising--but who bought it? (0)

shanen (462549) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364158)

For some people, $10,000 is not significant. Perhaps these scientists are so rich, but my own guess is that the money is actually coming from somewhere else, and the real goal is to get some cheap publicity that there are "scientists" who don't believe in global warming. Do you need any hints to guess where to look for such people? I don't want to name any names, but the initials are TB as in Turd Blossum. Cheney wouldn't bother, since he won't be around in 10 years.

Actually, there's another question besides who is actually paying. How much extra they paid the "scientists" under the table (beyond the wager itself)?

Bias is a risk on both sides (4, Insightful)

ccmay (116316) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364259)

Actually, there's another question besides who is actually paying. How much extra they paid the "scientists" under the table (beyond the wager itself)?

Do you mean the pro-warming scientists or the anti-warming scientists?

Grants from the Sierra Club spend just as well as grants from Exxon, and carry the same risk of biasing a scientist to report what he thinks his patron wants to hear.

I'd be interested in an analysis of the source of funds for climate scientists. How much is coming from the evil corporations, how much from scaremongering environmentalists, and how much from supposedly apolitical government agencies?

Also, you must not underestimate the power of peer review and tenure decisions to bias scientific research. The academic world is tough on people who undermine articles of "progressive" faith.

-ccm

Global Climate Change (2, Interesting)

line.at.infinity (707997) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364219)

The Kyoto Protocol and UNFCCC were designed to prevent global climate change. If the climate gets warm enough, ocean currents can be forced to "switch" in a way that can trigger a mini ice age.

RE: Data Centers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13364226)

Just got done reading the article.

I'm personally looking forward to needing to pipe heat INTO my data center to keep it from freezing over.

After a 1 month Summer in Calif* (2, Interesting)

heroine (1220) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364227)

After a 1 month Summer in Calif* and several years of declining temperatures, we feel the climate is cooling down from particulates more than it's heating up from CO2. Everyone knows sulfur from China's factories is reducing the amount of energy reaching Calif*. The sunsets today are a lot redder than they used to be.

Global warming could cause an Ice Age (3, Informative)

SocietyoftheFist (316444) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364231)

Seems odd but here is why. The ocean currents carry water from the Polar regions to the Tropics. The reason Northern latitudes are able to sustain large populations is because of the moderating affect of the ocean. If the Polar latitudes warm up suffciently all the ice melts and the process that was sending heavy dense water down to the tropics is disrupted and the Polar regions get really cold and and Ice Age comes along. I don't think there is rational person that doesn't believe we are modifying the environment but this process has happened over and over through history. The Sun is in a very active state and has been pumping out a lot of heat at the same time so I think the chance of this happening isn't so remote. In the 1600-1800s there was a pronounced cooling in Northern Europe and it may be on the way again once the Planet heats up enough to start the cycle all over again. The Earth is very dynamic and climate change is inevitable. Evidence of vineyards in England has been found but you won't be growing any grapes there today!

Re:Global warming could cause an Ice Age (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13364295)

There are several vineyards in southern England, producing drinkable wine (never tried it myself though). Perhaps you're thinking of Sweden or Iceland?

warming to war to hotter then to cooling off (4, Insightful)

zogger (617870) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364233)

guess I'd wager on a still occurring warming trend in those time frames. Reason is because the arctic in general has started melting, increasing the albedo effect, along with last weeks notice of the huge methane releases that have started in the siberian tundra. Another reason is that the oceans have been seriously degraded in the amount of carbon they can absorb. Warming and cooling are cyclical, but in this cycle it is headed towards warming. Man's contributions are just that, no less and no more.



We *are* releasing a ton of gasses, much more than can be reabsorbed, and two giant economies, india and china, are just the past few years really bumping up the volume on what they burn.



So combine that with the aforementioned geophysical realities, and it looks like more warming coming to me. How long it will last I don't know because of political wildcards. All you can do is guess, but there's only enough oil for some countries to have a robust middle class, not enough for all nations. Anyone can do the math there, it's not that hidden or weird or debateable any longer. There is x-amount projected global demand, with y amount proven reserves/refinery capacity, etc. They aren't the same number and x is a lot larger. That and other strategic minerals, etc. We just *may* have a tremendous global warfare period over natural resources and availability (some contend it has started already),and if this happens, the amount of fires started (call them megafires, as in regional sized) and resultant release of even more gasses plus extra heat that will get trapped WILL be catastrophic. and large wars have started over much less than large nations economic survival.

I think it pays to remember that "leaders" in these various very large nations by and large tend to be *quite mad*. I am pointing in all directions right now, no favorites. You cannot predict what they might do or how things might spiral out of control.



  I tend to think at best, just for a SWAG, we have to go on past planetary history. We usually wind up with major wars fought by major powers with whatever the major weapons of that time period were. It has eventually always happened. I see nothing that convinces me todays humans are any better than yesterdays humans in that regard. So the combination of lame hoomannz and natural cyclical warming trends should indicate for the next generation or more we will have _more warming_.

Now all we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13364286)

is an old korean scientist that will build a bewoulf cluster of huge air conditioning overlords, running linux. Other then that, I can't see how the comments can go more berserk...

They're not getting my money... (1)

repetty (260322) | more than 8 years ago | (#13364292)

I don't make those kinds of bets anymore, not since I lot the Brittney Spears virginity thing...
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