Post Briffa Yamal paper collapse, is the 0.5% chance of <2oC C21st a good bet?

One of my favourite blogs is Political Betting, not because I am a punter, but because (principally) Mike Smithson aims to give an assessment of how political opinion is moving ad the events that move it. One of the areas to bet on is spread betting, where (in the UK) the blog comments on bets on the number of seats that will be gained by the political parties in the forthcoming general election.

At, it reports on some MIT academics producing a fortune wheel.

It is interesting that these chaps from MIT only see a 1 in 200 chance of temperatures not rising above 2 degrees. It is a shame that the forecast is for so long in the future as (where gambling laws allow) it would seem a pretty good wager.  It may be possible to still create a betting market in this with something known as spread betting – a sort of futures market in the gambling industry. For political elections it develops a valid consensus of people “putting their money where their mouth is.” It turns out to be a more accurate assessment of opinion than opinion polls. If the people from MIT represent to popular consensus, then it may be a chance for the skeptics to make some money. As the forecasts of catastrophe fail to materialize, the skeptics will be able to sell their positions at a healthy profit, at the expense of the consensus,who will lose their shirts. My forecast is that the consensus will suddenly become all moralistic about such an idea. Why? Because they would believe that the betting would be far less alarmist than the supposed consensus. This is particularly relevent since MIT have not taken account of the undermining of Briffa’s paper on tree-rings as proxies for temperatures in the Yamal Penninsula.

For those not following the recent climate change debate, Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit has taken apart another hockey stick (See Here, here, here & Here for Climate Audit, or here & here for a Layman’s summary from Bishop Hill)

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