Pushback on my Skepticism
By Arnold Kling
Former frequent commenter General Specific writes,
In a subsequent post, I’ll consider each of these issues in more detail. In the mean time, Wikipedia has a page up on this topic. And in particular, consider the case of Carl Wunsch, who says he was completely misrepresened in this movie.
I am glad to see that he has his own blog. I coined the term GYOB (“get your own blog”) for people who make many, wordy comments. We banned him not because he disagrees with us but because we felt like he was becoming a third blogger on our site. It’s good to see him commenting–but on his own blog from now on.
Meanwhile, Bryan writes,
If consensus doesn’t impress you, then you should be willing to bet at even odds that temperature will fall.
This seems to miss my point. The theory of man-made global warming could be wrong, and I would still lose my bet. For example, if solar activity were the cause of global warming and solar activity caused temperatures to rise going forward, then I would lose. That hardly seems fair. In theory, I should still make the bet, because on average I ought to be able to make money betting against people with the wrong model. However, I have a psychological aversion to losing unfairly that makes me unwilling to make the bet.
I don’t see how conditional bets solve the problem. If we could actually run two separate scenarios (not in a model, but in multiple earths), with different levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, then fine. But the reality is we are only going to have one scenario, so only one of the conditional bets is going to be relevant. Then we’re back to making one bet.