Tuesday 13 October 2015

A climate bet - any takers?

So these stickers have been going up around Wellington.

Much of Wellington is built on land that rose up out of the harbour in the 19th century during one of Wellington's charming earthquakes. A climate change advocacy group's been putting up the stickers.

I hate climate scaremongering. It too easily leads people to dismiss both the sensible and the crazy versions of the argument.

And as I view bets to be a tax on bullshit, I'm happy to offer 10:1 odds against the 2040 shoreline being at any of the current 1840 shoreline markers. I offer the bet on Caplan's terms. Here's Caplan's terms on a recent bet against a European war:
You pay me $x today.  If any European country that was not Communist in 1988 has a civil war leading to 10,000 or more fatalities between today and December 31, 2045, I will immediately pay you $7x.  Germany counts, Turkey doesn't.  Any front page story in The New York TimesWashington Post, or Wall St. Journal stating that a literal civil war in one of the specified nations has led to 10,000 or more fatalities in that nation ends the bet in my opponents' favor.  If I die before the bet resolves, the bet ends and my heirs keep the money.
I am willing to accept up to $500 on this wager, committing me to pay up to $3500 if I lose.  Per my current rules, I will bet anyone willing to pre-pay me via Paypal.  If there is any doubt about my reliability, note that (a) I frequently bet, and have never been accused of non-payment, (b) I am a public figure with reputation to lose, (c) I have a stable address, having been a GMU professor for 18 years, (d) I am 44 years old, so am quite likely to survive until 2045.  Multiple betting partners have accepted such terms in the past.  
You may accept these terms in the comments or via email.  The bet officially begins when I receive payment.
I'm offering 10:1 against the 2040 shoreline being at the 1840 position due to climate change. The bet is cancelled in the event of a major Wellington earthquake that changes the shoreline position substantially. I'm happy to take liability of up to $15,000 on this one, in total across all those betting against me.

I'm 39 years old and so likely to be alive in 2040. I've never been accused of non-payment of a bet, but I haven't bet nearly as often as Bryan. I am a public figure with reputation to lose, though less than Bryan's. My address is less stable than Bryan's but I'm exceptionally easy to find. 

Picture HT: Nathan Ross


  1. Good post, I hope your bet gets some publicity and some takers. I have thought it would be good for someone to publish all the predictions of climate change that have a date in them, as some of the dates must be occurring soon, allowing the predictions to be falsifiable.

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