Thursday, January 09, 2020

I've won my climate bet for $1500. What do I do with it?

Fresh and early in January, I received a very sportsmanlike and courteous email from climate skeptic David Evans, congratulating me for winning the ten-year climate bet we have and asking for arrangements to pay the $1500. Quite a contrast to the Russian climate denialists betting James Annan who now either refuse to pay or deny their own existence (James is annoyingly unsnarky about this, so I provide the snark here). December data isn't in yet for the GISS dataset we use, but David saw no reason to wait.

To recap, the bet compares 2005-2009 average to the 2015-2019 average. The bet had two parts, one part betting on temps exceeding or not meeting the .15C/decade that IPCC had previously forecasted for the medium term, and the other part on temps exceeding or not meeting a .1C/decade level that David thought it was possible wouldn't happen. At the time he anticipated some limited amount of warming, leading to the bet design. Details here, and there are additional bets we have for the future.

David and I agree that I've had luck in the bet - the El Nino/La Nina combinations for 2005-2009 were less-warming that the same combos in 2015-2019. Still, given how easily I've won both bets (final data in a week or two), I doubt it matters much relative to neutral temps.

David is Australian, and Australia is burning. What should I do with the money?

I have no special aversion to keeping the money - it wasn't a bet for charity. Our later bets are for larger amounts, so I may keep them or part of them. This one though seems appropriate to give away.

If anyone knows a good Australian charity that does climate advocacy, please LMK (in the comments or schmidtb98atyahoodotcom). I'd especially like it if the donation could make a bit of public splash. I won't rule out an America donation either at this point.

A last note - while we don't have civility controls for comments posted at Rabett Run, I'll just note once again how civil and courteous David has been thoughout the twelve years I've been in contact with him.


Victor Venema said...

This is the favorite charity of Potherholer54.

Borneo is not too far from Australia.

EliRabett said...

As the other side of the weather pattern bringing searing weather to Australia, there are serious floods in Indonesia and Borneo. The Earth is entering the ninth circle of hell.

David B. Benson said...

I vote for Borneo rain forest protection.


As the most lamentable animal victims of this year's conflagration are, odds on, antipodean anteaters stricken by the loss of some thousands of trillions of members of their only food group, you may wish to contribute to my next trip to Australia, to reassure afflicted numbats and echidnas that they have not been forgotten.

Brian said...

Borneo is an amazing place - I've been there twice, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions in the process of course. Orangutans have a humanlike appearance when you look them in the eyes, even more than chimps and gorillas IMO. You really feel like you're looking at a person.

I'll have to think about it.


Heaven forfend that the $1,500 should come from David short selling his Global Cooling Hedge Fund

Sou said...

The suggestions are excellent and you are generous.

Since you asked about Australia (pointing out David is Australian), I suggest giving some to Wildlife Victoria. WIRES, the NSW equivalent, has received millions partly because some people erroneously think it's Australia-wide. It isn't permitted to give funds to its counterparts in other states.

Wildlife Victoria is grappling with the fires in Victoria's forests (think Mallacoota images that went all around the world). These fires have burnt more than 1.2 million hectares (3m acres) at last report, prob more now. It hasn't had the publicity that WIRES got and also does amazing work rescuing and caring for wildlife, from wombats, to koalas, to kangaroos, to pygmy possums, tiny bats and all sorts of other wonderful native animals and birds.

BBD said...

Fresh and early in January, I received a very sportsmanlike and courteous email from climate skeptic David Evans, congratulating me for winning the ten-year climate bet we have and asking for arrangements to pay the $1500.

Credit where it is due - well done to DE for behaving like a gentleman when it comes to a 'debt of honour'.

Unknown said...

Hello Eli - A quick note of congratulations on your bet with Mr. Evans and I'm glad to hear that your 12 year exchange with him has been civil.

Kindest regards,

Ken Ricklin
Newport News, VA

Chris_Winter said...

It seems clear to me that donations to Australia would make most sense at this time -- either to firefighters if they can accept them, or to a wildlife rescue outfit such as Sou suggested.

But if you win those other bets, I hope you will keep the Citizens Climate Lobby in mind.

Layzej said...

Why only $1500? According to David Evan's website you should be winning $2000: "There are bets over 10, 15, and 20 years, for six bets in total. Brian stands to win US$1,000 per bet, so we have US$6,000 at risk and Brian has US$9,000 at risk." -

Layzej said...

Looks like I should have read your link which has the answer: "Even-odds bets are for $1,000 each, and the 2:1 bets increase over time, with me betting $1,000, $2,000 and $3,000, and David betting half that. My exposure is $9,000; his is $6,000."

Bernard J. said...

It's difficult to go past orangs given their very parlous state, and the fact that they are beings just as are humans. I could not argue against them.

However, if you want to make an impact in Australia it might be worth seeing if there's a move to rehabilitate habitat on Kangaroo Island. It's been particularly devastated by the fires, and there are already reports that an endemic spider species and a harvestman are almost certainly rendered extinct. The island's dunnart species is critically imperiled (if not effectively in extinction debt, and whatever remains of the original 300 individuals of the island's glossy black cockatoo subspecies are also suffering from catastrophic habitat loss. To say nothing about its koalas, and about other known and cryptic endemic species...

KI is not the only part of Australia that is reeling ecologically from climate change, but it's emerging as a poster child for the consequences human destruction of the environment. There'd be milage in donating funds won from a climate change denier for a worthy cause there.

And a hat-tip to Evans for honouring his bet. He deserves recognition for that.