2010-11-10 09:29:24$10,000 challenge to provide empirical evidence for AGW
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.186.160.198

I know this challenge is all bluster and theatrics but I find myself tempted to respond to this challenge (not just because of the 2nd comment to the blog post):

Not for the money but for the opportunity to layout the many lines of empirical evidence - which have been spelled out many times on SkS. But in this case, it's an opportunity to get the evidence out there in the public's eye in a more prominent manner. As we've seen with the "700 angry climate scientists" narrative going viral in the mainstream media, what people are attracted to is conflict. The story of a skeptic putting his money where his mouth is and then "warmists" duly responding is a fairly compelling narrative and would get everyone talking about the empirical evidence - the many lines of empirical evidence. The skeptic is saying "show me any evidence", we say "okay, well, here is a whole bunch of evidence".

One argument against responding - it gives this bozo a whole bunch of attention.

Thoughts, comments?

2010-11-10 10:25:15love that comment
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252

Haha I love that second comment.  Especially how Motl has debunked the entire SkS site here.  I guess we can just pack up our bags and go home!

We've already got a conclusive argument based on empirical facts.  There's "How do we know more CO2 is causing warming" and "The human fingerprint of global warming".  Of course, both mention climate models, so I'm sure the response would be "models are garbage therefore you lose."  But in that case, it just reveals how flimsy their opposition to AGW is.

2010-11-10 12:45:26Advice from Joe Romm
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.186.160.198

I asked Joe from Climate Progress about this as he seems to have a good handle on strategy. His reply:


This is an interesting question.  The problem of course is that if you read this guys stuff, he's just hard core nuts.  And this kind of legitimizes him and put him in the driver seat.

Put it this way, would you contemplate doing this if Monckton made the offer.  Of course not.

What is needed is an agreement on independent adjudication board.  Absent that, the only value would be to put together an extensive document that he would be forced to read.  But he would end up using that against you in the end.

He will no doubt use nonresponse as proof that he's right.  So I think the only response if you want to make one is to say that you would agree to this if there was an independent arbitration agreeable to both sides.


I can't see much chance of a good-faith negotiation on finding an independent adjudicator. If I did put together an extensive document (aka a plain English version of our review paper), there would probably be a way he would use it against us. I can't think of how exactly though.
2010-11-10 13:11:56good idea
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
71.137.148.215

The third party idea is good, but I'm sure he would never agree to it.  Or he'd insist on a third party like Monckton!

The only way I could see him using it against us would be to use the usual dumb skeptic rebuttals (i.e. the aforementioned 'models are garbage'), claim our effort was worthless, and declare another skeptic victory.  Basically, your typical denial.  But he'd certainly declare victory if nobody takes him up on his challenge.

If you wanted to pursue, the first step would be to ask how it's decided what consists of "a conclusive argument", and suggest a third party judge.  Because what's "a conclusive argument" is totally subjective, and if he's the judge, he'll just say anything provided to him is inconclusive.

2010-11-11 02:32:46
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
93.147.82.100
This challenge is garbage. He wants to prove that there's no "conclusive argument based on empirical facts" and he will in any case. He's the judge and he has money to loose, can you believe in a fair judgement? Leave him alone with his stupid challenge, not even worth a comment in his blog.
2010-11-11 07:54:08
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.75.101
What Riccardo said.
2010-11-11 10:10:45All right, I'll drop it :-(
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.186.160.198

I had no expectation of a fair judgement. Would an owner of a blog about climate skepticism suddenly turn around and say, "whoops, I was wrong!"?

I was thinking more that it would be a way to attract attention to the evidence. We've had multiple posts on the evidence for AGW and I intend to do more, repeatedly drawing attention to the empirical observations. By responding to a $10,000 challenge, it had the potential to get lots of attention just for the novelty factor, hence attracting much attention to the evidence. Skeptics like to harp on about models and say there's no evidence, but when we present the many independent lines of evidence, they go very quiet.

But as Joe said, if Monckton made this challenge, I wouldn't bite. So why attract all this attention to this obscure blogger? Generally speaking, I'm becoming more disciplined in staying the course, becoming less knee-jerk responsive to the blogosphere's daily lurches, and instead take a long-term view. Do what we do best, educate people, keep building the rebuttal content, get the content out there in front of more eyeballs. I shouldn't let myself get distracted so easily :-)

2010-11-11 10:29:16
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
93.147.82.100
Yes John, SkS is one of the the most effective blogs in disseminating good science and we all should take care of its excellent reputation. This means, among other things, to not be involved in any blog war or challenge with less reputable (euphemism) blogs.