Monday, February 13, 2006

Extreme Weather Prediction

In a comment to a blog entry on the Inside Dope blog on New Years Day asking for predictions for 2006 I fearlessly predicted extreme weather in 2006. I predicted that many locations would record the hottest, coldest, wettest or driest years since records have been kept. New York City just recorded the largest snowfall since records have been kept and even though I did not specifically mention snowfall I am claiming victory for my prediction. Of course, if we lived in a sane society in which everyone admitted obvious facts staring them in the face my prediction would have been the equivalent of “I predict that the pope will be Catholic” and I would look pretty silly trying to do a victory lap. But large numbers of Americans are conservatives, most of whom claim with apparently straight faces not to see any evidence of global warming or any other weather trend at all.

Of course, this is a tragedy in the sense that our inability to take any collective action now means we and our children and their children are going to be paying a very high price in the future for our current inaction. But looking on the bright side, their myopia is a golden opportunity to win some bets for those of us able to see the world directly rather than filtered through an ideology. Every time you run into a global warming skeptic suggest a friendly wager. It will be like shooting fish in a barrel.

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