I notice that the The Committee for Skeptical Enquiry has challenged the Heartland Institute to a $25000 bet. The bet is essentially about whether or not the 30-year GISSTemp land-only temperature average ending on 31 December 2015 will exceed any other 30 year average ending on the same date of a previous year. I downloaded the GISSTemp land-only data today and had a quick look at some 30 year averages. As far as I can tell, it is virtually impossible for the 30 year average on 31 December 2015 to be less than that of any previous 30 year average. It would be completely bonkers for the Heartland Institute to take on this bet. I therefore fully expect them to do so 😀
Since I’m discussing the Heartland Institute, I should probably mention that they’ve just recently finished their 10th International Conference on Climate Change. I don’t have much to say about it. One thing that was unclear (and maybe someone could clarify) is whether their session on Attacks on Climate Science and the Corruption of Science was about how to do it, or how to prevent it. It wasn’t clear from the information presented.
I also – for my sins – watched Mark Steyn’s keynote speech. I’m not sure I would recommend doing it, if you haven’t already done so. It was very strange. I could only watch it in small chunks. It might have actually been moderately amusing if it wasn’t for the fact that Steyn appeared to think that what he was saying made some kind of sense, and that those in the audience seemed to be lapping it all up. Quite how someone can base a large part of their career on attacking another person is beyond me. That others can actually encourage this is equally bizarre.
As far as whether what was presented at the Heartland Conference was nonsense or not, I didn’t listen to anything else, so can’t say for sure. Past experience would certainly lean towards it having been nonsense. Of course, most of what I have seen indicates that those in attendence dress far more smartly than most at any conference I’ve ever been to. That alone would normally – when it comes to scientists, at least – be a good indicator of style over substance.
Update: Just to be clear, I certainly don’t think that being smartly dressed means that you can’t be a good scientist, just that – collectively – it isn’t the norm 🙂