James Taylor has proposed a virtually sure-fire betting scheme at www.forbes.com:
With the economy as tough as it is, Al Gore shouldn’t be the only person to make money off of global warming fears. In an effort to spread the wealth, I am offering a number of tips for readers to similarly grow wealthy from supposed global warming crises.Sir John Franklin and his crew will probably be pissed, though. That whole arctic ice thing didn't work out for them, and 150 years later they are still looking a bit chilly.
First, identify prominent purveyors of global warming doom-and-gloom. The bigger the media ham, the better. For a jumping-off list, I suggest Al Gore, James Hansen, Michael Mann, Gavin Schmidt and Joe Romm. Second, whenever the purveyors of doom make ridiculous predictions about global warming, ask them to put their money where their mouths are. After all, if Al Gore can so fervently urge government to force us to spend our hard-earned money complying with his global warming predictions, he should certainly be willing to risk his own millions backing up his global warming claims.
Sometimes you might get lucky and discover a deluded alarmist who has beat you to the punch and offered such a bet on his or her own volition. For example, I just stumbled across this blog post from Joe Romm offering to bet even money that the Arctic Ocean will be ice-free by the year 2020. Talk about taking candy from a baby! I will be contacting Joe immediately. I urge all readers of this column to do the same.
A word of caution is appropriate here. It would be wise to insist that both parties hand over their money in advance to a third-party referee. Maybe I’m being overly suspicious, but I wouldn’t trust alarmists not to welch on their bets. As Ronald Reagan would say, trust but verify.
Also, feel free to forum-shop. If I’m in Las Vegas and I want to bet on Sunday’s Falcons-Lions game, why would I bet my money on the Falcons in a casino where the Falcons are only three point underdogs when I can bet the Falcons in another casino that is giving four points? The same applies regarding global warming bets. Joe Romm is laying bets on an ice-free Arctic by 2020. However, Professor Wieslaw Maslowski of the Naval Postgraduate School predicted an ice-free Arctic by 2013. Betting with Romm is pretty darn close to free money, but why not shave off an additional seven years if you can get them?
An ice-free Arctic is just one of the myriad money-making opportunities available. Alarmists love to fill the media with over-the-top predictions about hurricanes, floods, droughts, rapid temperature increases, etc. With so many topics and alarmists to choose from, a sharp, motivated global warming skeptic can soon be lighting cigars with $100 bills while the rest of the nation continues to drown in our ongoing Great Recession. Don’t feel guilty about your newfound riches. You can always donate them to charity or send them to Occupy Wall Street protesters if you acquire more $100 bills than cigars to light.
Of course, all of this is dependent on alarmists actually putting their money where their mouths are. You may meet some resistance at first, but don’t underestimate the power of public pressure. When an alarmist makes a ridiculous prediction in a newspaper article but refuses to back up his or her prediction with cold, hard cash, send a letter-to-the-editor pointing out the alarmist’s lack of faith regarding his or her own prediction. When an alarmist is on a talk radio program making a ridiculous global warming claim, call in and publicly propose a wager on the prediction.
I cannot overemphasize the importance of selecting and appointing a neutral arbitrator and pre-approved objective data. For example, so long as James Hansen has a free hand to doctor the Goddard Institute surface-station temperature data sets, ice sheets can reclaim New York Harbor during the next decade yet Hansen would still likely claim “the hottest decade in recorded history.” Insist upon objective data such as NASA satellite data for global temperatures, sea level rise, etc. Failing to do so is as naïve and foolish as Clark W. Griswold (Chevy Chase) going into a Vegas casino and taking on the House in a game of “I’m thinking of a number between one and ten.”
Finally, feel free to be creative and think outside the box about adding more people to your list of potential wager victims, even if it means straying from the media ham list. For example, your strident-yet-uninformed neighbor or perhaps your child’s middle school science teacher might make for some easy pickings. Either way, there is a great deal of low-hanging fruit just waiting to be plucked.