Nate Silver, the well-known statistical and polling guru, has issued this challenge to climate change denialists on his website:
The rules of his challenge are as follows:
1. For each day that the high temperature in your hometown is at least 1 degree Fahrenheit above average, as listed by Weather Underground, you owe him $25. For each day that it is at least 1 degree Fahrenheit below average, he owes you $25.
2. The challenge proceeds in monthly intervals, with the first month being August. At the end of each month, tally up the winning and losing days and the winner writes the loser a check for the balance.
3. The challenge automatically rolls over to the next month until/unless: (i) one party informs the other by the 20th of the previous month that he would like to discontinue the challenge (that is, if you want to discontinue the challenge for September, you’d have to tell him this by August 20th), or (ii) the losing party has failed to pay the winning party in a timely fashion, in which case the challenge may be canceled at the sole discretion of the winning party.
My theory? Never bet against a guy named Nate, especially if he’s Nate Silver or Nathan Detroit. (Also, never draw to an inside straight.) My grandfather was a professional probability analyst — or in simpler terms, a Chicago bookie — so I know about these things. Not to mention the fact that climate change is very real.