The global political and media elites descending on Paris for talks on climate policy might want to consider the Golden Rule of Forecasting.
The Golden Rule derives from many decades of experimental research on forecasting across diverse fields and all kinds of forecasting problem. The Golden Rule of Forecasting "requires forecasters to be conservative by forecasting in a way that is consistent with cumulative knowledge about the situation and about forecasting."
Ignoring the Golden Rule has important practical consequences: The size of forecast errors is typically increased by more than 40%.
The Paris climate talks are predicated on the dangerous manmade global warming scenarios and projections of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These projections are being treated as forecasts by the policy makers and media attending the Paris talks.
In anticipation of the Paris talks, Scott Armstrong and Kesten Green delivered a paper at this year's International Symposium on Forecasting assessing whether the IPCC's procedures are consistent with the Golden Rule. They found that the IPCC's procedures violated all 20 of the relevant Golden Rule guidelines.