Thirty-five scientists signed a letter addressed to the EPA Administrator, the Honorable Lisa P. Jackson, on October 7 2009 expressing concern that proposed rulemaking on the regulation of greenhouse gases would be based on unscientific forecasting procedures. Read more about the letter on the Public Policy Forecasting pages.
World leaders gathered in New York are being lambasted by the UN with predictions of dire climate consequences if they fail to institute costly policies against CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, 20 months ago Scott Armstrong challenged Al Gore, an advocate of the UN forecasts, to bet the UN Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change's projection that global mean temperatures would be 0.3 degrees Celsius warmer in ten years time against the scientific benchmark forecast that there would be no change in global mean temperatures. Al Gore declined the bet but, had he taken it, he would have lost 18 out of the first 20 months of the bet. For graphs recording the predictions and outcome to-date see the TheClimateBet.com. See also the graph showing a third-party prediction market on who will win the bet; participants favor the scientific approach to forecasting global temperatures giving Armstrong a 73% chance of winning.
In a cheekily titled article--"Forecast: Next Year Will Arrive in 2010-ish"--Carl Bialik asks experts, including Foresight editor Len Tashman and ForPrin.com directors Scott Armstrong and Kesten Green, why forecasts for 2009 have been so wrong. His article is subtitled "Recession Clouded Crystal Balls in Many Industries, Prompting Predictors to Regroup, Change Strategies and Exercise Caution" signaling his disappointment. In their essay "How to Forecast for Recessions and Recoveries" (on ManyWorlds; original) Armstrong and Green suggest using a simple rule from Collopy and Armstrong's Rule-based Forecasting in order to avoid embarrassment: When a time series is identified as “contrary,” do not extrapolate a trend.