Climate Shock Bet

Daniel Reeves, co-founder of Beeminder, thinks the book Climate Shock is extraordinarily convincing.  He also apparently has a great deal of respect for my intellectual integrity.  The upshot: Reeves has bet me at 2:1 odds that reading Climate Shock will convince me to support markedly greater government action to mitigate climate change.

As we discussed the bet, I warned Reeves that:

I feel bad to pretend I’m more open-minded than I really am.  The honest truth is that I would probably have to spend a couple years studying climatology before I felt capable of directly reviewing the evidence.

And I think Reeves knows me well enough to be aware of my libertarian presumption.

But he still wants to make the bet.

Here, then, are the terms we’ve worked out.  Consider this an acceptance.

1. Bryan reads Climate Shock.  But feel free to skip the parts about short-term extreme weather events — that’s probably least compelling and least relevant to the long-term cost/benefit analysis.

2. Danny puts up $500 to Bryan’s $250 on Bryan doing a 180 on some important policy question related to climate change, such as supporting carbon pricing or subsidizing clean energy or carbon capture tech.  (Merely increasing Bryan’s support for repeal of existing government policies doesn’t count).

3. Bryan automatically loses the bet if he doesn’t finish the book by January 1, 2022.

I have to say, this is an extremely flattering bet, since Reeves is trusting me to adjudicate the result myself.  I’ll do my best not to disappoint him!