After 2015 was revealed as the hottest year on record, climate science denier Sir Alan Rudge now admits that he feels “a bit stupid” about betting a climate expert that the world would be cooling by now.
Rudge, a member of Lord Lawson’s climate denial think tank the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), accepts that he must pay up the £1,000 he lost when he bet Chris Hope, a Cambridge University researcher, in 2011 that 2015 would be more than 0.1C cooler than 2008.
But new data released last week shows that 2015 was the hottest year on record and was 0.35C warmer than 2008. As DeSmog UK covered at the time, this cost two members of the GWPF a total £2,000.
“You could say I was the mug for taking the bet. I feel a bit stupid about it,” Rudge told The Times. “Lucky Chris Hope — and a lesson for all who would gamble on the planet’s unpredictable weather to look carefully at the terms before signing up!”
According to The Times, Rudge claims he misunderstood the terms of the bet. He originally thought 2008 was the warmest year on record.
However, in 2009 NASA published an article stating that 2008 was the coolest year since 2000. Looking more broadly though, data showed that 2008 was at the time the ninth warmest year since records began in 1880.
Rudge wrote to Hope when he realised his mistake. While Hope offered him the chance to withdraw (with the caveat that he copy in two other scientists “so that they can see our useful exchange of views whether the wager goes ahead or not”) Rudge decided to continue with the bet fearing public backlash for withdrawing.
To find out more, continue reading here at The Times.