Attention, Climate Change Deniers: You'll Win $10,000 If You Can Prove It
Okay, climate denialists, this is your time to shine: just disprove climate change scientifically, and win $10,000 from physicist Dr. Christopher Keating. You'll have to adhere to the scientific method, but you won't even need to prove the climate isn't changing, just that human activity plays no role in it. Sounds like an easy enough job, right? Wait, where did you go?
All joking aside, the offer by Dr. Christopher Keating is a tantalizing opportunity to see just how many people are willing to put their intellect on the line for $10,000. Keating has made the barriers to entry effortlessly low, so to ensure the largest number of people possible will have no excuse not to jump in and try their hand. The requirements for winning the $10,000, as he details on his blog:
As referenced over at Death and Taxes , this is highly reminiscent of another scientifically-oriented public challenge which has been around for years — the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge, offered by world-renowned magician and skeptic James Randi.
Though Randi's payout is bigger, his requirement — to demonstrate psychic or paranormal phenomena in a controlled scientific environment — is every bit as iron-clad as you'd expect. Nobody's ever been able to do it.
For what it's worth, Keating's challenge wouldn't even require people to do their own work. As he detailed, entries need not be "original," and could just be articles copied and pasted from elsewhere on the internet.
Obviously, deniers could balk at the terms of the arrangement, since the authority to assert victory or concede defeat lies solely with Keating himself. But that's the the great thing about invoking the scientific method, and having to explain your reasonings. Doing this holds Keating to a high standard, as well.
Suffice it to say, if someone somehow managed to scientifically disprove climate change and the human activities that have furthered it (which seems as unlikely a scientific feat as can be), Keating's credibility would be rightly open to attack if he refused to acknowledge it. But we've got a sneaking suspicion he isn't going to have to worry about that.