Show me the receipts

A consequence of the last decade-plus of mindless, saturation media is an endless parade of “experts” and “pundits” who have little at stake and pay no price for mistakes.

The very loud people who oppose action on climate change, for instance. Even business lobbies are often add odds with businesses, many of which are already planning for a changed climate.

There’s a brilliant article on VoxEu about the people who do have money on the line:

In our recent paper (Schlenker and Taylor 2019), we look at weather derivatives in financial markets to assess beliefs about climate. We find that traders have been pricing in a warming trend that is closely aligned with the projections of scientific climate models, as well as the observed weather outcomes during that time…

…Futures prices closely follow the predictions of climate scientists, which, on average, appear to have materialised, thus validating the climate models. This close agreement between markets and models implies that traders are taking into consideration the scientific consensus on climate change when making trades. Overall, we find that the market has been accurately pricing in climate change, largely in line with global climate models, and that this began occurring at least since the early 2000s when the weather futures markets were formed.

There are plenty of liquid markets where someone with a contrarian take on climate change or the housing market (etc.) could make a lot of money.

It isn’t enough that you were “right last time”. That could have been a fluke. That might have been one correct prediction after many wrong ones.

In the real world that batting average doesn’t work. So, journalists should ask for receipts.

If an expert or pundit makes a bold claim they need to put their money where their mouth is. Otherwise it’s just hot air.