Magazine Issue: December 2011

The future of predictions

By Editorial Team

Why it’s so hard to make predictions—and how we can get better at it.

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  1. I have a few issues with this article, the most easily verified being this statement: “This is not the language used to educate the general public about climate change. Scientists, politicians and activists have agreed for years that the average temperature of the Earth will continue in an increasing line if greenhouse gas emissions keep rising. The striking thing is that the temperatures measured by the British Met Office, one of the world’s most renowned authorities, are unequivocal: The line has remained essentially flat, and there is no global warming. That shunts a great many predictions written in weighty documents right onto the refuse pile.”

    If you look at the data on the British Met Office climate change page ( ), you will see a graph that is not exactly a flat line, but might be interpreted as such by someone who is looking (with tunnel vision) at only a small part of the data.

    Generally, the articles in Ode are thought-provoking above all (and serve a good purpose in so doing) but greater fact checking wouldn’t go amiss.


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