In today’s Wall Street Journal, Julian Simon’s inspiration is evident: I offer to bet up to a total of $10,000 that the number of Americans who will be killed over the next 20 years by tornados, floods, and hurricanes will be fewer than are the number who were killed in the immediately preceding 20 years. Here are my closing paragraphs:
So confident am I that the number of deaths from violent storms will continue to decline that I challenge Mr. McKibben—or Al Gore, Paul Krugman, or any other climate-change doomsayer—to put his wealth where his words are. I’ll bet $10,000 that the average annual number of Americans killed by tornadoes, floods and hurricanes will fall over the next 20 years. Specifically, I’ll bet that the average annual number of Americans killed by these violent weather events from 2011 through 2030 will be lower than it was from 1991 through 2010.
If environmentalists really are convinced that climate change inevitably makes life on Earth more lethal, this bet for them is a no-brainer. They can position themselves to earn a cool 10 grand while demonstrating to a still-skeptical American public the seriousness of their convictions.
But if no one accepts my bet, what would that fact say about how seriously Americans should treat climate-change doomsaying?
Do I have any takers?