To the documented reality of a warming globe, there are those who remained unconvinced. Among this group, one of the few arrows left in the rhetorical quiver is a type offered Friday by John Hinderaker at Powerline... "I don't think things are quite so bad this year, but if something doesn't change pretty soon 2009 may go down in history, in some parts of the U.S. at least, as another year with barely any summer. Here in Minnesota and across the Midwest, temperatures are abnormally cold. I don't know whether the phenomenon is world-wide--data that will answer this question have probably not been assembled, and may not be honestly reported--but the current low level of solar activity suggests that the cooling trend could indeed be universal." In other words: "See, this cold snap is prima facie evidence that Al Gore is a dirty, rotten liar." Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight has taken up the challenge. His response: wanna bet on it?... "Therefore, because I'd like to see more accountability on all sides of this debate and because I'm tired of people who don't understand statistics and because I'd like to make some money, I issue the following challenge.... For each day that the high temperature in your hometown is at least 1 degree Fahrenheit above average, as listed by Weather Underground, you owe me $25. For each day that it is at least 1 degree Fahrenheit below average, I owe you $25." The elegance of the challenge is immediately obvious. While the global warming-deniers are quick to offer smoke and mirrors as evidence, would they be willing to put money on it?. If global warming isn't happening, or more preposterously, if global cooling is underway, then this is an easy bet to take. Yet shockingly, no one has yet taken Nate up on the bet. I did a bit of checking at the National Weather Service and looked back at Portland weather in 2009. It was marked by one of the colder winters and springs we've had in recent years, and indeed, through the first quarter of the year, 47 days were colder than average, and only 35 were warmer (the balance were average). Ah-ha!--proof, along with Hinderaker's Minnesota observation that global warming is a myth! Or maybe not. Turns out the late spring and early summer have been warmer than average. Through Saturday there have been ten more days above average than below. Anyone taking Nate's bet would be in the hole $250 right now. BlueOregon: Global Warming Deniers: Wanna Bet?