Another day, another bit of clickbait climate sceptic trash in the Times. Hidden behind a paywall, which saves you from having to read it, though some of it is republished here and the underlying report (not peer reviewed) is on the GWPF site here. The basic premise is that if you fit a nonsense model with no trend or drift, you generate a forecast with no trend or drift (though with huge uncertainty intervals, necessary to allow for the historical warming we've already seen). Amusingly, even with those huge uncertainty intervals, the temperature is already outside them as tweeted here by Gavin.
I was interested in whether the author really believed it, whether he'd been conned or misrepresented by the GWPF, or whatever else his explanation might be. So I emailed him, proposing a simple bet: for every month where the temperature lies above the red 50% line, he pays me £50. For every month where the temperature lies below the line, I pay him £60. Expected win for him: £5 per month, indefinitely. Assuming he believes the forecast, that is. Expected win for me, knowing his forecast to be junk: £50 per month, though I might lose a few at the outset :-)
There followed a fruitless exchange in which he declined to comment on whether he thought the forecast was credible and refused to even discuss any possible bet. I'm still baffled as to what might motivate a statistics professor to put their name to such obvious drivel, it's hardly something that will enhance his reputation in the academic community, or that he can feel proud to have written.