Intelligence² vs Idiocy³

[ UPDATE 2: (3 Aug 2011) “… anyone who thinks global warming science is settled is “living in Fantasia” – Prof Salby  😉  ] 
[ UPDATE: The knockout ROUND 3 is now at the bottom of this post  🙂  ] 

My fellow Silly Skeptics 😉

You thought you’d seen everything in the climate debate … well, we Swedes do it better! But first, remember a few years ago those wonderful Intelligence² climate debates in New York (2007) and Sydney (2008)? There are also many other famous climate debates.

Well … contrast these debates to the one now going on between me and Sweden’s leading “Carbon Dixoide Dieter”, Staffan Lindberg. He’s the one in the swimming goggles 🙂
Staffan Lindberg - koldioxidbantare och stå-upp-komiker
Maybe not quite up to rigorous international debating standards … but he has promise! Here is a 2009 comment about Staffan Lindberg, from Scandinavia’s largest climate blog: The Climate Scam:
Idiocy³? (or: Idiocy on steroids?) The only comment I can think of is this Einstein quote : ”Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”   🙂 

Now for The Debate, as it stands now. I asked Staffan (knowing a bit of his history) if, when he comes to my daughter’s school, he plans to scare up the children there, as usual. And if so, why? Quite a reasonable request … I thought. I was not prepared for the keenness of his argument nor the strength of his evidence /sarc still on! 🙂

OK … ready for Staffan’s lightning quick debating skills?
Staffan … you’rrrrrr ON!

Hi Brady,
Realising that the majority of the research community have a consensus about the main points of the climate question for 15-20 years now, there’s no two sides to discuss anymore. Simple risk analysis says to me that we must take this question extremely seriously. And it can’t wait. I’m sorry I have to say this. However I wish with all my heart that the climate skeptics were right. Then we could do something happier than save humanity from a catastrophe. I’m sending NASAs and James Hansen’s latest paper if you want to read it. I find it hard to ignore. Are you sure that he is wrong?
Not me. Sustainable Wishes, Staffan Lindberg
Email #2 : Staffan’s rapier-like debating skills then swung into action  😉
Hi Brady,
Wow, what a lot of links! These will take me seven weeks to go through.
It is OK if you don’t want to believe in global warming.
Instead take a look at Peak Oil research, then we can do about the same thing but for another reason. That is, reduce our dependence on oil and not deplete our resources so that our children miss out. Best wishes, Staffan

Brady’s original email
Hello there Staffan Lindberg,
A teacher at my school has informed me that you will be giving a Climate Show to all our 10-16 year olds on 27 April 2011.
I think that it is great that the students can have an experience of professional entertainers right here in our school.
Being a science teacher here at the school, I am concerned that your show may also be more about politics (indoctrination?) than just art. 
“Climate Shows” in other countries have generally been apalling in their one sidedness of “evidence”, mostly the absence
… regarding the scientific facts about CO2 … explained admirably here by Prof. Courtillot:

This particular CO2 video, using school children, has now been denounced all around the world.
I think you realise that school children are just developing their critical thinking skills and need to protected from political ideologies eg. we do not allow politicians nor private companies to sell their political party or products to our students on the school grounds. I am sure that your Climate Show has already considered these details before performing among our children and I look forward as well to seeing your wonderful artistic performance. I look forward to your reply. Best regards, Brady

WARNING! LOTS OF (BORING? )  SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE BELOW THAT GLOBAL WARMING IS NOT “a catastrophe“… or look at the presentation  🙂
PS:  STAFFAN “THE CARDON DIOXIDE DIETER” LINDBERG did not care to answer these criticisms to his argument.   🙂  
Hello there Staffan,
Sorry I didn’t reply to your quick response sooner, I’ve been correcting science tests and lab books  😦
Please be aware that what I write below is not aimed at you as a person, you seem like a happy enough sort of guy riding your bicycle across your Klimatshow poster.
But the links below produce evidence, strong I think, that your beliefs about CO2 need to be re-examined in light of abundant scientific evidence that contradicts your argument.  
Maybe you do not care too much to check this evidence for yourself, but prefer to rely on the opinions of others instead. 
That is your decision as an individual to make … and mine to act upon. I must first thank you for this opportunity to return, after a years absence, to check and update again for myself the evidence for and against the theory of CAGW 🙂 
If you find the text and links of my argument below too time consuming then you can just scan down the page looking at the headings and graphs.
You will then get the guist of my argument … but not the depth.

Your email did not address my concerns about your Klimatshow possibly being more about politics than music or science. It does not appear that you even looked at the scientific evidence that I presented, contained in the 4 links provided, before you replied (no clicks on these parts of my blog). Here then are my comments on your email argument in support of the theory of Catastrophic Man-Made Global Warming (CAGW):  
Staffan Lindberg says: ” Med tanke på att större delen av forskarsamhället varit överens om huvuddragen i klimatfrågan …” 
This is an example of the argumental fallacy of The Appeal to Popularity:

“Most people approve of X. (have favorable emotions towards X) Therefore X is true.” 

Science does not work by vote but by evidence eg. you can’t vote for or against The Law of Gravitation.
A seeming “consensus” of scientific opinion has often been overthrown by lone skeptical scientists, think Alfred Wegner – Continental Drift theory, think “100 scientists against Einstein”, this is the way Science moves forward, against Group Think.  Appealing to “a greater part” does not help your argument in a scientific debate … politics definitely, art maybe … but not science. 

However, this is common statement by those working in the Media. Even if you want to still use this argumental fallacy, then there are many lists of thousands of scientists/researchers that disagree with the Castrophic Man-Made Global Warming theory, here’s just a few examples:

More Than 1000 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims
U.S. Senate Report: Over 700 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007
More than 130 German Scientists Dissent Over Global Warming Claims!
31,000+ Scientists sign petition denying man-made global warming–Challenge-UN-IPCC–Gore

It is often said in The Media by Global Warming alarmists that these lists must be fake, then one wonders what criteria will satisfy them.

There are also lists of numerous peer reviewed scientific papers, in “good” scientific journals 🙂 disagreeing with CAGW, just one example of these lists:

900+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of “Man-Made” Global Warming (AGW) Alarm
or in Swedish 🙂

Once again Media personalities and GW alarmists act as if none of these scientific papers exist … or in any case say that they should not be considered because they “know” these papers must be wrong. This again may be successful way of doing Politics, and getting emotional sound-bites across on Radio and TV, but here science will be thrown out the window again.
As well, various National Academies of Sciences around the world have been changing their minds on Man Made Global Warming:
Polish Academy of Sciences Questions Gore’s Man-Made Global Warming Theory
54 Physicists write an Open Letter to the Council of the American Physical Society disputing Global Warming Theory
British ‘Royal Society abandons consensus on AGW’

…and there are many more, if you want a list, just ask 🙂

This majority/consensus way of arguing is very common in Politics (and the entertainment industry) but has very little to do with Science.   

Staffan Lindberg says: “… i 15-20 år finns inga två sidor att belysa.”
The Debate really just started about 23 years ago now, in 1988, with James Hansen testifying in a specially arranged hot room before Al Gore’s US Senate hearings.
This is when “The Climate Wars”, as it is known, began … with groups of independent scientists arguing strongly against another group of politically backed scientists.
The Debate-Is-Over meme is today even more strongly openly challenged by many leading scientists and even leading environmentalists.
Read all about it here:
The Long Death of Environmentalism
“… The truth is that the disparate crew of academics and bloggers who make up the skeptic community have toiled in relative obscurity and have been largely ignored by the mainstream media… The propensity to blame skeptics and fossil fuel companies for the serial political failures of the environmental movement should be understood as a tribal defense of the collective green ego, not the logical conclusion of a dispassionate analysis.”
Here these leading US environmentalists are talking about me and you, Staffan 🙂 

See a potted history of the Long ContinuingClimate Debate here:
… or read the book 🙂
The Hockey Stick Illusion;Climategate and the Corruption of Science (Independent Minds)   
Once again, Global Warming Alarmists (seen commonly as actors, musicians and artists on TV in the US, Australia and Europe) purport that their opponents say that climate change is not happening. This is another argumental fallacy example called The Straw Man Fallacy :
“The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person’s actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position.”

It is very obvious that climate has been changing for all of the Earth’s long history. Here is the data for the last 5 000 years

However then the Global Warming Alarmists say that the last 30 or 20 or 10 years are “different” due to man made CO2.
This usually comes across very well with TV audiences, especially if it is done with a knowing smile or a song, and a sympathetic TV interviewer 🙂
Once again rhetoric and emotion wins out over the science.
A person must ignore the evidence and stick to the good feelings of saving-the-world in order to pull this off.  

You might like to view the most recent raw data on the global temperature, by the scientist who collects the data himself, no computer models here 🙂

As you can see, the global temperatures are NOT acting in accordance with your “större delen av forskarsamhället” , this I think should give you pause in your belief in CAGW.

You may also be interested in how your CO2 worry compares with these temperature decline for the last 10 years:

It appears pretty clearly from these observational data from the last decade, NOT models, that the world temperature has been dropping as CO2 has been rising.
It is important in Science to stick with evidence rather than emotion.
You can just ignore the fact that CO2 levels are not significantly influencing temperatures, and this works well in Politics, but then you would not be doing Science anymore.  

Staffan Lindberg says: “Enkel riskanalys säger mig att vi bör ta frågan på största allvar. Och det är bråttom.”
Here you use another argumental fallacy – The Appeal to Consequences
“X is true because if people did not accept X as being true then there would be negative consequences.”

I would suggest that you read the classic Wilfred Beckerman’s analysis of your “simple risk analysis” a.k.a. the famous Precautionary Principle.
The problem with your “simple risk analysis” is that it argues for precaution just one way, and does not consider the risks of action as well …
…. which are already causing spikes in food prices, food riots and starvation.
“UN special rapporteur Jean Ziegler accused the EU of agricultural dumping in Africa. He said producing biofuels, a key part of the EU’s plans to tackle climate change, was a “crime against humanity”.
This is happening now, because of this “Enkel riskanalys …” and is not just a computer model projection that might happen 100 years in the future.
It is important to notice this difference between present facts and future beliefs.     
“In other words, this is mainly about corn [for Biofuels in cars]. And who’s the biggest corn exporter in the world? The United States.
And where is 40% of US corn production going this year? Ethanol, for use in US car engines.
And will USAID acknowledge that this has anything at all to do with spiking food prices?

Don’t hold your breath.”

… but Beckerman says it better: 

A Poverty of Reason: Sustainable Development and Economic Growth
Staffan Lindberg says: “Jag är ledsen att behöva säga detta.”
Another Argumental Fallacy 🙂 – The Bandwagon Fallacy
“The Bandwagon is a fallacy in which a threat of rejection by one’s peers (or peer pressure) is substituted for evidence in an “argument.” “
Don’t be sad 😉 just be scientific 🙂 and consider that you may be wrong, actively look for counter evidence. We humans generally have a hard time considering that we might be wrong. Consider that you may be sad for historically common reasons. History is littered with examples of humans refusing to believe that their whole group could be mistaken. 
Or read the book 🙂 
When Prophecy Fails
“They determined that when people have a strong enough faith in something, they will often do exactly the opposite of what we would expect when their faith is tested.  Rather than abandon their beliefs, adverse events often strengthen resolve, and beliefs will adapt to the faith of the followers, rather than diminish.” – It is called Cognitive Dissonance.

Staffan Lindberg says: “Däremot önskar jag med hela mitt hjärta att klimatskeptikerna har rätt.” 
Please read more on the other side of this long and continuing climate debate, for example:
or even Scandinavia’s largest climate blog: 
You might like to insert these links when your new blog is up and running 🙂
Just being surrounded only by viewpoints from the SVT,SvD, WWF “box” will probably filter away most of the abundant contrary scientific evidence that is the lifeblood of real science.  Then you won’t need to “önskar jag med hela mitt hjärta” … you would be able to make your own decisions based upon objective facts and logical argumentation.   

“Staffan Lindberg says: För då kan vi göra något roligare än att rädda mänskligheten från en katastrof.”
Don’t worry, your clmate business should still be “sustainable” for a few years to come.
However you may be wise to look at events overseas, outside what the Swedish Media climate bubble tells you.
Winds of reasoned change appear to be blowing.
People have been prediciting doom for our world for thousands of years, or at least since, 2800 BC 🙂
“… an Assyrian clay tablet dating to approximately 2800 BC was unearthed bearing the words “Our earth is degenerate in these latter days. There are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end. Bribery and corruption are common.”

Ancient Assyrian Text Message

Though I think you might now have some competition from the 2012 crowd 😉

“Staffan Lindberg says: Skickar NASA och James Hansens senaste rapport om du vill läsa.”
Thank you for your .pdf of the Hansen paper, I read about it in January. 
You may be surprised to know that there has been strong criticsm of this paper, see for example: 

” … he argues that the NH should get less solar insolation in the NH summer thus “favoring the growth of glaciers and ice-caps in the NH”. So why then we may ask are we now in an Interglacial Warming? What Hansen fails to realize is that when we are further from the Sun in NH summer we move more slowly in orbit, and are therefore exposed to the summer sun for a longer period of time.” Look at the red line to see that the 3 month average summer season is increasing.
One of Hansen’s many errors in this paper can be shown in this graph. Hansen says that the red line is going down, whereas you can see, it goes up :-O 

“Exposure time in this case is more significant that daily insolation caused by our further distance during the NH summer. And that is why we are in an Interglacial Warming and why Hansen is completely wrong in arguing that we should be “favoring the growth of glaciers and ice-caps in the Northern Hemisphere”.”
A nice summary of your Hansen paper is: 
Hansen/Tamino/Shore insist that warmer winters in the NH and cooler summers favor glacier and ice sheet growth. Hertzberg argues the opposite, which is, in fact, what we are seeing. But, HTS argue this is because of the additional effect of AGW.
In the Antarctic, the seasons are flipped. HTS position would therefore have to be that, in the absence of AGW, the ice sheet should be retreating, and with AGW, retreating even more. In fact, we are not seeing this at all, except in the coastal regions where there has been more rain in summer.
A key consideration in all of this is the effect of rain. Rain significantly shrinks glaciers and ice sheet/pack where it occurs. So, in fact, what we observe is consistent with the Hertzberg hypothesis: glaciers and ice pack retreating in the NH, advancing in the SH except where there is substantial impact of rain. It appears to be summer rain, which is consistent with Joel’s suggestion that there is greater precipitation in warmer times. Thus, what we are observing in the SH appears to be inconsistent with the Hansen/Shore/Tamino hypothesis, even more so with AGW factored in.
If you quote Hansen you should be aware of his many past failed predictions, starting with this famous 1988 figure. His favoured prediction is the top black line, the bottom red curve are the actual temperature readings (which have continued to go lower over the last 3 years):
There are many errors in his other papers too. Let me know if you require a list 🙂
I attach a couple more scientific papers that you may be interested in, first the main graph from the McShane and Wyner 2010 paper :
mcshane wyner fig. 16
You can see that the present warm period is less than the Medieval Warm Period. This is the most rigorous statistical paper published on this CO2 matter so far.
Please read it, attached, or read statistician WM Briggs summary.
You may also be interested in this Lindzen and Choi 2009 paper (attached as well), here is the main figure:
 Observed vs Predicted Outgoing Radiation
The red lines show the predicxtions of the 11 UN IPCC climate models.
The green line in the middle of the chart shows the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment Satellite (ERBE) observed response. You can see that the models, predicting CO2 trapping of heat, are almost diametrically opposed to the evidence of actual real world observations.
I seems unwise to base a fear of CO2 on these models. 

Staffan Lindberg says: “Jag har svårt att vifta bort detta.”
Please try, you will not be alone in questioning a single Hansen scientific paper. Criticism is the heart of the scientific method. Remember: “Evidence is Everything!”, and this means objective, independent evidence, based on real observations NOT just on computer models.  
Staffan Lindberg says: Är du säker på att han har fel?
Another classic argumental fallacy, called the Complex Question fallacy
“the fallacy of phrasing a question that, by the way it is worded, assumes something not contextually granted, assumes something not true, or assumes a false dichotomy. ” 
You are mixing the “certain” and “wrong” words into the same question.
No, science is never certain (ah … ah… no reason to slip in the “simple risk analysis” solution again 😉 Science can only say that no other evidence is better .. for now. 
Yes, he is most probably wrong … again… acording to the evidence now at hand (see above).
This way of trying to falsify results and then only believing, conditionally, until more evidence comes along, is the heart of the scientific method.
Another good book:
Asking the Right Questions
Staffan Lindberg says: “Inte jag.”
Dare to question your fears! 😉 
It seems now that a lot of Americans, at least, are not so certain as you (or James Hansen) appear to be about this long and highly politicised climate debate.
Water Issues Worry Americans Most, Global Warming Least

Degree to Which Americans Worry About Environmental Problems, March 2011
The CO2-“Carbon” argument is now dividing itself along political lines in many countries, strongly in the US and Australia, for example:
U.S. Poll: Most Republicans Believe Climate Change a “Hoax”
Australia’s “Liberals & Nationals Oppose Labor’s Carbon Tax”
The Global Warming debate is now going back to being the political issue that it historically started as.

Being open minded, and being prepared to change your mind when new evidence presents itself, not just following your group’s opinions, is the hallmark of critical and scientific thinking. 

Staffan Lindberg says: “Hållbara hälsningar”
I wish you some Sustainable Skepticism too! 🙂
So, Staffan …
…it appears that from your quick, emotional, rhetorical, sound-bite email and various web reviews of your Klimatshow, eg.:
” Du får veta allt om vems fel den globala uppvärmningen egentligen är, om gälar blir nästa trend och varför du ska köpa en basfiol istället för en ny bil, säger Staffan Lindberg själv.”
… that your musical performance would be more suited to a Green Party political rally than Bamse-like musical entertainment for our 10 year old boys and girls.
I don’t suppose that you will care much for investigating the (very boring?) scientific counter-evidence (just some of which is presented above).
The argumental fallacies that you use liberally to support your case are too common in today’s Climate Debate. 

I’m sure that you understand why it is natural for teachers generally (including many at our school) to be wary of siding with the latest “we’re-saving-the-world” movement in each generation, no matter how heartfelt its holders support it. And I’m sure that you sincerely believe in your cause. Our school’s more international parents generally have more varied viewpoints on the world’s problems and solutions than presented in the Swedish Media.  
Accordingly, I have informed the school managment about the background of your Klimatshow. They can make enquiries themselves and come to their own decisions as to the suitability of your performance for our children.
Best regards,


Brady’s thoughts about Staffan’s … again … short evasive email:
– No indication that he takes seriously (or will even think about) the contrary scientific evidence I supplied.
  (he seems a bit amused that a teacher should dare to ask questions before he speaks to students) 
– Still doesn’t reply to my concern about misinforming children.
– “Shifts-the-Goal-Posts” … now to the Peak Oil Scare. 
–  No attempt to give reasons to support his new claims (expects he “must” be correct).
 – Maybe his next shift might be to: The Acid Ocean Scare or The Biodiversity Scare … or to … Fair Tales 😉 
Conclusions: Doesn’t know what he is talking about (no supporting evidence)
                   Doesn’t care to check if he may be telling children incorrect statements (he “believes” he must be correct)
                   More evidence that Staffan will be a “loose canon” in our school (all with smiles and music of course).
Stay tuned for the exciting 3rd round of the “there isn’t any two sided debate” debate 😉

ROUND 3   🙂

Staffan and his 3 man Klimatshow band played to a packed Gym hall of 10-16 year olds. Amid the songs about “Mother Earth is dying” he divulged to the children climate clips like:  2010 is the hottest year ever; trees are better than cars ; cows give out too much methane so we should be vegetarians; Swedish parents consume too much; Swedish families should not fly to Thailand for their holidays; he shoots buckshot at newpaper boys because they use too much paper; school children’s mobile phones are made by poor chinese boys and girls who sleep under sweatshop tables and who will do anything for free for us rich westerners.

This last one so shocked other students, because we had chinese children students sitting right in front of Staffan, that students imediately complained, and Staffan had to apologise, though he still tried to make a joke out of that too.  

During the performance he asked if there were any physics teachers in the audience, I and another put our hands up and Staffan asked me to recite the first 2 laws of thermodynamics, no problems said I, and recited them. Staffan then continued singing about Mother Earth.  

When the last clapping finished I quickly stood up and loudly asked if we could have a question time now. Staffan seemed a bit distressed about it but agreed. After one question from a student I requested to ask one too. Staffan seemed a bit anxious in front of all the school children. I asked if there was any evidence that might prove him wrong. He seemed a bit relieved and said sure and but lots of other researchers agreed with him and then continued on about the big scientific consensus and how only a few scientists disagreed with him.

I got up again and interrupted him, saying that what he was saying is not true. That many many scientists diagreeded with him on this. That there is a huge amount of scientific evidence showing that what he was saying about CO2 was wrong.  Here Staffan got angry and said laughingly, across all the children in the gym, that I was just a sore loser because I was Australian and  Australia was the largest coal exporter and so the world’s largest CO2 emitter. I smiled, threw my hands up in the air and sat down.

After the show I went up to Staffan, shook his hand and asked if he knew what an argumental fallacy was, he said no, so I explained about the Ad hom fallacy (attack the man, not the argument). I suggested he read up on scientific evidence and logical arguments. 3 other students lined up behind me to wait their turn to disagree with Staffan “The CO2 dieter” Lindberg.

After the show a number of teachers and students remarked on Staffan’s unprofessional behaviour, in putting down Chinese children and personally attacking a teacher (who was asking for evidence), in front of school children, in a school where he was visiting guest. One student remarked that Staffan was just a musician and didn’t know what he was talking about. Bright student  🙂 

Such is the current level of debate in Sweden when Global Warming supporters are drawn into a discussion to defend their arguments. Hmm …  

You certainly meet some interesting characters inhabiting this global warming climate change climactic-disruption movement.

BING BING … match over.

Intelligence² indeed!  🙂

Sillyness loving Skeptical Brady

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4 Responses to Intelligence² vs Idiocy³

  1. Carl-Fredrik "The You-Know-Who-I-Am-Brady..." says:

    Wow Brady!
    By the way, you wrote “After one question from a student…”
    That question was from me 🙂
    Fantasticly written.
    I dislike that guy so much…..

  2. Hello,
    I am an aunt (“moster”) of one of your students (Andrzej). You really inspire your students and I am delighted about your way of bringing them to topics like “critical thinking” and “scientific method”.
    I used to think that religions are the main killers of critical thinking, but here, in secular Sweden, I begin to suspect that the problem is much more complicated (no, I have no explanations yet). People seem to find it OK to BELIEVE in things which are not a matter of belief, but which are facts. It is relatively OK to not to know the evidence for or against them, but people (like Staffan) have it difficult to judge which problems can be a matter of beliefs and which definitely not and it is very disturbing, mainly when they bring their stuff to schools (on the other hand, it can be a good illustration for the kids why they should not believe in everything they read in newspapers 😉 ). Here everybody “has right to his opinion”, even in the subjects for which their opinion has no value at all (like “pi=3”, you know the story…).
    Your description of Staffan’s performance and his way of “discussing” with you in public, reminds me of another discussion which is currently going on in Sweden. I mean the one about the national registries (Kvalitetsregister). It is partly a conflict between evidence based medicine and anecdotic medicine, but there are other issues involved, like patients’ integrity etc. People who decide about the way the registries should be run, answer to the criticism in exactly the same way as Staffan did: by smiling ironically and making you look stupid in front of a group, just attacking the person instead of answering with rational arguments. My husband wrote quite a lot about it, for example in and . Another thing is whom we let decide about important (technological) issues in the country. Here in Sweden it is clearly a problem. One example is the way the medical records are ordered. Some description follows in .
    There are clearly a few domains where some changes must happen. People are clearly not aware of levels of ignorance 😉
    Thank you for the great job which you are doing – one cannot overestimate the importance of teaching young people how to use their brains! Keep up the good work!
    Best regards,
    PS. Really a pity that you will not teach Andrzej next year…

  3. Carl-Fredrik NB says:

    I still can’t get enough reading you blog Brady! Keep it up! Also, I specifically can’t get enough reading about this fool….this…well…I don’t know. You’re a better arguer. No argument.


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