Friday, 26 December 2008

Inhofe 650 : Hans Labohm deserves donkey ears

Hans Labohm Heartland Institute Global Warming klimaat
In my previous post i had a closer look on the Heartland Institute, and today i want to focus on something written by one of the people Hearland (and Inhofe) consider to be a global warming expert : Dutch economist Hans Labohm.

The Dutch libertarian website has an enviromental section in which non-surprisingly ALL environmetal subjects are contested and of course every environmental issue is created by power hungry politicians helped by those suspicious people called scientists and spread with the aid of the propagandic left-wing press.

The climate skepticism expressed consists of copying all the erroneous claims moving around the net, and i'm not gonna waste my time having a closer look on them. Instead I want to have a closer look on one specific thing posted on the site : a user called Jimmy raised the question "why do almost all libertarians think global warming is a hoax?"

Well known skeptic Hans Labohm sent an article to in which he formulates his answer to this question. For allover the world he's cited as a prominent skeptic, I think Labohm's mind-numbing answer is "interesting" (or should i say depressing?) enough to deserve a translation in English (my translation):

Why do almost all libertarians think global warming is a hoax?
It’s a good question. Throughout the years, I’ve been asking myself the same question. Indeed, it’s remarkable that a lot of national and international organizations and websites that are critical on the subject of climate change, are from the liberal or libertarian political side. Yet luckily they’re not the only ones.
I’m an active member in Dutch and international networks of climate skeptics. We exchange information on the newest insights in climate science and the climate debate. But we hardly ever talk about politics.
From the occasional signals sipping through in the scientific correspondence I have gotten the feeling that –from a political point of view- the center and right political views are the most represented in our movement.
Most participants in the debate however probably will not know the answer to the question what ‘libertarianism’ is, or won’t even know this word. They simply don't have enough interest in politics.

In our Dutch circle, there are also (green)left people. They probably belong to the most fanatic skeptics. They have to watch with their own eyes how the Dutch left parties blindly accept the warming dogma. They fear soon the dogma will break because the measurements will disprove the AGW-hypothesis.
When this happens –and they are convinced it will- they expect this to have a negative impact on the credibility of their beloved political parties. The recent graph below shows there has been absolutely no correlation between CO2 and temperature for the past decades.

This graph can be completed with graphs on different timescales. No timescale will reveal a correlation. This implies there’s no reason to suspect causality.

Hans LAbohm klimaatverandering klimaatscepticus fraude

Of course this statement is completely false : the timeperiod of the graph presented here is way too short to draw ANY conclusion considering the correlation between CO2 and temperature (read tamino's post on how long a the timeperiod has to be to overcome the signal noise and my post 'a layman's guide on cherry-picking" to understand why they deliberately are using a period that is too short). L

Labohm himself further on this post will admit that of course there IS a corelation and will be presenting graphs in which the correlation is bloody clear. His statement here is nothing but a very foolish attempt to be deliberately misguiding

To be noted is that it’s about a rise of CO2 in the atmosphere. Generally presumed is that mankind is responsible for a 4% rise in emission, the rest comes from natural sources.
Actually atmospheric CO2-levels have risen from 280 ppm in 1850 to 390 nowadays. Try calculating yourself how much the total rise was ...

Jimmy writes : “at least it should be possible that earth’s temprature is rising because of the gigantic emissions made by mankind ?”

Indeed, this claim is part of the AGW-dogma, but as said doesn’t seem to be confirmed by the actual measurements (see graph) Further on, Jimmy notes “…the only people still denying are FoxNews, Simon Rozendaal [dutch libertarian journalist], the Klimatosoof [Dutch denialist website] and populist right wing blogs (and I’m not even sure about Fox)”

This is incorrect. I’ve done a lot of research and written on the subject. I’m not going to repeat everything but point to this paper :

the SPPI is a well known exxon funded astroturf group polluting the scientific debate in an attempt to create confusion among the public. Labohm's article for SPPI is rubbish.

Jimmy ends with saying “blind belief is a sign of stupidity. Blind denialism doesn’t seem any better” I totally agree with him, but that’s something you can’t blame climate skeptics. A last reference to demonstrate this :‛Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate’

SEPP is the personal organisation & website of S. Fred Singer, a man with a history of, well err, basically denying every possible environmental problem -RealClimate adresses some of the (many!) problems with this text. Good science it is not. Not even close.

Singer was paid 143.000 US$ for fabricating the nIPCC. The fraudulent report is 27 pages, meaning Fred Singer earned 5300 US$ per page.

The very first comment on Labohm's incredible attempt to be as scientificaly misguiding as possible reads :
This surprises me ! How on earth is it possible such a simple graph which clearly demonstrates the lack of correlation hasn't reached the front pages of the media ?
So while from a scientific point of view Labohm's post may be total nonsense, it's still more than good enough to reach it's goal of misguiding the public. Mission accomplished.

Later on, after severe criticism in the comments section of the article, Labohm defended himself by writing an extra post, which reads :
In his reaction, Mathijs Romans suggest the graphs I used were selectivily picked in an attempt to demonstrate there’s no correlation between CO2 and temperature rise. I’ve heard this accusation before. [i lol'd-J.] In my first post I wrote my claim is not just true for the past decade of which I showed the graph [actually Labohm specifically wrote ‘several decades’ while showing a graph of the last decade-J.] But the same is true for other timescales. But Mathijs is right, I didn’t show any visual proof for that.Therefore, I hereby present extra evidence to support my claims :
Hans Labohm vrijspreker libertarisme klimaatsceptici

And indeed Labohms presents yet another irelevant graph in an attempt to be misguiding. The graph depicts an irelevant timescale : p.ex. you cannot compare present day climate with a geological era where there weren't any trees yet. It's comparing apples and oranges.

Below is a graph Al Gore showed. Correlation ? Yes, it might give this impression. But as i said before, Al gore doesn’t mention temperature rises before CO2-concentrations do. He’s reversed the causality. But because the horizontal scale is too small, it’s hard to see. Yet is is. It’s also written in the IPCC-reports.
Hans Labohm IPCC climate change hoax

The correlation Labohm denied in his first post is pretty clear now, isn't it ? Anyone wants to guess why he didn't present it in his first post ?

Above that, in a clear attempt to distract the attention and alter the subject, he presents the same ol' CO2-lags story, which scientists are well aware of and is explained here

Below is a graphic over several decades.Correlation ? No, not at all ? Do also notice the sharp decline in temperature in 2007, which wasn't predicted by models.
Actually, the graph doesn't even support his claim. Above that, despite a La Nina was formed (which has a cooling effect) 2007 ended as one of the warmest years ever recorded.

Mathijs further on in his comments remarks that CO2 emissions are cumulative, implying we have to be careful anyway. Apparantly, he presumes CO2-levels in the atmosphere are rising and this is a result of emissions made by mankind. My first reaction to this is :
so what ? After all, in my vision CO2 has little or no effect on earth’s temperature. My second reaction is : is it really true that in the past centuries CO2-concentrations only have been rising ?

When you read the IPCC-reports, you see they accept this for granted. But is it ?What follows is very disputed in the scientific community, yet the possibility cannot be ruled out that the measurements to be shown below could be correct.From around 1960 atmospheric CO2-levels are measured on the volcano Mauna Loa in Hawaii, and they show a steady rise. Before this period, many renowed scientists have performed hundreds of thousands of measurements using different methods than on Mauna Loa : the so-called chemical methods. Some of those scientists won Noble Prizes. So they belong amongst the best scientists of their time.

A few years ago, German climate expert
[actually a high school teacher -J.] Ernst-Georg Beck has gone through all those measurements which resulted in the graph below. It shows high levels in the 1820’s and 1940’s. According to this graph, a CO2 rise can be flowed by a sharp decline. How this is possible ? That’s unknown
In the comments section of my post "what does it take to be called a scientist?" Eli Rabett refers to posts by Engelbeen (here and here) and himself which clearly demonstrate that the measurements used by Beck are problematic, p.ex. : there is too much local interference when measuring CO2-levels inside a city, as you want to measure the levels in the atmosphere, and not what your neighbours stove is emitting.

Those problems with those early measurements have been well known for a very long time and actually were one of the main reason's to start measuring on a remote place like Hawaii. Becks graphs are totally worthless

The dots in the graph below show the levels IPCC is using. In other words : the graph presented here contradicts what IPCC and all AGW-adepts claim.

The scientific debate on the subject is still open. So we have to be carefull with conclusions. But IF –and I emphasize IF- these measurements are correct, then it’s a devastating defeat for the AGW-hypothesis.
This is a fine example of the process of manufacturing doubt

If the AGW-hypothesis is wrong, then what could be a correct explanation for the fact temperatures have been rising since 1850?
Once again this a deliberate attempt to be misguiding. There's a very good reason why Labohm selects a graph that doesn't show the period after 1980 : because then it'd be absolutely clear it's not the sun

Will temperatures in future keep rising, as Mathijs suggests ? If you listen to climatologists, then the answer to the questions is affirmative. Yet a lot of astrophysics expect that soon –around 2012- we’ll be heading into a new small ice-age, comparable with the Dalton Minimum of the beginning of the 19th century. Did you ever read that in the media ?
Well, maybe that's because there's problems with the claim Labohm makes, see p.e.x this post by tamino which shows solar variation simply cannot account for the changes.

Allover his posts Hans Labohm is trying his best to be as deliberately misleading as possible. There's no way he's unaware himself that the facts he presents are misguiding. The conclusion therefore is very hard : Hans Labohm is a fraud. If life were a classroom, Labohm would be standing in the corner wearing donkey ears, for an ass, that's what he is.

UPDATE : seems he's using the same misleading argument over and over again. Did i mention Labohm is a fraud ?


  1. Hi Jules, thank you for this very clear demasking of this so called expert. He's an expert in misleading and disguise for sure!
    Something which might bothers you; he has made it to Dutch television (friday 9 january 2009).

    Talkshow host Raoul Heertje interviewed him asking him why he was not angry not being heard by the (serious) papers and other media, if what he claims would be true. the last remark is the most interesting one!
    Maybe you should send your demasking to Raoul (as the original author) and see what happens on his forum, especially because his program is about honesty..

    best regards

  2. Rob,

    i knew before the airing Labohm would be in the show, but i didn't write Heertje. it wouldn't make a difference and i wouldn't feel comfortable doing so.