Feb 1, 2010

Weekend Roundup: Climate Boss Pachauri

Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, who has been the chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 2002, is growing more controversial by the hour.

This past weekend a UK newspaper revealed that although he urges others to reduce their carbon footprint, he gets driven to work in a chauffeured vehicle. It's only a mile away, but rather than walking, cycling, or driving himself in an eco-friendly car, Dr. Pachauri chooses the most carbon-intensive option "most of the time" according to his driver.

Meanwhile, another UK newspaper revealed that the 2007 IPCC report - for which Dr. Pachauri, the IPCC, and Al Gore received the Nobel Peace Prize - relied on a mountaineering magazine article, as well as the equivalent of an unpublished MA thesis, to substantiate its claims regarding the extent of mountain ice melt.

A third media story describes a Pachauri-authored racy novel involving an amorous older gent and heaving bosoms that was released in India this month.

But the weekend's most significant development is this: two British newspapers are now calling for Pachauri's resignation. The Sunday London Times says: "Dr Pachauri...presided over the use of dodgy science in [IPCC] reports and ignored legitimate criticism of that science. He should go."

The Sunday Telegraph, meanwhile, declares: "We need facts, not spin, in the climate debate." It continues:

In its zeal to persuade the world of the catastrophic consequences of man-made global warming, the IPCC has lost both its objectivity and the trust of the public. That is one of the main reasons why we, along with our sister newspaper The Daily Telegraph, believe that Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC's chairman, should step down. [bold added]

This is huge. The mainstream media's coverage of climate issues has been steadfastly pro-IPCC and far-too-friendly toward Pachauri. At last, the wheel is turning - in the UK, at least.


h/t Tom Nelson