Shoot from the lip Pachauri strikes again

Yesterday, I had written about Christiana Figueres, the rather high-handed Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and her perception (for want of a better word) that:

governments have decided that they need to listen to science.

I had also noted, in passing, that there seems to be very little “science” content in these annual 2 week COPs and MOPs CMPs … Sorry, it seems that the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) holds COPs which also serve as MOPs (Meeting of the Parties) while the UNFCCC has COPs which also serve as CMPs (Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol). But I digress (sorting out which UN acronym belongs where can divert one’s attention) …

Consider the following from the “Schedule Overview” (as of November 22) … but it’s only “indicative” in order to “assist participants with their planning prior to the sessions”

First there are the “Pre-sessional meetings”:

  • 70th meeting of the Clean Development Mechanism Executive Board (19 to 23 November)
  • Least developed countries Preparatory Meetings (20 to 21 November)
  • Small island developing States Preparatory Meetings (22 to 23 November)
  • African Group Preparatory Meetings (22 to 23 November)
  • Informal pre-sessional meeting of Parties to exchange further views on the possible recommendations on loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change (24 November)
  • G-77 & China Preparatory Meetings (24 to 25 November)

Then, on November 26, the real fun begins:

Eighteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18)

Eighth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 8)

Thirty-seventh session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 37)

Thirty-seventh session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 37)

Seventeenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (second part) (AWG-KP 17.2)

Fifteenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (second part) (AWG-LCA 15.2)

First session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (second part) (ADP 1.2)

Good to see that the Durban Platform now has its very own acronym, isn’t it?!

Nonetheless, there was some question (at least in IPCC Chair, Rajendra Pachauri’s mind when he spoke to a reporter sometime prior to November 17) as to whether the IPCC whose “main client” is the UNFCCC had been invited to speak at this confab in Doha. But, as I had noted in a comment prompted by an observation from Alex Cull on my previous post, the IPCC straightened him out via a Media Advisory dated November 19.

Yes, he’ll be there after all! Not in a prime-time slot, as far as I can tell, but who knows, eh?! I wonder if he will expand on the following (circa July 5, 2012) post Rio+20 exhortation:

Dr Rajendra Pachauri: Time to forget governments and use people power to fight climate change

By Ed King

The world’s leading climate scientist says governments’ reluctance to tackle the causes of climate change means they should be bypassed in favour of global ‘people power’.

Climate change was marginalised at the Rio+20 talks, in an apparent attempt by the hosts Brazil to make coming to a final agreement as straightforward as possible – mindful of how controversial the topic has become.

Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that the experience of Rio proves that the political will to take action simply isn’t there – and argues that a new form of activism is the only answer.

“I would submit that the time has come that we shouldn’t really wait for governments,” he said.
[...]
“Climate change is in a sense the 10-tonne gorilla which is in the room and you’re not going to get rid of him easily.”
[...]
[emphasis in original -hro]

We shouldn’t really wait for governments“???!

Now, if I were the leader of one the 194 governments that constitute the IPCC, I’d be somewhat, well, alarmed at this pronouncement from “the world’s leading climate scientist”, and I’d be wondering what I might have missed in the IPCC’s new, improved “Communication Protocol” that empowered him to make such a “non-policy prescriptive” assessment. Wouldn’t you?!

Granted, this is not exactly an original thought on his part. It could be that he was simply echoing other “expert” voices – including that of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s earlier exhortation:

“The truth is I am disappointed with the negotiations. They are not moving fast enough. That is why I need you,” Mr. Ban told students attending the 13th Annual Global Classrooms International High School Model UN Conference, taking place at in the General Assembly Hall at UN Headquarters in New York, on Thursday evening. “When I say make some noise, I mean raise your voices. Demand real action. Shame those governments into doing more.”

OTOH, he seems to have “redefined” the word “govern” since he spoke to The Economist in Feb. 2010 regarding the IPCC’s lack of a conflict of interest policy:

Dr Pachauri: I think if the governments who govern the IPCC determine that there should be something of this nature I’m sure that will be put in place.

But perhaps Pachauri subscribes to climatologist, Myles Allen’s “definition” of the IPCC. During the course of a presentation last May, Allen had informed his audience:

The IPCC or us scientists, so to speak

So, just who’s in charge here, folks?

Christiana Figueres? Shoot from the lip Pachauri? The scientists who diligently and devotedly make sure that the “range of views” incorporated in the IPCC’s reports (on which the UNFCCC supposedly depends for its “science” content) is quite limited? Or the IPCC’s “governing” body of “governments”?

About these ads

3 thoughts on “Shoot from the lip Pachauri strikes again

  1. When Dr. Pachauri says that “we shouldn’t really wait for governments” and that “what we really need to rely on is creating awareness among the people”, it’s basically an admission that a genuine popular movement for climate change mitigation really isn’t there. If it was there, after over a decade of vigorous proselytising through the media, he – and we – would know about it by now, and there would be no need, in 2012, to call for the creating of yet more “awareness”.

    The unpalatable truth for Dr. Pachauri, and for Ban ki-Moon and Christiana Figueres and others like them, is that democratically elected governments eventually have to consider and reflect – albeit imperfectly and with many a twist and turn along the way – the wishes of the people who elect them. And if the people are indifferent to the CAGW message – or pay lip-service to it but are not willing to make the sacrifices demanded – then that’s something Dr Pachauri and the others need to come to terms with.

    But they find it difficult, hence the endless, circular process of the bureaucrats and apparatchiks trying, via NGOs, academics and activists, to jump-start a popular movement to pressurise the world’s governments to empower and authorise the bureaucrats and apparatchiks. If only the people in the middle would co-operate!

    Here’s an excellent illustration of this approach – it’s a document created in 2010 by something called the Climate Change Communication Advisory Group (CCCAG) in the UK (“civil society”, in other words, the NGO/activist/lobbyist stage of the cycle), and worth reading in its entirety:
    http://pirc.info/downloads/communicating_climate_mass_audiences.pdf

    Principle No.7: “Encourage public demonstrations of frustration at the limited pace of government action.

    Private-sphere behavioural change is not enough, and may even at times become a diversion from the more important process of bringing political pressure to bear on policy-makers. The importance of public demonstrations of frustration at both the lack of political progress on climate change and the barriers presented by vested interests is widely recognised – including by government itself. Climate change communications, including government communication campaigns, should work to normalise public displays of frustration with the slow pace of political change. Ockwell et al (2009) argued that communications can play a role in fostering demand for – as well as acceptance of – policy change. Climate change communication could (and should) be used to encourage people to demonstrate (for example through public demonstrations) about how they would like structural barriers to behavioural/societal change to be removed.”

    And round and round and round it goes. If they could just tell us what to do, and we had no choice but to obey, it would be so much simpler!

    • Alex, thank you for your thoughtful response to my (rather flippant!) post. Particularly:

      The unpalatable truth for Dr. Pachauri, and for Ban ki-Moon and Christiana Figueres and others like them, is that democratically elected governments eventually have to consider and reflect – albeit imperfectly and with many a twist and turn along the way – the wishes of the people who elect them. And if the people are indifferent to the CAGW message – or pay lip-service to it but are not willing to make the sacrifices demanded – then that’s something Dr Pachauri and the others need to come to terms with.

      Except that Pachauri – for reasons probably best known only to himself and other like-minded “holier than thou” climate hypochondriacs [h/t Eduardo Zorita] – in addition to having revealed himself to be a 3rd rate author of a potboiler novel, fails to acknowledge that his own pronouncements and pontifications are very much a part of their “communication” problem! A “problem”, btw, that was obviously not in evidence to him in July 2009 when he had declared:

      [T]he IPCC AR5 is being taken in hand at a time when awareness on climate change issues has reached a level unanticipated in the past. Much of this change can be attributed to the findings of the AR4 which have been disseminated actively through a conscious effort by the IPCC, its partners and most importantly the media

      The “carbon fixation” [h/t Matt Ridley] of Pachauri, Figureres and Ki-Moon also seems to preclude their ability to recognize the very pragmatic warning they were actually given by former IPCC-nik – and by then UNEP honcho – Joseph Alcamo during his keynote address at the IPCC’s October 2009 Bali confab:

      as policymakers and the public begin to grasp the multi-billion dollar price tag for mitigating and adapting to climate change, we should expect a sharper questioning of the science behind climate policy.

      If nothing else, what on Gaia’s green earth do these ideological crusaders not understand about the phrase “multi-billion price tag”, eh?!

  2. This is “Noble Cause Corruption” writ large. Having assumed, internally and externally, the raiment of world, humanity, species, and ocean savers, what then is not justified, permitted, and mandated? Any kind of manipulation or misrepresentation or subversion or coup is not just allowed, it’s required.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s