Probing Pachauri’s pontifications

Rajendra K. Pachauri is the Chair of the prestigious (well, at least according to him and various and sundry defenders) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

I’m certainly far from being the only observer who has commented on the many hats he wears.

Pachauri’s unmistakable arrogance and confidence in the certitude in the “truth” of his pronouncements make one wonder about the IPCC’s definition of “non-poilcy prescriptive.”

Further cause for questioning the authority of Pachauri – and the IPCC – is provided by an excellent investigation by Australia’s Tony Thomas in Quadrant. He often cites the work of Donna Laframboise’s The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert which the IPCC is doing its level best to ignore. Pachauri’s lack of objectivity and dedication to “the cause” is very well documented by Thomas. Here’s an excerpt:

The Fictive World of Rajendra Pachauri

He has made no pretence at objectivity as IPCC chair, referring derisively to AGW “deniers” and “denialists” and writing enthusiastic forewords to two Greenpeace publications.[29] As early as 2009, he was outlining the thrust of the Fifth Assessment Report, which will not be delivered until 2014: “When the IPCC’s fifth assessment comes out in 2013 or 2014, there will be a major revival of interest in action that has to be taken. People are going to say, ‘My God, we are going to have to take action much faster than we had planned.’”[30] But things are not going according to his script. In November 2011, a one-off IPCC report confessed that for the next twenty to thirty years, carbon dioxide emissions would have so little influence on extreme weather events that natural variability would be dominant.[31]

Pachauri’s standing as chair has degraded in the past two years. Principally, there was the melting-glacier gaffe, and rapid exposure of other serious errors in the fourth Report. A chastened Pachauri in March 2010 had to call in the Inter-Academy Council (IAC), a world peak-of-peak science body, to report on necessary IPCC reforms. The IAC in August 2010 recommended in four places, but in vain, that IPCC chairs serve only one term: “A 12-year appointment (two terms) is too long for a field as dynamic and contested as climate change.”[32] Pachauri is in his second term to 2013, although senior IPCC members, including a German co-chair of a Working Group, have put him on notice to shape up.[33] The IPCC panel at Abu Dhabi last May (2011) agreed about the “one-term limit” but said it could make exceptions, and anyway the one-term limit would only apply post-2013. Other important IAC recommendations were also negated by the IPCC at Abu Dhabi.[34] At the following session in Kampala last November the IPCC adopted—after twenty-three years—its first conflict-of-interest policy, but exempted any conflicted authors for the fifth Assessment Report in 2014 because, as Pachauri put it, it wouldn’t be “fair” to the authors to include them retrospectively.[35]

Pachauri may well be a bit-player in the pantheon of “sustainable development” authorities; but, perhaps his influence is, well, greater than we thought.

One thought on “Probing Pachauri’s pontifications

  1. The hurt feelings of authors excluded for conflict of interest obviously weigh less than a gnat on an elephant compared to the importance of the policy consequences of distorted analysis and research.

    Pachauri is lying through his teeth, and knows it.

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