CBC, Canada’s National (i.e. taxpayer funded) Broadcaster for some unfathomable reason – albeit perhaps known to Gaia knows who(m?!) – does not appear to have published anything about IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri since its December 1, 2014 churning of an AP piece, in which CBC had dutifully featured (via sidebar, no less):
Climate change impacts heat up UN talks in Lima
Climate pact expected to be adopted in Paris next year
With this year on track to become the warmest on record, more than 190 nations began talks Monday on new limits for the greenhouse gases that are causing billions of dollars in damage and making life harder to sustain around the world.
“Human influence on the climate system is clear,” Rajendra Pachauri, who leads the UN’s panel of climate-change experts, told delegates at the opening session in Lima. [emphasis added -hro]
To its highly dubious credit, I suppose one should give the CBC and/or its source, AP some brownie points for omitting absolutely any mention of the IPCC’s 2007 Nobel Peace Prize award, shared with the Great Communicator, aka Al Gore.
For any newbies, this “panel of climate-change” experts, of which Pachauri was, until his recent very sudden departure, the “face and voice,” is commonly known as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
More recently, the CBC decided to feature yet another advocacy piece (without mentioning either the Nobel Peace Prize or Al Gore):
How to sell a carbon tax to Canadians
Using the B.C. model, new study looks at the dos and don’ts of introducing a carbon tax
By Margo McDiarmid, environment reporter, CBC News Posted: Feb 19, 2015 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Feb 19, 2015 6:39 AM ET
If you want to bring in carbon tax that actually works, the folks at Clean Energy Canada have some helpful tips for you.
Such as: don’t introduce the new tax during the time of year when gas prices are the highest; and be prepared that a lot of people and businesses won’t love the idea and won’t be afraid to say so.
Clean Energy Canada, a think-tank that focuses on clean renewable energy, conducted interviews with 13 people involved in crafting British Columbia’s carbon tax in 2008, a list that included politicians, business representatives, academics and environmental groups.
Perhaps in the interest of (at least the appearance of) “balance” this page also contains an audio link** described as:
Axe the Carbon Tax, says Taxpayers’ Federation 20:35
**Helpful Hint from Hilary: Don’t bother clicking on this particular link – it merely takes you to an “Error” screen. Well, so much for “balance” at the CBC, eh?!
A somewhat related Aside:
While I was doing my “due diligence” search for more current material, on Pachauri and the IPCC, I inadvertently discovered that the CBC appears to have acquired “form” in “disappearing” (inconvenient?) articles one would expect to find when following the links contained in its search results. In this particular instance, the two articles are:
Neither of the above links will take you anywhere, except to a “Sorry, we can’t find the page you requested” note.
But I’m not at all sure how on Gaia’s green earth the CBC – and/or its oh-so-up-to-date-and-right-on-the-scandal-mark stable of reporters – could have succeeded in missing (IMHO, by several country-miles) the latest and greatest on the Pachauri front.
Nonetheless – in light of the above – perhaps CBC should call on Murdoch to “investigate” such silent “disappearances”, eh?! And while he’s at it, perhaps Murdoch could figure out whatever might have possessed the CBC to recently feature yet another decidedly TIDES Canada-tinted report. This time, via an organization that calls itself Clean Energy Canada. Ever heard of it before?! Nah, neither had I. But it seems to be a TIDES Canada “offspring”:
But back to Clean Energy Canada’s latest Report:
“How To Adopt a Winning Carbon Price: Top 10 Takeaways From the Architects of British Columbia’s Carbon Tax—a new compendium of insider tips for policy makers who may be considering a carbon pricing program.”
Amazingly enough, I didn’t have to read very far into this document before finding the hand of Stewart Elgie’s Sustainable Prosperity tainted report:
The empirical evidence,13 ably tracked by researchers at the University of Ottawa’s Sustainable Prosperity think tank, is that British Columbia’s economy has slightly outperformed the rest of Canada’s since the carbon tax came into effect in 2008. [Source]
Interestingly, Appendix A of this TIDES-tinted and Elgie-tainted report – which includes the views of a mere Baker’s Dozen of (high profile) responders – indicates that:
Our team interviewed 13 British Columbia carbon tax experts during the fall of 2014 in semi-structured conversations based on the questions listed below. Not all interviewees were asked all of the questions.
To my mind, there was one voice that was quite conspicuously absent from this list of “British Columbia carbon tax experts”: That of no less a luminary than BC’s “Wall of Hate” designer, Andrew Weaver.
Although the possibility occurs to me that – considering the coincidence of timing – perhaps Weaver was far too busy penning his 7,000+ word peroration, in preparation for his delivery thereof to the BC Legislature circa October 23, 2014. Following an intro, which included an oh-so-inspiring video, Weaver began as follows (my bold in excerpts that follow -hro):
There are moments in our lives that serve as turning points. For me, one of those moments was on February 19, 2008. On that day, I sat on the floor of this chamber for the first time, as the hon. Carole Taylor presented a vision for British Columbia, one that attempted to redefine the legacy we would leave our children.
The vision wasn’t hers alone. It was the vision of then-Premier Gordon Campbell. It was a vision of his Environment Minister, the hon. Barry Penner, and it was the vision of the majority of British Columbians.
It was also the vision of the province’s Climate Action Team. Created in 2007, the province’s Climate Action Team comprised a body of experts around the province that included the now member for Cariboo-Chilcotin, who at the time was the mayor of the district of 100 Mile House. I, too, had the great privilege of serving on the Climate Action Team.
That day was a turning point for me. It was a day when I was incredibly proud to be a British Columbian. My government, our government, took a bold step forward in recognizing that while British Columbia may represent a drop in the proverbial bucket of international greenhouse gas emissions, it was important to demonstrate leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Government also realized that demonstrating leadership was an economic opportunity.
As I watched this progress start to unravel back in 2012, I decided I could no longer sit on the sidelines. I had to get involved myself. So here I am today, in part, thanks to the work that we did back in 2008.
Eventually, in the “hoist” Amendment portion of this 7,000+ word peroration, he began by singing his own praises:
I spent much of my life working to improve our understanding of the science in past, present and future climate change and variability. My work took me to the forefront of international efforts in climate science. I’ve helped create an understanding of how changes in radiative forcing, amplified through feedback mechanisms operating internal to the climate system, allow for an explanation of the variations of climate change over the last 130,000 years.
I have been involved in local, provincial, national and international efforts to provide decision-makers with up-to-date scientific assessments of how increasing greenhouse gas in aerosol emissions, together with land use change, will impact society both now and into the future.
This did not happen overnight. I spent more than two decades pointing out the risks associated with unmitigated global warming, and I’ve advised decision-makers at all levels of government and industry of both the consequences of taking imminent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the opportunities that come when we do take action.
Weaver’s final words before the vote which (alas, unlike newly-minted Judge Emily’s single and deciding $50,000 vote, a few months later) he was not able to swing in his favour:
We are moving away from leadership to becoming a laggard, as I have underlined several times, just like our federal government. Shame on the government. Shame on them for bringing this legislation forward.
I certainly hope that they will support this amendment and actually delay it six months, so that we — the opposition, the people of British Columbia, the people in Canada, our friends to the south, our friends elsewhere — will have time to look, reflect and think about this.
And to my friends and members opposite, this will also give you time to go and move past the conservative blog sites that you so love to look at to find the things you love to back the opinions you have and actually go and read a few scientific papers. Go to the peer review literature. Take a look and see the predicament that this world is in because of irresponsible legislation like that which you are putting forward today in our Legislature.
Shame on the government. Shame on the people who voted for this government. This bill needs to be delayed, and I urge you to support this hoist motion today.
In short, Weaver’s attitude seems to be ‘Democracy be damned ‘cuz I’m right, and you’re all wrong!’ Amazing, eh?! There’s an old song that springs to my mind in response to this:
But … enough about Weaver … Back to Pachauri …
Unlike such luminaries as Desmond Tutu, Mary Robinson or Gro Harlem Brundtland, Pachauri does not seem to have risen to the status of one of the American Program Bureau (APB)’s “Featured International Speakers“.
And speaking of Pachauri, big pictures and timing … as I had recalled in that late November 2011 post, there was a very brief moment in time (well, Science magazine in January 2010, to be more precise) when he actually uttered what some might call honest and prophetic words:
[Interviewer Pallava Bagla]: Has all that has happened this winter dented the credibility of IPCC?
R.K.P.: I don’t think the credibility of the IPCC can be dented. If the IPCC wasn’t there, why would anyone be worried about climate change? [my bold -hro]
Well, he was half-right, just not on the “credibility” front that his far more recently alleged activities have done so much to damage. Not that anyone from the IPCC honcho-stable has actually acknowledged this. Apart from IPCC-nik Weaver – who may (or may not … with Weaver-ed words, one can’t always tell) now be regretting his decision to resile from some of his actual words, which could have put him at the forefront of the anti-Pachauri brigade, instead of strangling freedom of speech in Canada with his tort.
Meanwhile, back on the IPCC PR-front one would never know why Pachauri might have suddenly resigned, on the virtual eve of yet another IPCC gathering he was to have chaired. Here are some excerpts from the official Press Release, dated February 24:
IPCC agrees on Acting Chair after R.K. Pachauri steps down
NAIROBI, Feb 24 – The Bureau of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) agreed on Tuesday, in accordance with its procedures, to designate Vice-Chair Ismail El Gizouli as Acting IPCC Chair. The designation of El Gizouli follows the decision by Rajendra K Pachauri, PhD, to step
down as Chairman of the IPCC effective today.
The decision to name El Gizouli was taken at a Session of the Bureau ahead of the 41st Session of the IPCC, which is being held on 24-27 February 2015.
“The actions taken today will ensure that the IPCC’s mission to assess climate change continues without interruption,” said Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), who facilitated the Bureau meeting. “We look forward to a productive session in Nairobi this week.”
Elections for a new Bureau, including the IPCC Chair, for the next assessment cycle are already scheduled at the 42nd Session of the IPCC in October 2015.
Dr Pachauri was elected to the first of two terms as Chair of the IPCC in April 2002 and had been scheduled to complete his second term in October.
Short, sweet and … well, considering that Pachauri was known as the “voice and face” of the IPCC, most uninformative! As has been the case for some time, the Press Release (in the footer of which one finds the logos of its “parents”, i.e. the UNEP and the WMO) is followed by a section called “Notes for Editors”.
Such “Notes” are usually pretty standard stuff – and do bear some relationship to the content of the Press Release to which they are appended. I’ve read dozens of them over the last five years! But this particular collection of “Notes” contains a sentence I’ve never seen before. Well, that’s not entirely true: I did see such a sentence (or facsimile thereof) back in 2010, as part of Pallava Bagla’s Science interview of Pachauri that I mentioned earlier. And five years later, out of the blue, it has suddenly popped up again:
The members of the IPCC, comprising the Panel, are its 195 member governments. They work by consensus to endorse the reports of the IPCC and set its procedures and budget in plenary meetings of the Panel. The word “Intergovernmental” in the organization’s name reflects this. It is not a United Nations agency, but is sponsored by two UN organizations – WMO and UNEP.
Funny that they should mention this, at this point in time. Particularly since they never mention (at least not to the best of my knowedge) that the many-tentacled and ever-expanding UNEP – as I had discovered, much to my amazement last July – is an “unchartered” appendage of the United Nations:
The UN Charter does not specifically mention the environment or sustainable development. However, there has been increased activity in the area over the years.
There might be some good somewhere that the UN is doing; just as the CBC occasionally has programs worth watching or hearing. But the view from here is that any such instances are increasingly fewer and further between.