“After all, most people spend their lives making decisions under uncertainty, and that’s what dealing effectively with climate change demands – the same kind of decisions you make when you decide to buckle your seatbelt…”
-Chris Field, IPCC Working Group II Co-Chair, speaking to reporters at Busan
Evidently, such advice does not apply to the IPCC itself.
Richard Black, BBC, thinks that ” Rajendra Pachauri will be here to usher” the AR5 in,” barring some major mishap”. In the rough-and-tumble world of climate change polity, the events of the last one year are not major mishaps then.
So when the IPCC decided to keep RK Pachauri along for the rest of his term, it was widely reported in the news and blogs. Examining the reaction, Tol apparently thinks that all skeptics are absolutely thrilled and overjoyed by what the IPCC has done.
Reuters reports here from the UN conference in Korea. Here are three facts presented in order, reflecting some hard facts about the IPCC on the ground.
“Among the council recommendations [IAC] were that the chair of the IPCC, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with U.S. climate campaigner Al Gore, should serve only one six-year term.”
“India has affirmed backing for Pachauri, making it hard for others to object to one of the few high-level climate posts held by a developing nation.”
“At Monday’s session, no nations called for Pachauri to quit.”
(This post originally appeared at Bishop Hill. This is a slightly longer version)
The Guardian recently published an article about a “limited-review” of the IPCC chairman RK Pachauri’s personal accounts by KPMG, a firm of accountants. This report had widespread play as it followed closely behind the Telegraph’s apology to RK Pachauri over its article about his business interests. For example, using conclusions and language from the report, George Monbiot went on to claim that the IPCC chairman had “no conflicts of interest“.
(Cross-posted at Bishop Hill)
Last November things began to go seriously wrong for the IPCC version of science. In all this, it is easy to forget how recently it was that green science, and the IPCC in particular, had a good reputation with the public for honesty and integrity. It started after a leading Indian glaciologist called VK Raina public pointed out that he disagreed with the IPCC conclusion that the Himalayan glaciers would melt away within 30 years. Raina said studies showed that at the present rate of melting, the glaciers would take hundreds of years to do so. The Indian public had previously been told that the waters from the Himalayas would dry up within their lifetimes, so this good news was published on the front pages of the newspapers.
We have already seen North track down the trail that leads from Suzlon’s Tulsi Tanti to RK Pachauri . While the meteoric rise and somewhat less spectacular fall of Suzlon is known, new readers might be interested in a fresh perspective on certain parts of the whole story. Details that are not widely known emerge — of movie superstars willing to campaign against climate change and put their money where their mouth is. Actors and actresses strive to bail out floundering windmill sellers and keep their own interests afloat in the process.
Even after the Kyoto protocol, many Indian states were unwilling to support wind-power as a reliable addition to the power grid. In their bid to create conditions conducive for ‘alternative energy sources’, the centre and state governments created a heady mix. These included depreciation benefits, tax benefits, money from the ‘clean development mechanism’ and easy environmental clearance. Tracking the trajectory of the company, one sees how each of these rungs Suzlon planted its feet on became slippery or came undone, leaving the company hanging where it is today.