Thanks Richard Tol

Richard Tol writes a blog where he discusses developments in how their writing of a chapter for the 5th assessment report for the IPCC is coming along.

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.

What’s more, he thinks that skeptics – those open-minded enough to be perceptive of the IPCC’s flaws, for the simple reason that they do not have any personal stake in the continued existance or survival of the IPCC – are the ‘wrong people’ to criticize or cheer at the IPCC’s failings.

He writes, summing up:

Another day, another farce in climate land.

Cheers in all the wrong places.

Observe the four links provided by Tol, to “all the wrong places” in climate blogland that are ‘celebrating’ Pachauri’s retention. The first one is a link to this very blog, the second to Bishop Hill who only links here, and the third to ClimateDepot, and the fourth, Eureferendum.

All the ‘wrong places’ link to the same BBC and Reuters stories that Tol himself refers to. Richard Tol himself, thinks what happened at the IPCC Busan Conference to be a “farce”. But the wrong places cannot say that?

I don’t know – laughing at a farce seems the natural thing to do—irascible and deadpan humor is surely one antidote to the sordidness and obduracy of the IPCC.

An IPCC insider perhaps cannot bring himself to indulge in this laughter, but those in wrong places surely can.


1) Richard Tol –



  1. Richard Tol

    The initial link was wrong, and has now been corrected.

    If people like Morano, Delingpole, North, and Montford’s groupies are celebrating a decision by the IPCC, then that decision is probably the wrong one from the IPCC’s perspective.

  2. Shub Niggurath

    Dear Richard
    The IPCC put itself in a fix. Pachauri virtually dictated terms right from the beginning. He said that he wont go, and he showed what he meant.

    He framed the IAC recommendations as being ‘not applicable in retrograde fashion’ and everyone apparently accepts that logic. This is ridiculous. This is not some cockamamie local governmental body or street council where some clever person who reads loopholes in the ‘existing bylaws’, can elicit approving nods and gets to stay on. This is the UN – the world stage! The very credibility of the IPCC rests on appearances, propriety and integrity. How can its chairman’s position rest on some petty interpretation?

    The IPCC had a choice – maintain appearances, take a hit, but emerge stronger,… or just brazen it out. They chose the latter approach. They are political to the very bone.

    You write that the IPCC has rules but wont follow them. The IPCC cannot follow its own rules – if it did, it will produce a bland, useless report.

  3. Richard Tol

    The problem is a design flaw in the IPCC: The chair cannot be removed, no matter what he does.

    Of course, the people who put Pachauri in the chair knew this, and that he would mess up.

  4. Shub Niggurath

    I thought that the IAC report, was a possible way for the IPCC to do the ‘removal business’ if necessary, without much of a fuss. Apparently not…

  5. Shub

    That’s true, but only in a narrow bureaucratic sense – given the broad perspective on things that was required at this stage.

    Busan was a plenary session right? Pachauri, if my memory serves me right, has wriggled out of at least one sticky situation by claiming that the UNEP and WMO have no authority over the IPCC since it was a intergovernmental organization.

    So this session of governmental persons could have actually done something, IAC report in hand, if they had wanted to. But, in contrast what do we have? Not even a single country said anything.

  6. Shub Niggurath

    While you are right, we can certainly go by what was said to the media at the end of the first day of the plenary session.

    “At Monday’s session, no nations called for Pachauri to quit.”

    State representatives might have made acrimonious noises (one only hopes) but their final decision was clear. In any case, there was nothing on the plenary agenda in the way of a vote/show of hands/ballot process for any of the IAC recommendations. Decisions by governments were mailed in, in advance.

    So, if any government had a different idea – it would have stood up and voiced it – and that would have made the news. Therefore we know nothing like that happened