Saturday, January 30, 2010

He's toast

The Times story (see previous post) is breaking out into the Indian media, being featured on Times Now TV under the headline: "Pachuri knew of climate blunder". There is a longer story in the Times of India.

"Another skeleton has tumbled out of the closet of IPCC Chairman, Rajendra Pachauri. A leading UK daily has reported that Pachauri was informed that claims about melting Himalayan glaciers were false before the Copenhagen summit," says Times Now. Pachauri, it then tells us, was asked about the glacial melt issue last November by a "science journalist."

Amusingly, it does not give the identity of the "science journalist". He is Pallava Bagla, who just happens to work for the rival NDTV station – which, oddly, does not seem to be running a story on its own scoop. Why are we not surprised?

Roger Sedjo, a Washington-based economist who was involved in the IPCC's 2nd, 3rd and 4th assessments between 1996 and 2007, has some damning observations for Outlook India magazine. "It's hard to imagine a mistake of that magnitude slipping through as a mistake rather than as an intentional effort to distort the debate," he says.

Amazing, he then says: "But I don't see how it reflects on Pachauri. He has responsibility for looking into what apparently was sloppiness. But unless this occurs on a regular basis at the IPCC, I find it hard to understand why he should step down." He is talking about the man who was not at all shy about taking the glory at the Nobel prize ceremony. No gain without pain, one might say.

And the video, a few days old now, suggests the damage to the IPCC has already been done.