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R.K. PACHAURI

How this man is destroying the credibility of science

 

A TSI exclusive
Issue Dated: February 7, 2010
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How this man is destroying the credibility of science Neanderthal from Nainital

by Sutanu Guru

“The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate.”

Paul Ehrlich, world renowned scientist (alarmist), in his book, Population Bomb, in 1968.

This ‘great scientist, economist and futurologist’’- who actually had a degree in ecology - has won numerous awards despite the brazenly false claims that he has made. Oh yes, Ehrlich predicted in the late 1960s that hundreds of millions of Indians will die of starvation by 1980.

An economist called Julian Simon was so outraged by Ehrlich’s alarmist predictions that he provoked the ‘great scientist’ to make a bet in 1980. Simon gambled that the real prices of five commodities (primarily metals) would fall by 1990 - commodities which Ehrlich was saying will probably disappear from the Earth by then. By 1990, Ehrlich had lost the bet. And after that came the series of honours and awards for Ehrlich; and none for Simon. Most ‘establishment’ figures dismissed Simon as a nut case. Can you explain this travesty of truth, science, fair play and alleged dedication to ‘facts’?

“Glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate."

R.K Pachauri, as the leader of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in the official report released on global warming.

This great ‘scientist’ - who is actually a mechanical engineer - accepted the Nobel Prize on behalf of IPCC despite persistent allegations by real scientists that the IPCC under Pachauri was ‘manufacturing facts’ to fan climate change fundamentalism.

The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (see column in this issue) has been repeatedly raising objections to the manner in which Pachauri and his team have been playing around with facts to bolster their climate change and global warming case. Most of the establishment has dismissed the Viscount as a nut case while Pachauri and his team won the Nobel Prize! Can you please explain this travesty? How this man is destroying the credibility of science I can’t, and I bet you can’t too, if you pause for a while and think about this whole brouhaha. I mean, here is a man who led a team of alleged scientists mandated by the United Nations to find ‘facts’ on global warming. Instead of facts, the man selectively picks ‘speculation’ and gobbledygook as science and tries his best to frighten the world. And you and I swallow it just as the ‘faithful’ swallow evangelist fire and brimstone that Apocalypse is Imminent and We Have to Pay for Our Sins.

There is no doubt any more that a lot of the IPCC report is a gigantic fraud - Nobel Prize or not. But that is not the problem. What you and I need to worry is how the ‘Malthusian’ alarmists succeed in convincing otherwise reasonable people like us into believing the worst about the future of humanity and the planet. Back in the late 18th century, Thomas Malthus - who happened to be a Reverend - predicted that the world will run out of food very soon. Almost 200 years later, Ehrlich became immortal by ‘repackaging’ the Malthusian scare in modern jargon. Back in the late 18th century, there was genuine concern that the forests of the world would disappear as the demand for firewood was growing exponentially. In the later half of the 20th century, you and I have been subjected to repeated warnings that fossil fuels will disappear and plunge the world into catastrophe. And now of course, you have this global warming warning that people like Pachauri claim will lead to melting of glaciers, more natural disasters like tsunamis, the death of the Amazon and what not.

Common sense should persuade you and me to dismiss these alarmist theories since they have such a disgraceful track record of patently wrong forecasts. Yet we listen to people like Pachauri. I think the reasons go back to our craving for religion. We are insecure human beings and we all fear the unknown. Back in ancient times, fire, storms, forests, lightning, water and what not became embodiment of Gods - to be blindly believed and worshipped. Today, we seem to be determined to elevate the likes of Pachauri to the same status.

Of course alarmists like Pachauri are brilliant marketing professionals above all else. They understand fear and uncertainty and know how to package them into Nostradamus-like prophecies that will both frighten the hell out of us and also tickle the voyeur in us. Unfortunately for people like Pachauri, people like you and me do have common sense and do manage to sniff out charlatans sooner or later. Half truths have virtually destroyed the credibility of genuine concerns about the dangers of pollution and carbon emissions. More than half truths, that is the bigger crime committed by Pachauri and gang of alarmists.

With due apologies “Dr” Pachauri, some one who claims to be a scientist told me recently that Neanderthals originated from a particular area in Uttarakhand in the Himalayan foothills of India. So can I call you a Neanderthal from Nainital please? How this man is destroying the credibility of science A climate for fudging

As ipcc’s alarmist chief digs a hole for himself and his tribe and puts up a weak defence for his blunders, it is time for the world to put him in his place and salvage the credibility of the cause, writes Vikas Kumar

Rajendra K. Pachauri’s “Himalayan blunder” is showing no signs of melting away. If anything, it is snowballing into a major global fracas that threatens to put the credibility of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that he heads under a cloud.

The 69-year-old chairman of the UN-mandated IPCC finds himself in the eye of a blizzard of controversies not only over the panel’s claim that Himalayan glaciers will be gone forever by the year 2035, but also due to his alleged conflicts of interest that stem from his direct and indirect association with many firms and institutions that have a stake in the burgeoning carbon credit market.

Since the glacier controversy erupted and the director-general of TERI admitted to “one mistake in a 1000-page report”, many more glaring errors of fact and deduction have tumbled out of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (4th AR), which had, in 2007, fetched Pachauri and his team of researchers a joint Nobel Prize alongside former US vice-president and one of the world’s best-known climate change warriors, Al Gore.

The roots of the current controversy can be traced back to last November, when Pachauri aggressively debunked a study by Dr V.K. Raina, one of India’s leading glaciologists. In a discussion paper, Dr Raina had questioned the IPCC’s alarmist conclusion on the rate of the melting of the Himalayan glaciers due to climate change.

The study authored by Dr Raina, ‘Himalayan Glaciers: A State-of-the-Art Review of Glacial Studies, Glacial Retreat and Climate Change’, took the position that “it might be premature to make a statement that the glaciers in the Himalayas are retreating abnormally because of climate change.” Dr Raina, a retired deputy director-general of the Geological Survey of India, asserted that there was no “scientific evidence” to link the retreating Himalayan glaciers to the phenomenon of climate change. Pachauri dismissed the report as “voodoo science”.

In his broadside against Dr Raina’s study, the IPCC chief said the glaciologist was out to “trivialise” science. Not only did Pachauri raise questions about the academic worth of the study, he also accused the Union minister of state for environment, Jairam Ramesh, who had supported Dr Raina’s conclusions, of being arrogant. “It can’t be on the basis of what two persons, the minister and one more person, think. It is going against the findings of the IPCC. It creates a sense of complacency that climate change is not for real,” Pachauri had scoffed.

The tables have turned dramatically since then and Pachauri stands exposed. Critics point out that he is only an economist and industrial engineer. They allege that he is not a climate scientist as he would have the world believe. They wonder why he was in the first place made the IPCC chairman in 2002 and entrusted with the job of creating consensus on one of the most critical issues facing the planet, global warming. One of the most scathing attacks on Pachauri has come from Lord Christopher Monckton, policy adviser to the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Even if global warming has assumed unprecedented proportions, he says in his column published in TSI, “the hawkers and peddlers of the extremist notion that “global warming” is or may become a global crisis mention melting ice-caps, roaring hurricanes, rising sea levels, searing droughts and other extreme weather events as though such things had never occurred before and must, therefore, be blamed on humankind.”

The doomsday prediction dates back to 1999, when a JNU-based glaciologist, Syed Husnain, published a report on the melting of Himalayan glaciers. A New Scientist magazine author Murarilal interviewed him and wrote that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035. This claim was later incorporated in IPCC's report.

Dr Husnain denies that the date emanated from his report. He explains, “I hadn’t mentioned a fixed date like 2035… It was entirely Murarilal’s assumption. I had just said if the present rate of the melting of glaciers continues, they might melt completely in the next 39-40 years.”

Asked why, during his stint as Senior Fellow in TERI, he did not bring this fact to the attention of Dr Pachauri, he says, “Pachauri was a very busy man and we had very few personal interactions.”

This is not the first time that IPCC has fudged figures. Anil Kumar Singh, eminent energy scientist, says, “IPCC exaggerated the figures of biomass pollution. It is certainly a concern, but the rate of increase in pollution estimated by IPCC was not true.”

The over-reaching IPCC researchers have done great disservice to the cause of environmental conservation. Owing to the multiple goof-ups in the IPCC’s 4th AR, climate change sceptics have found a handy stick to beat the climate change warriors with. Many can now be persuaded to believe that the situation isn’t really as bad as it is being made out to be.

The second argument is that climate models based on software devices are simply too unreliable, as are temperature records. Leaked e-mails from the University of East Anglia appeared to show manipulation of temperature data by the IPCC, raising serious questions about the validity of the UN panel’s claims.

A cornered Pachauri has been brushing aside all allegations but without much conviction. “I have made my stand very clear. TERI is a not-for-profit organisation working for the welfare of society and its revenues cover costs and provide no private benefit to any party," he told TSI. But How this man is destroying the credibility of science doubts persist.

What is most shocking is the astonishing network of interests that Dr Pachauri has built around the world (see info-graphic). He is on the boards of various companies, NGOs, institutions and banks. As a chairman of IPCC, this certainly creates conflicts of interest. He had been member of the Board of Directors of IOC, ONGC and power company NTPC, which are India’s largest public sector companies. They contribute to the increasing carbon footprint of the country. Pachauri-led TERI also floated OTBL (an ONGC-TERI joint venture company). Pachauri said, “I have made my position very clear already. The decision was taken at the behest of ONGC itself. I wasn’t even present in the board meeting in which this decision was taken.”

Pachauri has interests in several companies and organisations that either benefit from the global scramble to counter climate change or are actively involved in businesses that have giant carbon footprints. He established an oil company in the US, GloriOil, which is in the business of exploiting fossil fuels for profit.

Moreover, Pachauri never divulges anything about the Tata group’s role in TERI. In fact, TERI says through a press release that Tata group has no relationship with it. This disregards the fact that TERI was known as Tata Energy Research Institute till sometime back. And of course, TERI was founded by Tata chemicals – this is a fact TERI now accepts.

Former minister for petroleum and natural gas Santosh Gangwar had complained in writing about TERI getting into a joint venture with ONGC even when Pachauri was on the board of the public sector company.

TERI was the preferred bidder for Kuwaiti contracts to clean up the mess left behind by Saddam Hussein in the country’s oilfields. The $3 billion contracts were awarded by the UN. Pachauri has also been appointed the head of Yale University’s Climate and Energy Institute, which receives millions of dollars in US state and corporate funding. Interestingly, none of these organisations publish data related to remunerations paid to Pachauri.

In November 2008, TERI got a huge grant from the Carnegie Corporation to study the impact of the melting of Himalayan glaciers on the lives of people. Dr Raina, who has dismissed Pachauri’s alarmist prediction, demands an apology from the latter for misleading people around the world. “Now he says that we have studied only 30-40 glaciers. But at least we have gone there unlike Pachauri and his scientists. He should at least say sorry to people around the world,” says the veteran glaciologist.

The rapidly growing worldwide carbon credit market is today estimated to be to the tune of $126 billion. Large firms and institutions where Pachauri holds advisory positions are likely to benefit from the global panic that is bound to be caused by inflated climate change projections.

It now seems that Pachauri’s IPCC manipulated data and information at will to hyper-ventilate the world’s climate change worries. The latest expose by London’s Daily Telegraph refers to the panel’s claim that 40 percent of the Amazon rain forests would disappear for good due to the ill-effects of global warming.

The newspaper alleges that this finding did not come from IPCC’s own research but was a “cut and paste” job – it was lifted from a report prepared by an advocacy group for World Wildlife Fund. Amazingly, the report was authored not by an Amazon expert nor by a climate specialist, but by a policy analyst and a freelance journalist.

From “Glaciergate” to “Amazongate”, Pachauri is stirring up quite a storm. The Himalayan glaciers or the Amazon rain forests may or may not be in danger of disappearing altogether, but India’s self-styled climate change expert is in dire need of a vanishing act before he digs a bigger hole for himself.
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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017