IPCC Chief mellows for bail out package
Posted by Jeff Id on June 23, 2010
Guest post – M I Bhat
“I am not deaf to those who do not agree with the scientific consensus on man-made climate change.”
Ladies and Gentlemen: These are the words of the completely undressed IPCC Chief, Dr. R. K. Pauchauri to BBC (15 June 2010). He has been undressed for quite some time but like that proverbial king was unwilling to accept it.
Even as recently as Feb 2010, when he still thought he was fully and immaculately dressed, he had this to say: [Global warming skeptics] “are people who deny the link between smoking and cancer; they are people who say that asbestos is as good as talcum powder – I hope that they apply it to their faces every day… I’m totally in the clear. I have absolutely nothing but indifference to what these people are doing.” Notice the contempt in the language. It was this type of sneering language that prompted global warming activists to use terms like “deniers,” “flat earthers” and so on for the skeptics, and call for their “Nuremberg-type trails.”
Pachauri surely was never deaf to the skeptics but would not simply answer them; he would howl at them as he did at his compatriot, V. K. Raina, calling his report on the health of the Himalayan glaciers “voodoo science.” He didn’t stop at rubbishing Raina’s study that is based on 150 years of data but rubbished Raina as well thus: “With the greatest of respect this guy retired years ago and I find it totally baffling that he comes out and throws out everything that has been established years ago.” In his late 60’s he forgets that, like Raina, he too would have retired long years ago had he continued in the Indian Government employment. Raina has the credit to continue after retirement with what he did for decades (glaciology) unlike Pachauri who dabbled first with railway engines and tracks, then economics and finally at the fag end of his career with climate science. When he said Raina’s work “throws out everything that has been established years ago” he should have thought of his own junk (IPCC) reports that attempt to throw out what was scientifically established and historically recorded decades and centuries back – Medieval Warming and Little Ice Age.
It is his non-scientific background that makes him talk of “scientific consensus.” Had he indulged in any serious scientific endeavour at any stage of his career he would have known that there is nothing like “consensus” in science. Science is neither validated nor rejected by consensus nor by majority vote. It demands reproducible hard-core empirical facts.
It is too late for him to say that “The IPCC and the scientific community at large should welcome the development of a vigorous debate on the science of climate change.” The wide world knows how receptive he has been to scientific debate. It is neither change of heart nor sudden dawning of scientific ethics on him. It is a strategic statement and needs to be considered in the context of the aftermath that Climategate and several other gates (there is even a Pachaurigate!) have had on the public opinion about global warming, most importantly on carbon business and his own standing as the head of IPCC. Recall the vehement public reaction when CEOs of failing American banks went to American Congress in their private jets with begging bowls in hand. They learnt their lesson, adopted a low profile until a bail out was received. Did their travel preference since make any news? None.
Carbon trading was mid-wifed by IPPC. Like an over-fed obese baby, it soon ballooned into a huge, huge business — courtesy political patronage. You have high and mighty (political and business) sharks involved in it. Lately they suffered significant losses on stock markets as much due to public sentiment against IPCC’s fraudulent science in support of global warming as due to Dr. Pachauri’s arrogant defence of that. However, current American public opinion, courtesy BP’s Gulf oil spill, could turn the tables again in their favour. In this charged environment a revalidation of global warming by IPCC’s “thousands of scientist” imminently suits both the carbon-politico-business class and Dr. Pachauri. Neither would like to see this opportunity missed. The more he mellows towards opposition and shows himself open to debate, the easier it will be for the carbon-political-business class to argue in his favour. So the conciliatory language that Dr. Pachauri has suddenly found is like the American bankers’ brief strategic pause in the use of their private jets. If he gets bailed out, it will soon be business as usual.
M. I. Bhat
Professor & Head
Department of Geology & Geophysics
University of Kashmir