Monday, January 4, 2010

Pachauri fights back

On the Guardian website Comment is Free, The IPCC chairman defends himself against allegations of conflict of interest. He writes:
The same group of climate deniers who have been active across the Atlantic have now joined hands to attack me personally, alleging business interests on my part which are supposedly benefiting me as well as the Indian Tata group of companies.
My institute, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), has no links with the Tata group, other than having been established through seed funding from that group as a non-profit registered society in 1974, much like several other non-profit institutions of excellence set up by the Tatas for the larger public good. As for pecuniary benefits from advice that I may be rendering to profit making organisations, these payments are all made directly to my institute, without a single penny being received by me.

Do you find this line of defence convincing? Should a chairman of the IPCC have the many advisory functions that he admittedly holds?

He then goes on to emphasize the need for multilateral action which is not only his right, but given his position, his duty. However, I was slightly puzzled by the following call for direct action, which does not figure under the IPCC remit:

But importantly, it seems to me that civil society and grassroots action would have to come into their own, not only to ensure that human society takes responsibility for action at the most basic level, but also to create upward pressure on governments to act decisively. If such grassroots efforts do not spread and intensify, nation states may not be able to resolve the differences that exist between them.

It is good to see that a reliance on the science alone does not seem convincing to him any longer. However, as chairman of the IPCC this is an odd thing to admit.


P Gosselin said...

I think he sees the credibility of the IPCC is diminishing. I sense some bitterness in his comments.

Anonymous said...

Completely unconvincing. He fails to answer any of the questions raised in the original Telegraph article. All he can do is refer to his critics as "climate deniers". It is interesting to see that the blog comments are largely opposed to him - in the Guardian, which is generally a left-wing pro-climate-action paper.

@ReinerGrundmann said...

Apparently the comments are heavily edited, Bishop Hill complains he did not get his comment through.

This means that there is very little support coming through for Pachauri at the moment.

richardtol said...

"there is no leeway for delay"

"the executive branch of the US has to take initiative"

The IPCC is not allowed to make policy recommendations, so I guess this is Dr Pachauri speaking rather than the chairperson of the IPCC.

He also writes that "the allegations made on the basis of the stolen emails have proved incorrect". The investigations by U East Anglia and Penn State are still ongoing, and also the IPCC investigation has yet to report back.

richardtol said...

Bishop Hill found that there will not be an IPCC investigation after all:

@ReinerGrundmann said...

There are two new and relevant posts up on Roger Pielke Jr.'s blog on Pachauri's conflict of interest.
One about the lack of the major media to cover this issue, with special reference to the New York Times.

The other is on the need of the IPCC to clean up its act, rather sooner than later. Apparently the IPCC does not have a policy on clonflicts of interests