Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
Back in January 2005, Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, told us there wasn’t a moment to lose in the fight against climate change.
By November 2007 he was ominously declaring that the next two to three years would determine our future. That was the defining moment. It would be too late, he said, if a new emissions treaty wasn’t in place by 2012.
Needless to say, the world didn’t dance to Pachauri’s tune during the three years (2008-2010) he’d insisted were crucial. And with only four months left before the arrival of 2012, no new emissions treaty is remotely likely.
If Pachauri had really believed what he was saying back then, if those words had been sincere, shouldn’t he be throwing in the towel about now? Shouldn’t he be making a big public show of resigning from his post – of declaring that we’re all doomed? I mean, according to the climate activists, the alleged negative effects of human-caused climate change are worse than anyone predicted, and have been happening faster than expected.
Perhaps Pachauri would care to explain what, exactly, is the point of yet another UN-sponsored climate summit in Durban, South Africa in late November of this year? How much unnecessary CO2 is going to be spewed into the atmosphere by the thousands of delegates jetting to that out-of-the-way destination? What purpose will all that additional harm to Mother Nature serve given that humanity’s defining moment has come and gone?
This past May, Pachauri told an Australian journalist that emissions cuts should be undertaken from a “least cost” perspective. This was quite a backtrack from his 2008 insistence that the stability and well-being of the human race were the reason.
What conclusions may be reasonably drawn from the above? Pachauri isn’t a scientist. He’s a politician. And he’ll say anything if he thinks it’ll advance his cause. When the times change, so does his account of what’s at stake, what needs to happen when – and why.
The last thing he’s concerned about is whether there’s any internal consistency to his cumulative public remarks.
We have just a small window of opportunity and it is closing rather rapidly. There is not a moment to lose.
If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment.
I am very worried that we are running out of time.
It is very important to reach an [international emissions] agreement by 2009.
If we allow things to continue unchanged and we don’t take action today, it would destabilize human society…I hope that in the next year and a half...that we show a certain resolve and aspiration to do things that are required for the benefit of the human race.
The least cost part of effective emissions reduction would really require us to see that global emissions peak no later than 2015. And that’s just four years away…if we have to meet that requirement of a least cost trajectory of emissions stabilisation then we really need to move rapidly and every country in the world has to do that.