Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise has been watching the climate world since 2009. What she sees isn't pretty.

Pachauri Interviewed by Pretend Journalist

Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is currently on a media tour attempting to drum up interest in the climate change conference that will soon get underway in Durban, South Africa.

A few days ago the website of the UK’s Guardian newspaper republished a fawning article about Pachauri that was originally written for a Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) publication.

The NRDC is a US-based green lobby group that fancies itself “the Earth’s best defense” and boasts about the “350 lawyers, scientists and other professionals” on its staff. Its in-house magazine is called called OnEarth. When you subscribe to it you instantly become a member/supporter of the NRDC.

Yes, you heard that right. Mainstream newspapers now shamelessly republish environmentalist propaganda and pretend it’s news.

(In that vein, the Bishop Hill blog has been doing some eye-popping reporting about the fact that BBC television programs have been funded by the World Wildlife Fund and other lobby groups – even though this is forbidden by BBC policies. See, for example, here, here, and here.)

In the Guardian propaganda piece Pachauri mentions last year’s InterAcademy Council report. Here’s what he says:

it was gratifying that the independent review found our work solid and robust.

Pardon me? Did we read the same report? The one that says, in the first paragraph of Chapter 2, that there are

significant shortcomings in each major step of IPCC’s assessment process…

According to the report’s executive summary IPCC

authors reported high confidence in some statements for which there is little evidence…The Working Group II Summary for Policymakers contains many such statements that are not supported sufficiently in the literature, not put into perspective, or not expressed clearly. [see p. xv]

If each major IPCC step has been found to suffer from significant shortcomings how can IPCC findings be considered solid? If the IPCC has made many statements that aren’t supported by the scientific literature surely its work is not robust.

The Guardian propaganda piece – written by NRDC staffer George Black – mentions none of this, however. Instead, it tell us that Pachauri is “as charismatic a presence as one can imagine.” It tells us about “the broad band of white in the center of his dark gray beard [that is] as distinctive as Susan Sontag’s white streak,” and about his “Olympian calm.”

It’s no mystery to me why Pachauri appeared to be as serene at the end of the interview as he was at the beginning. He was, after all, spared the most obvious question by this green-activist-pretending-to-be-a-journalist.

The InterAcademy Council report said that Pachauri, who has been chairman for nine years, should step down. Specifically, it noted that:

The fixed length of service and part-time nature of the chairmanship hold many advantages…A 12-year appointment (two terms), however, is too long for a field as dynamic and contested as climate change. [see page 4, numbered as page 46]

So why hasn’t Pachauri taken his leave?

And why didn’t the pretend journalist demand an explanation?

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[a backup link for the Guardian article is here]

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