Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

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

The Nobel Lie That Just Won’t Die

The Guardian newspaper once again wrongly calls Rajendra Pachauri a Nobel laureate. For good measure, it publishes a photo of him looking pious – while neglecting to mention the serious sexual offenses for which he is being investigated.


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Earlier this week, the UK’s Guardian ran a multiple-choice Earth Day quiz. Question #5 – which was accompanied by a photograph of the former head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) looking pious – read:

Which pair won a Nobel prize in 2007 for their efforts to tackle climate change?

Quiz participants were presented with three choices:

  • Al Gore and Rajendra Pachauri
  • David Cameron and Rajendra Pachauri
  • Yvo de Boer and Rajendra Pachauri

But all of these answers are wrong. The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to an individual (Al Gore) and to an organization (the IPCC). Definitive information on this matter is not difficult to locate. The Nobel website clearly states that half the 2007 Peace Prize went to the IPCC. Pachauri’s name is not mentioned anywhere on that web page:


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In October 2012, the IPCC issued a Statement about the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Nothing about that document is difficult to understand, either. It reads, in part:

The prize was awarded to the IPCC as an organization, and not to any individual associated with the IPCC. Thus it is incorrect to refer to any IPCC official, or scientist who worked on IPCC reports, as a Nobel laureate or Nobel Prize winner. [bold added]

The Guardian is publishing nonsense. Pachauri never received a Nobel prize. As chairman of the IPCC, he was merely the figurehead who accepted it on behalf of his organization at the awards ceremony. How many more years need to pass before the green-activists-pretending-to-be-journalists at The Guardian get these simple facts straight?

But the distortion doesn’t stop there. A Nobel in physics is all about scientific merit. It is the ultimate salute, a recognition of the calibre of one’s scientific contribution. Physics Nobel Prizes are, let us be clear, entirely different from Peace Prizes. One committee selects the recipients of physics Nobels. An entirely different committee is responsible for the Peace Prize. The awards ceremonies are separate. Indeed, they take place in two different countries.

Peace Prizes are awarded by a group of politically-appointed individuals in left-leaning Norway (total population five million). They are often given for political reasons. Let us remember that Barack Obama was awarded a Peace Prize a mere nine months after becoming the US president – before he’d had time to accomplish anything substantive.

Pachauri led a purportedly scientific body for 13 years. When newspapers leave out the word “peace” and blithely declare that he won a Nobel prize,” the public is encouraged to believe the IPCC’s scientific legitimacy was endorsed by nothing less than the Nobel establishment. But the truth is less impressive. The 2007 Peace Prize was all about raising awareness. It merely recognized “efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change.” The individuals who evaluate scientific merit weren’t even at the table.

The Guardian – which is usually deeply concerned about violence against women and workplace harassment – has failed to keep its readers informed about the serious nature of the allegations that have been leveled against Pachauri. As the evidence against this man mounts, The Guardian prefers to lionize him, to falsely tell the world he is a Nobel laureate. So here’s another quiz question:

What relevant information has the UK’s Guardian newspaper failed to pass along to its readers?

  • that Pachauri stands accused of a long list of physical offenses (rather than solely electronic ones)
  • that New Delhi police say there’s no evidence his electronic devices were hacked
  • that police say he has threatened the complainant via a third party
  • that police say he is violating his bail conditions by attempting to influence witnesses
  • that two separate Indian courts have turned down his request to travel abroad
  • that the four sections of the Indian Penal Code under which he is being investigated stipulate maximum prison sentences of two, three, and seven years

All of the answers to The Guardian’s Question #5 were wrong. But every data point in the above list is true.


hat tip: Paul Thursten



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