Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
The former head of the world’s most important climate body has been charged with a long list of sex offences.
Today, more than a year after a 29-year-old woman complained to the police about Rajendra Pachauri, formal charges have been laid. Early news reports out of India say the charge sheet runs to 1,400 pages and includes allegations of stalking, criminal intimidation, and sexual harassment.
As his bio over at the New York Academy of Sciences explains:
The name of Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri…has become synonymous with climate change and the environment.
[click for a screen capture taken earlier today]
Pachauri led the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from 2002 until 2015. In that capacity he frequently lectured the rest of us about the ethics and morality of doing too little to save the planet. For more than three decades, he was also head of The Energy and Research Institute (TERI), the New Delhi-based organization where the complainant worked. She told police that the then 74-year-old persistently groped and forcibly kissed her. Emails and text messages she turned over as corroborating evidence have been formatted into a 24-page PDF available here.
They show Pachauri professing his undying love for her within days of her joining TERI. Rather than taking the hint when she tells him he’s embarrassing her, he sends her love poems. And whines that she finds him ‘repulsive.’ And complains that she’s hurting his feelings. And declares he’s going to start fasting and will only eat again if she says she believes he loves her. And on and on. For over a year. Until he effectively fires her. For the crime of asking to sit in Economy class so he won’t be able to grope her on a flight to Norway.
Pachauri has denied writing these messages. He says his electronic devices were hacked. For 16 months, while he was apparently none the wiser. His version of events is that all of this creepy, cringe-worthy material was forged by “unknown cyber criminals” intent on undermining his climate saving work. Even if this were remotely plausible, the allegations by this woman (and other former female employees) of frequent and inappropriate physical contact remain.
The man who wrote those messages is a sexual predator. He is a boss who preys on women four decades younger than himself. A boss who uses his position of power to torment others.
It requires an astonishing moral blindness to believe that a man who behaved this way in one area of his professional life was a model citizen in his capacity as chairman of the IPCC. Corporations know that when sexual harassment allegations are made, things get serious. Everyone gets grilled as to what they saw, what they heard, and what they did about it.
And yet, to this day, the United Nations has taken no steps to investigate whether women associated with the IPCC were similarly victimized.
Donna Laframboise is a Canadian investigative journalist and author of the 2013 book, Into the Dustbin: Rajendra Pachauri, the Climate Report & the Nobel Peace Prize. See Amazon.com, Amazon India, and other Amazon stores.