Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pachauri Cleared

One of the side-stories that grew out of Climategate were accusations of financial impropriety by Rajendra Pachauri, head of the IPCC. These have now been put to rest:

London, Mar 29 (PTI) Rajendra Pachauri, the embattled head of the UN's climate change panel who was under scrutiny for receiving alleged payments from private companies, has been cleared of the allegations by an independently conducted review, a media report has said.

Professional services company KPMG examined personal finances of Pachauri, chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, following allegations that he received money for advising several private sector companies, including Toyota and Credit Suisse.

I suspect Pielke Jr. is working on his most fulsome apology even now.

PS. Pachauri's climate science friends apparently call him "patchy".

13 comments:

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

This is not news. The issue has always been Pachauri's institute receiving payments for his services, not him personally. Virtually all COI policies do not distinguish the two in determination of a COI.

In this instance, the facts of the matter are not in dispute, what is up for debate is what constitutes a COI under the IPCC.

So this post is a red herring.

sharonapple88 said...

I suspect Pielke Jr. is working on his most fulsome apology even now.

So I guess that's a no.

R. G. Harvie said...

If he's so above reproach, why the appology this week, for admitting that he over-stepped his role in moving from scientific objectivity, to policy directives.

"In an interview with The Times, Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, apologised for his organisation’s handling of complaints about errors in its report.

He also apologised for describing as “voodoo science” an Indian Government report which challenged the IPCC’s claims about the rapid melting of Himalayan glaciers.

He admitted it had been a mistake to give the impression, in many interviews, that he was advocating specific actions to cut emissions. Last year, he called for higher taxes on aviation and motoring, said people should eat less meat, and proposed that hotel rooms should have electricity meters to charge people extra for using air conditioning.

Speaking in London yesterday, he said he would focus in future on presenting the science on climate change rather than advocating policies."

The most glaring failure of the IPCC and many in the scientific community,beautifully captured in the stupid series of emails from Phil Jones, is that they can't seem to help moving from scientific analysis to political advocacy.

Understandable, perhaps, but as I've said before, very damaging to those who look to science for objective analysis and not political advocacy.

Pachauri failed miserably in this respect - and his arrogance in suggesting that continuing as Chairman of the IPCC creates no concerns for its reputation just reaffirms the problem.

Apparently, there are thousands of qualified scientists who are backing the IPCC. Have someone who hasn't come off as some hair-triggered ideologue assume the roll of Chairman.

Ti-Guy said...

Who's paying the deniers again? Oh, right. We can't know that, since they are not subject to FOI requests.

sharonapple88 said...

Apparently, there are thousands of qualified scientists who are backing the IPCC. Have someone who hasn't come off as some hair-triggered ideologue assume the roll of Chairman.

Anyone who stepped in as the chairman would be accused of being an ideologue. Anything anyone does would come into scrutiny. The soap opera distracts from the science, which makes you wonder if this is how denialists would like to play this out. As it's been noted in the past, the PR move developed by coal companies is to attack the motives of others. It says a lot considering that they avoid the science.

Ian Forrester said...

R. G. Harvie said:

"Understandable, perhaps, but as I've said before, very damaging to those who look to science for objective analysis and not political advocacy".

Mmmm, you would rather have people with no understanding of the science or who are deliberately distorting it making the decisions?

That is just absolutely stupid and will lead to disaster.

Ti-Guy said...

Speaking of conflicts of interest.

Right wing ethics are like impressionist paintings. From a distance, they evoke wondrous and important things but up close, they're a big old mess.

R. G. Harvie said...

Ian.. not at all. I wouldn't presume that anyone outside of the IPCC should be named chairman. Just someone who has the qualifications to be respected, but without any overt attempt to go beyond reporting the science to become an "advocate" of policy change.

In other words.. "Here is the science, which suggests this. What you do with that is up to you." Period. Full stop.

And in fairness to my complaints about Pachauri, he hit the nail on the head regarding the problem of mixing science and policy from the same source.

Recall Mark Fuhrmann at the O.J. Simpson trial. Most lawyers watching that new full well that the evidence supported a conviction, however, when the guy in charge of the evidence portrays as a zealot, well, it raises doubts.

For those on the fence, it's easier to have a scientist state the evidence and the conclusions drawn - and then leave it at that.

Going beyond that, and suggesting policy and becoming politicized simply creates suspicion and doubt.

And yes - I know most people here will say, "The only people who have doubt are intentionally stupid and putting their head in the sand."

But it's that group that needs to be won over. And the effort requires skill - something beyond calling them "deniers".

Honestly - the most pointless use of language in this whole discussion is to call someone a "denier". The description itself just affirms the closed mind of the utterer - which is actually pretty ironic when you think about it.

"I know I'm right, and so I don't even want to explain it."

Really?

Ian Forrester said...

R.G, Harvie I hope that you are not in a position to make critical decisions. I hate deniers with a passion since they are dishonest and honesty is the keystone to proper scientific behaviour.

Get over it, you are a denier.

Ti-Guy said...

R.G, Harvie I hope that you are not in a position to make critical decisions.

He's a lawyer. A member of the only profession where it is an ethical (not to mention legal) requirement to be economical with the truth.

R. G. Harvie said...

I hate deniers with a passion since they are dishonest and honesty is the keystone to proper scientific behaviour.

*sigh*.. you poor, poor man.

I'm thinking that, oh, Stephen Harper and his crew are "in positions of responsibility my friend.. so keep on with the insults and see how "convinced" they become.

Beyond that - you may recall the basting that Stephane Dion took over the "Green Shift" plan.. and that was before the bunch of assinine errors made which created so much more fodder for those who are not "true believers".

What's your plan to save the world, Ian? Sitting behind your computer, embittered because there are so many that aren't getting on board. Worse, rather than making effort to engage them, you'll just insult them.

You don't get it.

The great failing of the progressive zealot - "I'm right and I don't even have to discuss it with those who don't already appreciate my brilliance."

Oh.

And I'm not a "denier" by the way, though I find I seem to find them less arrogant and offensive that many in the "believer" camp.

Have a nice day.

Ian Forrester said...

R. G. Harvie has the arrogance to even deny being a denier.

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