Climate Gate – All the manipulations and lies revealed 294

From Dipankar Gupta in yesterday’s Indian Mail Today.  The writer is a well- known sociologist who is currently a Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.

And notice that his attack is from the point of a believer who feels utterly betrayed by Pachauri.

“The sloppiness of the IPCC has given science a bad name and set back efforts to control pollution

IT WAS a stupid act to follow but he did it again and again and again.”

Now Pachauri has taken that dream away.

It is easy to forgive a Greenpeacenik or an aging hippy; they often know not what they do. Pachauri is not that type. He sinned for he deliberately spoke for science and let it down.”

Hat tip

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/02/pachauris-law.html

The article here:

http://epaper.mailtoday.in/showstory.aspx?queryed=9&querypage=10&boxid=231142265&parentid=32992&eddate=Feb 10 2010 12:00AM&issuedate=1022010

                      Click on the picture and it gets bigger

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

By Pachauris law bad science drives out good

by Dipankar Gupta

The sloppiness of the IPCC has given science a bad name and set back efforts to control pollution

IT WAS a stupid act to follow but he did it again and again and again.

Rajendra Pachauri used WWF documents as scientific evidence, not once, but at least twice. It is the same WWF that outrageously labelled cotton a thirsty crop to slurp up corporate funds for its hare brained projects. When V. K. Rainas cautionary work pointed out the difference between melting glaciers and ice creams, Pachauri called it “ voodoo science”. He didnt stop there. The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report relied on the Wikipedia, student research papers, and, unbelievably, quoted an anti- smoking activist on the disappearing Amazon Forest.

This sloppiness has come dear. It has given industrial polluters and eco- unfriendly entrepreneurs just the opening they were looking for. Complain now about dead rivers with fish floating belly up, or the air that heaps junk in your lungs, and be prepared to be laughed out. If the IPCC Report had been a sex tape it couldnt have been much worse.

It is not just the climate, stupid, it is about keeping the environment the way we like it. We like birds to fly and not fall dead with pesticides, we like waters that sparkle a clear blue, we like to gulp in the air when the wind beats on our face. It was with these hopes of “ collateral benefits” ( to use our Prime Ministers phrase) that we went to Copenhagen. Now Pachauri has taken that dream away.

Truth

It is easy to forgive a Greenpeacenik or an aging hippy; they often know not what they do. Pachauri is not that type. He sinned for he deliberately spoke for science and let it down.

Science, like democracy, is a very delicate plant. Just as democracy can degenerate to majority rule, so can science masquerade as dogma, or magic. Science needs conscious cultivation and must rise above urges for power and pelf.

So when science is downgraded by populism, it undermines centuries of hard work: lonely, difficult, and against all odds.

In a real sense, scientists are subversive. They speak the truth and damn the expenses. Science has brought us unfathomable good: we live longer, we have more time for leisure and we dont have to cower with fear at thunder and lightning. Science also teaches us to respect nature, though some of its products have misused it.

But the ill effects of science can be fought by science alone, and not by political grandstanding.

Science has a glorious legacy that belongs to us, and it must be protected for all our sakes. This is why a used car dealer is less suspect than a man who hocks his mothers pearls? The glaciers will melt 300 years from now, the Maldives and Sunderbans may sink earlier, but what about today? The degradation of nature is vivid and palpable around us. The galloping rates of cancer and bronchial ailments clearly point to environmental factors.

Our senses tell us this more clearly than any smoking chart. In this one case, at least, the eyes and the nose are on the same side. Given the IPCC fiasco, it will be a long time before scientists will dare to step out in the sun to tell us the truth.

Sadly, certified scientists are out of the loop. In a recent BBC discussion with 2009 Nobel Laureates, none of the assembled scientists wanted to talk about climate change. Why? Because there was practically no science in what was being bandied about. It was just a bunch of “ grey material”— Palika Bazaar stuff, which should not be dignified as knowledge.

Professor Frederick Seitz, the former President of the United States National Academy of Sciences, said the same thing in a more formal setting, but nobody in the IPCC bothered to listen to him.

This might sound like blowing the bugle for the other side, but Pachauri, post- expose, could have taken a tip or two from responsible corporate behaviour. Very recently Toyota and Honda found they had produced defective cars. Did they complain about conspiracy or downplay the flaws? No! They recalled every single one of them and lost millions as a consequence. Much earlier when it was discovered that Tylenol bottles were not tamper- proof, its manufacturers swooshed every single Tylenol container off the shelves.

On the other hand, to get an admission from Pachauri is like dragging a pet to the vet. When confronted with the errors, he shifted the blame to his researchers and to the probability theory that with so many facts, its alright to go wrong on a couple. When the US climate chief stepped into the ring to save Pachauri he added weight without clout. Like a crass wrestling match, nothing is believable any more.

Subversion

It has also given climate skeptics hooting rights.

Their claim that science has been hijacked by “ warmists”— the 21st century, speaking in tongues of doomsayers, is suddenly ringing true. Before long even George Bushs denigration of global warming will be read out in class rooms. His refusal to sign the Kyoto pact would be held up as an act of a sagacious statesman.

Interestingly enough, the most voluble of Pachauris critiques are actually his mirror images. For example, Viscount Monckton who delivered the much publicised open letter to Pachauri, minutes before the Copenhagen conference, shares many of Pachauris characteristics, which he actually sniggers at. Pachauri is no climate scientist, he is a Railway Engineer with a Ph. D in Economics. But then neither is Monckton. He has a degree in classics, and in his better days did journalism and Thatcherite politics.

So if Pachauri should be sent back to play with his choo- choo train, Monckton should be singing lullabies to children. Or take the flamboyant, and all too young, Bjorn Lomborg. He is the ultimate “ cool dude”. He actually believes that temperatures are going down and that the Kyoto protocol was hot air. And, yes, he is not a scientist either but teaches in Copenhagen Business School.

Did Pachauri make a fast buck on the side with corporates eating out of his hand? Did Tata use his offices to cash in billion of EU carbon credits by moving Corus Steel from Redcar to Orissa? Was Tatas push for bio- energy and TERIs project on Jatropha a mere coincidence? Could Pachauris court deposition favouring construction on the dry Yamuna bed help the Tatas, who also produce earthquake proof building material?

Ice

None of these charges really matters to most of us. What a man puts in his pocket is between him and the law, or even his conscience.

What really matters is the emergence of Pachauris Law. It says “ good science drives out bad science with the speed of melting ice cream.” If newspaper reports are to be taken seriously then Pachauri is also turning out to be a half flasher. He opens his jacket to reveal a downmarket label. This act of humility is to still gossip that he wears Armani suits with corporate earnings.

This is also an aspect that gets a lot of reporters salivating and gossip mills churning. The real issue lies elsewhere.

Can any scientist now dare to speak of social good as long as the memories of Pachauri linger? Are we doomed to live in increasingly polluted conditions because the coolists have triumphed and more nightmares are on their way? Any hope of rapid translation of science to policy must wait till IPCCs bloomer is history. And that might be a long wait.

Will the real scientists please come out? They need to break the ice before it melts away.

The writer is a well- known sociologist who is currently a Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library

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