The London Times continues to follow the glaciergate story–and it keeps getting worse.
The latest disclosure: Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN’s (formerly) prestigious Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (known as the IPCC), may have raised millions of dollars for his New Delhi institute on the basis of the totally bogus ‘glaciergate’ claim by the IPCC that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035.
According the the London Times, Pachauri’s institute got money from the European Union and the US-based Carnegie Corporation to investigate a prediction that never had any scientific backing whatever, and one which all serious glacier scientists instantly recognized as impossible. The bogus claim was frequently repeated in the fundraising efforts — and reiterated as recently as January 15 when the IPCC was already under intense pressure to admit it had blundered.
This is now more than an example of eye-popping incompetence and gross neglect of elementary scientific standards by a body on whose authority the world is expected to make multi-trillion dollar decisions affecting every business and every person on the planet.
It is now, potentially, a criminal issue. If Pachauri knew the claim was bogus and allowed these grant applications to go forward, he could find himself facing criminal charges.
But at the least his immediate resignation is required. It was one thing to publish a false prediction in a long report–grossly incompetent and negligent, yes, but it was a long report and it was only one prediction. An honorable person would at least offer to step down in such a situation; it might, however, be survivable for a bureaucratic street-fighter with little sense of shame.
That is no longer the case. Before allowing this claim to be used for fundraising and, potentially, to be the centerpiece of a massive research effort, Pachauri had an inescapable obligation to investigate and verify the science behind the claim. This he clearly failed to do; no reputable foundation or government can now fund any organization he heads.
Environmentalists should be the first to call for Pachauri’s resignation. Those who truly believe that the world is in imminent peril and that a concerted effort is vital to save the planet from human caused climate change should be all over this story, demanding a full and thorough investigation of IPCC incompetence and possible criminality. This is the only way that the serious scientists and thoughtful reformers who make up the overwhelming core of the climate change community can recapture the high ground and regain the public trust.
Meanwhile, the Indian press is also reporting increased scrutiny of possible conflict of interest charges surrounding Pachauri.
According to the Times, a groundswell is rising in India demanding that Pachauri step down. Al Gore needs to be leading this charge in the US. Where is he, and why is he silent?