A couple of weeks ago, I wrote how the Australian had misrepresented Rajendra Pachauri (IPCC head), falsely claiming that he supported the Australian government’s policy of delay. Media Watch has the latest developments. Pachauri wrote to the Australian:
I am writing to convey my deep disappointment at the news report in your newspaper of August 9 with the headline, “Climate expert backs Canberra”. Nothing that I said in my telephone interview with Mr Matthew Warren implied or even remotely conveyed that I supported or opposed the Australian Government’s policies on climate change.
I am surprised that a very general opinion that I expressed without reference to any country was twisted around to create the impression that I supported the current government’s stance on climate change. That was a total distortion of my comments. I would not put myself in the position of passing judgement on the policies of any sovereign government. The public and voters of Australia will do so in the coming months, as indeed they must.
I merely stated the obvious that in a democracy action on mitigation and adaptation to climate change must necessarily follow analysis and public debate at a serious level. What I said about “macroeconomic effects” was in response to a question from Mr Warren, whereby I stated the obvious that naturally economic implications have to be part of the analysis of options. He conveniently omitted what I said about the low cost of action even for a stringent level of mitigation as brought out in the report of Working Group 3 of the IPCC. I also highlighted the co-benefits at the local level, such as higher energy security and health benefits from lower air pollution, etc.
The Australian did not print Pachauri’s letter. Instead, this weekend they repeated their misrepresentation:
… the head of the world’s leading climate change organisation, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, recently backed Canberra’s decision to defer setting a long-term target for reducing greenhouse emissions …
The initial story that the Australian published may have been an unintential error on their part, but refusing to print Pachauri’s correction and reprinting a story that they surely knew to be untrue, looks like a deliberate attempt to deceive.