Rahmstorf has also read Rajendra Pachauri’s novel, which The Times calls a raunchy environmentalnovel and states:
For a country where sex is rarely discussed in public the book mingles lectures on climate change with descriptions of Sanjay’s sexual encounters, including frequent references to “voluptuous breasts”.
After I have read it, I find this a bizarre summary of the novel, apparently aimed to discredit Pachauri.
There is not a single “lecture on climate change” in the whole book – the theme is only mentioned in passing in about five sentences, e.g. when the hero visits the Himalayas and refers to the shrinking Gangotri glacier.
The novel is in fact neither “environmental” nor “raunchy”. To the contrary: the novel’s hero Sanjay Nath, whose life story is told, lives in complete celibacy for most of his life. At first as a student in India that’s against his will (his love to a student from Calcutta is unrequited). Then, as a postdoc in the US he sleeps with a woman for the first time, a stranger in a motel (on page 211 of the novel), an experience which makes him decide to live in celibacy for the next five years, which in fact he does for over twenty years. Only in his late forties does he meet the woman of his life and very quickly decides to marry her – but during the preparations of the wedding she tragically dies from cancer. The handful of love scenes in the book is in fact described just in a few sentences and wouldn’t even get a 15-year-old boy excited.
Perhaps the Sunday Times mixed up Pachauri’s book with Ian McEwans new novel “Solar”? That does in fact include a full lecture on climate change (and a good one, too) as well as some far more explicit sex than Pachauri’s “Return to Almora”. (Which, in fact, to western audiences could be much more easily ridiculed not for its sex scenes but for its central theme of reincarnation.)