IPCC agrees on Acting Chair after R.K. Pachauri steps down said the IPCC press on the 25th. That PR is not merely coy but completely silent as to the reasons why he stepped down; coy but uninformative is the letter he sent to Bankymoon on the 24th which shyly refers to "the current circumstances" without specifying them, and announces that he has "taken the decision to step down", which is what you say when you're forced to resign but don't have the courage to say "resign" (note also the somewhat wacky religion-and-dharma stuff, which has no place there, confirming that he was right to go, were confirmation needed; note also that the letter says that he had intended to "resign" in November 2014, but I don't know whether to believe that or not). If you want to know what they're being so coy about you can read IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri resigns: High profile head of the UN’s climate science panel steps down and denies charges of sexually harassing a 29-year-old female researcher from the Graun, or doubtless many more salacious versions elsewhere.
Before I launch into my major theme, I'd like to note how little RKP there is at www.ipcc.ch. Google "site:www.ipcc.ch Rajendra Pachauri" and you come up with almost nothing. There's a bio of him at the IPCC site; a few speeches, but really very little. If you go to organisation or structure he's not there, except that it notes, with no name, the existence of the role "Chair". And that's right, because the Chair doesn't actually do very much that's visible.
RKP wasn't a successful head of the IPCC. Its not that he did anything particularly wrong (as head of the IPCC; I make no comment on the sexual allegations, against which his defence appears to be that someone hacked his email account and faked the messages; not especially plausible); and remember that the silly stuff about Himalayan glaciers was regrettable but trivia, as well as being misremembered by those who try to dredge it up. The problem was that he failed to address any of my concerns about the direction that the IPCC should take. Those were written waay back in 2010, so he has no excuse:
And I was by no means alone in these opinions. But I think he had no taste for any such reform, and perhaps not even any interest in it. Ter be 'onest wiv yer guv, I didn't bother try to find out what he was like. And so the rather regrettable tendency of the IPCC (like any organisation that survives) to turn into a lumbering bureaucracy didn't receive any useful attention from RKP.
But he was clearly a creation of Bush1; which needs to be remembered, lest anyone feel themselves trapped or pressured into defending RKP. He was deliberately appointed by Bush to be an unsuccessful Chair (replacing the respected Robert Watson who, unlike RKP, had essentially organically grown into the role) and that particular piece of idiot cunning succeeded as it inevitably had to: the US wanted him, the Commies get the vice-chair, the Chinks were a bit out of the loop then, the Third World and India were ineviably in favour of this tit-bit being unexpectedly thrown their way, and presumably the Europeans just negotiated and were ignored as usual. So, a shoe-in. Bush won two ways: the IPCC was weakened, and the US respected it less, even though RKP was their creation.
Did I miss anything?
[Update] Who's next?
As IPCC chair exits, focus moves to who comes next - ScienceInsider: Among the already declared candidates for the job are Swiss climate scientist Thomas Stocker of the University of Bern and Belgian researcher Jean-Pascal van Ypersele of the Catholic University of Louvain. As you'd expect, RKP's departure is rather skated over in favour of who will be next. Any new chair will take over IPCC as it considers whether to change its traditional operating style, which involves churning out massive reports written by hundreds of scientists every few years. Some have called for moving to a more nimble, less onerous process. Umm, yes, good point. I wonder if the candidates have expressed any opinions on this subject?
2. Google trends: the Big Fight: Soon vs RKP.
* Newsmaker of the year: Rajendra Pachauri - Published online 19 December 2007 | Nature 450, 1150-1155 (2007) | doi:10.1038/4501150a. Its fairly gushing, but when read correctly you can see all the faults.
* Junk Science Week 2015: Time for post-Pachauri reform at IPCC - Curry in Canada
Fair cop, William, but divorcing scientific competance from policy was 43's default position - I doubt Watson's succcessor figured in the calculus.
[I'm indulging in mind-reading, of course -W]
'Did I miss anything?'
RKP's robotic repetition in speech after speech from 2007 to 2013 of several attention-grabbing but controversial statements in AR4. (To do with glacial meltwater, crop yields and African drought.) He was either unaware that his favourite AR4 snippets were wobbly or he didn't give a shit. I reckon the former: that he was unaware, that he was an overpromoted apparatchik who didn''t know his brief very well.
IMHO, we need a westerner, that has rather gigantic balls, to get in there and do some real work, for once.
But, I have absolutely no idea who might be on either the short or long lists. Suggestions?
Hopefully, with Obama, the USA will play a much better role this time. Good write up.
If I can remember this silly name past today I've bequeathed myself. Perhaps I'll be "Russ." But anyhow, today reminded me I needed to ask someone, and who better? Is "Brit" considered a slur by anyone who is actually British? I never thought so; in fact the idea would never have crossed my mind, but I was thinking, well it's the stuff I DON'T know that gets me in trouble.
["Brit"? I think not a slur. Somewhat informal. I find it hard to imagine a circumstance in which I'd welcome someone calling me that -W]
IIRC Pachauri had said that he planned to step down with the completion of the AR5. I suspect he junked that idea once it started becoming clear what a big year 2015 would be for climate policy.
Hmm, not going to explain the Pachi joke? Don't make me make it resign again.
It's 2015, Connolley. I have no reason to think you're a racist, but I advise you to reconsider your use of that word.
[See here -W]
PC is not the IPCC's problem, long-nosed gwailu ghost barbarian?
One advantage of having a figurehead is that it gives the monkeys someone to throw their debris at, a task which few would be willing to do, given the invective and nonsense that was directed at him. In that sense, The Chairman served a purpose and showed some courage at times.
I suppose it comes down to who does the talking and how seriously the talk is treated. For politicos, having a scientist more charismatic, competent or determined than them, with integrity, is very dangerous.
Which begs the question, who would be crazy enough to take the job on these days...
Oh, and I'm with Tom, William - that's a term which can offend, regardless of intent. Sense of humour aside, such terms can make a reader feel uncomfortable.
Monkeys, Chinks, Commies, Brits... Which label is worst?
So hard to tell nowadays.
On balance, it's probably 'monkeys', though.
William, I'd forgotten this:
But he was clearly a creation of Bush1; which needs to be remembered, lest anyone feel themselves trapped or pressured into defending RKP.
Nice trivia, but surely not strictly necessary. Nobody in a debate about science would feel obliged to defend the head of a scientific superbody insincerely, let alone feel relieved of that obligation just because of a purely partisan-political historical tidbit, would they?
Sure, the average denier might be that mala-fide, but surely acceptors of science are more honest than that!! You don't really have such a low opinion of us,
[Who is "us" in the context? I've no idea who you are, or what group you think you're part of -W]
William, I hope?
He was deliberately appointed by Bush to be an unsuccessful Chair ... and that particular piece of idiot cunning succeeded as it inevitably had to:
I assume "inevitably" is gentle irony. Weird, I'd say. Weird, isn't it, how history's dumbest President could get one over on 2,500 of the world's 2500 leading scientists. And not only did they accept Bush's nomination...they liked Pachauri so much they voted to keep him on after his term expired! Truly, these sequences of events would have to be considered one of history's deeper paradoxes, oxymorons, "smart morons," or (as you put it)idiot cunning outbreaks, wouldn't they?
[You don't seem to understand the process. The 2,500 scientists don't appoint the Chair, or "approve" him, or "keep him on" -W]
I'm on the science-accepting, pro-science "side."
(Sorry if that implicature got lost in my oblique writing style... it tends to do that!)
[Ah. Then I'm not really sure what your question was. If its about the science, then you're on the wrong post, because this is about politics. And, in the case of the IPCC, how its largely irrelevant to the science -W]
No, I don't seem to understand the process. You're quite right.
Do the 2,500 scientists "approve" anything the IPCC does, at all? Are there 2,500 scientists? Or was that just one of Bushchauri's flights of fancy when he wasn't too busy allegedly fondling interns?
I'm forced to question everything now....If a Nobel Laureate really acted the way Pachauri's accused of... where does this leave Yasser Arafat? Al Gore? Rigoberta Menchu? Could they all be big phonies?
[There are a certain number of scientists. 2,500 is not an implausible number. But they don't get to approve the Chair of the IPCC, any more than the thousands who publish in Nature get to approve the Editor-in-Chief -W]
Monkeys, Chinks, Commies, Brits, deniers, gwailo… Which label is worst? Best? Second-best?
Which ones matter, and which ones are morally victimless (e.g. by virtue of the nonhuman status of their referent)?
[Are you sure ;-? -W]
Maybe you know this, but Brad Keyes runs a blog called Climate Nuremberg and regards himself as something of a satirist. That, however, is nothing like the word I would use to describe him.
[Ah. That was somewhat instructive -W]
[Redacted - behave or go away -W],
thanks for spoonfeeding us all. It's the thought that counts, I guess.
Still, I daresay William is capable of working that out the traditional way (by reading my comments). Not everyone is still stuck on the controversial question: Live from Golgafrincham—serious or pisstake? LOL
We're not all irony-blind, in other words. Not mentioning any names of course, [Redacted -W]. :-)
When BushCo were lobbying to oust Watson and put Pachauri in his place, they were also trying to undermine climate science, not least by censoring the EPA's first report.
If anything Pachauri seems to have turned out less innefective than they had hoped.
While the allegations of sexual misconduct may well be untrue, they're unsurprising for readers of "Return to Almora", :achauri's 2010 romance novel about the spiritual and sexual past of a retired bureaucrat, once an engineering student.
I'm sure William would have worked it out soon enough. I was simply trying to help him avoid wasting too much of his time. I must admit that I am slightly regretting preventing William from posting his comment on my blog. It would seem hypocritical to post something similar here if I didn't allow the same on my blog. You probably get the message though :D
[Ah, go on, let yourself rip, you know you'll regret it :-) -W]
This is NOT a dog whistle ... Poptech ... Richard Tol ... Willard Anthony Watts ... Brad Keyes ... want to know who you are ... honestly ... they would never ... engage ... in ... attacking the messenger.
I am NOT speaking for me, myself and I.
With Tom on the use of Chinks
[Spammed, with apologies to ATTP for being slow -W]
[Please note that follow-ups to spammed comments should be posted over there -W]
how does 'Return to Almora' make the charges any less surprising?
I haven't read it, but from what I hear the protagonist Sanjay Nath is guilty of little more than refractory horniness—which is not the same thing (by a long shot) as crossing the workplace-safety line by groping and stalking employees.
"...remember that the silly stuff about Himalayan glaciers was regrettable but trivia, as well as being misremembered by those who try to dredge it up..."
Oh, was it?
Here, let me refresh your memory:
[The idea of finding the real story from the GWPF is laughable. As ever, you're better off reading wiki: Criticism of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report#Projected_date_of_melting_of_Himalayan_glaciers -W]
[Late update: I've now read the thing; well, I got as far as the second blatant lie, and then stopped. I was right the first time: its not worth reading -W]
The real story was, though Pachauri had no hand in the WWF text that propogated the 2035 message, his organization stood to gain a $500000 grant to study Himalayan glacier melting, on the basis of the 2035 figure in the IPCC report.
It was not 'trivia'
[Ooooh yes it was. You just have so little. Its rather similar to the way you're so desperate to hang on to Soon -W]
It is a Telegraph article, from Christopher Booker.
[And that somehow makes it better? Come on -W]
Booker and North broke the story on the connection between Pachauri's shrill defense of the 2035 error
[You're making things up again. RKP didn't defend the error -W]
and his organization. The Telegraph has gone behind a paywall, the GWPF reproduces the article. Wikipedia is not a primary source.
[Indeed, wiki isn't. Nor does it intend to be. So why throw in the strawman? Presumably because you can't fault any of the article -W]
Hasnain stood to be the primary recipient of the grant to TERI, as the head of its Glaciology Team, having been the originator of the 2035 claim himself.
That's like you quoting Wikipedia articles as source.
[You're coming across as stupid. I can imagine this sort of unthinking wows the crowds at WUWT but... I don't get it. I point you at wiki for (true) information and you raise as a strawman that its not a primary source, you (falsely) imply that Booker / Torygraph can be relied on for truth. Its weird. Do you get out much? -W]
Your fisking is failing. You first claimed the source was the GWPF.
[You pointed me to a GWPF url. What do you think I'd assume? I didn't read it, obviously -W]
Then you complained the source was Booker.
[No, I didn't complain that the source was Booker. I've no idea what the source is, since I haven't read it, and have only your word, which I don't trust. I implied that Booker isn't a reliable source for anything climate related; which is true -W]
The point is the 2035 error and its connection to Pachauri is far from 'trivia'. It doesn't matter that the connections were shown by people you don't like.
The problem of the IPCC not having procedures in place to handle errors and issue corrections was compounded by Pachauri's vehement refusal to accept that the 2035 figure was indeed an error.
[Like I say: you made that up -W]
This refusal could have been a direct consequence of his own organization having gained substantive funds on the basis of the 2035 claim. You forgot this connection.
"The real story was, though Pachauri had no hand in the WWF text that propogated the 2035 message, his organization stood to gain a $500000 grant to study Himalayan glacier melting, on the basis of the 2035 figure in the IPCC report."
Oddly enough Himalayan glacier melt is considered to be a very serious problem even unto the present. Lots of people are studying it. Did you have some point to make?
Not to excuse propogators (sic), indeed to derogate them further if anything, but it's amusing to note that the original error turning 2350 into 2035 was made by.. (drumroll)... Fred Pearce, who later became the go-to reporter on the IPCC scandals of the time. Oddly enough that information never made it into any of his articles.
The atmospheric temperature profile changes (lapse rate) by about 5 C°/km (2.7 F°/1,000 ft). Until 2035, we will have maximally 1°C temperature increase. That would raise the zero degree level by about 200 m. (All number are selected to find the upper limit of the change.) The Himalayas are a bit higher.
I do not know anything about Glaciers, but I would have immediately seen that glaciers disappearing in 2035 is wrong. A clear typo. And also politically not necessary, the problem is important enough as it is. Plus such a stupid typo makes your research proposal weaker and thus less likely to be funded.
[I agree. You can't even begin to believe it, if you're sane (unless you rephrase it as all low-lying glaciers, or some such, in which case its become undefined and hence meaningless). The process by which it came to be written in the first place is pretty odd, though. Its really very shoddy work, probably because the Indians got to write it because it was about "their" glaciers, even though the people writing it were clearly clueless. See-also my http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2010/02/05/anatomy-of-ipccs-mistake-on-hi/ which points to http://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2010/02/anatomy-of-ipccs-himalaya… Another factoid is the widely quoted claims were in print for nearly three years - during which time absolutely no-one even read it. Well, it was WG II stuff, its not there to be read. And, of course, the errors were spotted before publication of the report.
[Update: FWIW, the claim wasn't "disappear" by 2035: see below for full quote -W]
Oh, my. What a mess. As a latecomer to the climate "debate" party I seem to have missed a lot of fun.
If that display of incompetence is a sign of a conspiracy, then it is not a very good one. :)
Steve (Bloom), your research is just as bad as Connolley's, who admits he didn't read the links posted and then claims Pachauri never refused to accept the IPCC might be in error.
Pachauri's intemperate 'voodoo science' and 'grey literature' remarks were mocked by the then Indian environment minister Jairam Ramesh, when it was shown the IPCC was indeed in error.
The 2350 'error' was not made by poor Fred Pearce (who was the source for the cited WWF report), but by the authors of the chapter, who copied text by whatever means, from the Indian environmental magazine 'Down to Earth'. 'Down to Earth' made the original mistake of mistyping a glaciologist's figure, but in a different paragraph. It was the IPCC who simply lifted the text and joined the two claims together changing both figures to 2035 to reconcile.
Contrary to what you might think, Venema, the US government and popular climate consensus bloggers, like Eli Rabett, found the 2035 figure quite useful. AR4 WGII was organized by continent - they had a useful factoid lined up from every country/region of the world. And contrary to what you might imagine - the IPCC was extremely resistant to admitting its mistake, taking a good hit to its reputation. The reluctance might have had something to do with the conflicted position of its chair, who had a stake.
[I still think you're just making things up. You provide no kind of evidence for your assertion -W]
Funny you would call the Chinese Chinks, push Pachauri under the bus, and the Indians under, for writing in the 2035 figure into the report. It was useful in environmental and climate negotiation circles, it was in more than one place in the IPCC reports. The problem was not the inferior intelligence of the people writing the report, but the IPCC itself, as an organization, being compromised by infiltration by green groups pushing their literature into the report text - with the Himalayan glaciers, the Amazon forest, the African crop yields, and so forth.
[it was in more than one place in the IPCC reports. Dubious. Google says otherwise:
Please provide evidence for your assertion, or withdraw it -W]
"The IPCC will hold its leadership election in October. Candidates include van Ypersele and Thomas Stocker, a climate scientist at the University of Bern in Switzerland who led the working group that wrote the climate science portion of the report during the most recent assessment. Field, an ecologist at the Carnegie Institution in Stanford, California, says he is likely to run as well."
"Members of the IPCC" are States, which are Members of the World Meteorological Organization and/or the United Nation ....
You said to Shub:
[You’re making things up again. RKP didn’t defend the error -W]
[Redacted -W], Pachauri bombastically slandered
[Snip. I've already made it quite plain that I think Shub is making things up. You simply repeating those things is of no interest or value. If you want to come back with actual genuine references that demonstrate your assertion, then please do. And while I'm here - we're not on first name terms. If you force me to the tedium of redacting your , I'll likely spam you instead -W]
Field now has been nominated by the US government. He'll get the nod.
You're right about Pachauri being less connected than might be expected. In my experience over both AR4 and AR5, he didn't have much (if anything) to do with the preparation of the Working Group reports - he'd come to the 3-4 day Lead Author meetings for a few hours, mainly to give a 'high-level' presentation. I think his main role was to lead the production of the Synthesis Report. I don't know whether Bob Watson did it any differently before him. Jean-Pascale van Ypersele is saying that he'd commit full time to the role of Chair if he gets it.
[That's interesting to hear. It wasn't quite my drift though: what I meant was more around his appointment (and may, to be honest, be false- or invented- memory syndrome). RW had done it before, and had been there "naturally" - I presume someone appointed him, but in those days things were simpler and less controversial. Whereas RKP wasn't there naturally - he was forced in, as someone's political appointee -W]
It may be better to have an IPCC chair from outside of the USA, so that the chair cannot be harassed by Republican politicians .
WC, the 2035 error is in the AR4 WGII Technical summary, and the main WGII report. In fact, the IPCC acknowledged only the technical summary error directly in a press release. Google failed you.
[Ah, you're right: Errata If current warming rates are maintained, Himalayan glaciers could decay at very rapid rates, shrinking from the present 500,000 km2 to 100,000 km2 by the 2030s. ** D [10.6.2]. However, that's just the summary of the text, so unexciting and not an independent repeat -W]
The 2035 errors were pointed out well in advance.
[Yes, I know. I already said that. This is going to be a dull conversation if you keep repeating things I've already said as though they were exciting novelties -W]
Some of the messages were sent directly to RK Pachauri. These are the people who alerted the IPCC/Pachauri
Pachauri et al's response level to each of these: 'he's a WG1 author', ignore, 'didn't get his email', 'voodoo science', schoolboy science, etc etc.
"It may be better to have an IPCC chair from outside of the USA, so that the chair cannot be harassed by Republican politicians ."
The POTUS already made his choice, that's an Executive Branch decision NOT the Legislative Branch. Whomever is elected will be "harassed by Republican politicians" regardless (ultimately, it's not about the chair of the IPCC (except in the ad hominem sense) but the very existence of the IPCC itself).
As to who 'should' be the next chair, I ultimately don't care, just as long as they are hard working, 100% devoted to improving and strengthening the IPCC statements on climate change and happen to be a 'so called' real climate scientist.
Heck, I'd take someone from Africa per my criteria above.
And while I’m here – we’re not on first name terms.
Huh? Yes we are. (What else were you hoping I'd call you??) You can call me Brad. If you choose not to, that's your [socially awkward] choice.
Re Field, I'd give good odds that a deal was cut with the Chinese and possibly others before the nomination was made. It wouldn't have been made at all if the outcome weren't certain. I suspect Holdren was behind this, maybe Podesta too.
Harassment by Republican politicians is a reason for rather against having an American as chair. Field will automatically gain a huge media profile here, which is a very good thing.
WC, noticed your reply to Brad above. My first link provided in this page contained the information you needed - information that shows the Pachauri-2035 error is no mere 'trivia', even though he had no hand in the genesis of the mistake. You have dragged your feet and claimed others have lied on the basis of your inability to read.
[I finally got round to reading the Booker piece; or rather, as I said above, I stopped after the first few obvious lies. So no: that's not usable as a source for anything -W]
Here is a synthesis of the information, this time from a source you must find irresistible given present-day events: Roger Pielke Jr.
[No; RP Jr isn't an unimpeachable source. I have a long history of disagreeing with RP (Jr and Sr) on their interpretations of various events; see for example here. RP has a regular line in over-interpretion. In this case, RP Jr sources his information to http://eureferendum.blogspot.co.uk/, and even he must realise that's not a reliable source. But, we can just read what RP has to say: In 2007 the IPCC issues its Fourth Assessment Report which contains the false claim that the Himalayan glaciers are expected to disappear by 2035. Which, as we know, is wrong -W]
Excerpt: If the above facts and time line is correct ... then what we have here is a classic and unambiguous case of financial conflict of interest.
To be further clear, I agree that the position of the IPCC Chair is largely ceremonial, though it appears a candidate who can work with a wide range of countries can perform critical tasks at times, in helping the UNFCCC. Pachauri certainly performed in that role, contrary to what you might say today. By the same token, an American citizen as appointee would face suspicion, and may not actually work.
You are not the only one who's overlooked the Pachauri glacier connection. Betts was surprised today as well. In the frenzy of defending the IPCC/climate from multiple attacks during the Climategate period (when these details came out), certain inconveniences like this were overlooked by scientists even though they were widely reported at the time.
Keyes, I think Dr. Connolley is generally preferred in these circumstances.
Shub, as has been pointed out to you, the Himalayan glaciers have major problems and are getting lots of attention. Even if the 2035 reference was in a TERI grant application, and to know that I'd want to see the proposal itself, that says nothing about whether the grant hinged on the claim.
But do start with the proposal. I'll await the link patiently.
I see Richard asked you for the same thing and you failed to come through.
If the 2035 reference was in a TERI grant application, that would have made the application a lot, a lot weaker. Every reviewer, even those without expertise with glaciers, could have noticed that mistake.
Given the low acceptance rates, even very good proposals are regularly rejected. Any small blemish is a welcome reason to have an argument to reject a research proposal.
I find it hard to believe that no reviewer would notice such a mistake. Thus if that year was mentioned and the proposal was accepted, I would see that as sign of corruption.
[Dr. Connolley, I posted a comment earlier today and it disappeared, don't know if it was spammed, if you can't find it, do you mind if I try to post it again? (no sign of it I'm afraid. Post again... -W)]
So, I did a little digging and found this on The Telegraph website dated 10:09AM BST 21 Aug 2010:
"Dr Pachauri - Apology
On 20 December 2009 we published an article about Dr Pachauri and his business interests. It was not intended to suggest that Dr Pachauri was corrupt or abusing his position as head of the IPCC and we accept KPMG found Dr Pachauri had not made "millions of dollars" in recent years. We apologise to Dr Pachauri for any embarrassment caused."
So, it would appear that The Telegraph had (past tense) an article on there website/parer, but I am currently unable to find it directly on The Telegraph's website (possibly removed by The Telegraph due to said apology above).
However, another website posted a portion of said article on that same date referring to "The Telegraph" article:
Further, if you dig a bit deeper, you will find what appears to be a verbatim copy of said Telegraph article by Christopher Booker and Richard North dated December 20, 2009 at Heartland:
(note all quotes in the 2nd link appear in the above link)
So, it would appear that Booker has been totally discredited by his own newspaper. Except for the fact that Booker has written like dozens of BS articles on Pachauri since/before the 20 December 2009. Reliable source my A$$.
[Seems to fit the usual pattern. Spam out junk for the denialists, which they'll happily keep repeating as gospel even after you've been forced to take it down -W]
Forgot to provide link to The Telegraph 'Apology' sorry about that:
And while I’m here – we’re not on first name terms.
Huh? Yes we are. (What else were you hoping I’d call you??) You can call me Brad. If you choose not to, that’s your [socially awkward] choice.
I dub thee "Keyester"!