For the past several years, Rajendra Kumar Pachauri had a trailblazing career — globetrotting NGO leader, chairman of the Nobel prize-wining inter-governmental panel on climate change (IPCC), and to many, the face of the world’s effort to check global warming.
But it seems the tide is turning against Pachauri. From his lifestyle to academic credentials, the funding of the institute that he heads to conflict of interest, the floodgates have opened up on him.
The latest, and what could be most damaging, are revelations that the UN-led body he heads had raised a false alarm that Himalayan glaciers would vanish by 2035.
Proved wrong and under attack from all sides, the IPCC now says that it would go through the recent findings and then decide if they should take back their report on Himalayan glaciers.
“We are looking at the issue and will be in a better position to comment on the report after examining all facts,” Pachauri told reporters, adding that the IPCC was not changing its stand till the scientific team makes all assessments on the issue. While defending his stand, Pachauri said glaciers were shrinking and there was no denying that.
This is not the first time that the IPCC has come under attack in recent times. It came under attack from critics over hacked email exchanges between scientists that reflected attempts to skew evidence for global warming.
The controversy, dubbed ‘Climategate’, started last month when
emails from scientists of Britain’s University of East Anglia, a well-known centre for climate research, were systematically hacked and leaked. Critics have claimed this as evidence that figures were inflated to dramatise global warming.