The New York Times has waded back into the IPCC debate today, with a piece about Rajendra K. Pachauri that can be effectively summed up as ?we?re not saying he did anything wrong, we?re just saying.?
One thing the article gets right: there have been an series of attacks on the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that started after the release of the Climatic Research Unit emails and then moved on to the incorrect claim about the rate at which Himalayan glaciers are melting.
Now Pachauri is being targeted for doing some consulting work on the side, for which he personally receives no remuneration. Pachauri’s critics themselves are a predictable group, notable only for their consistent desire to discredit anthropogenic global warming.
-?????? Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., who is just to the right of Oklahoma?s James Inhofe on climate science.
-?????? Lord Monckton, who branded a group of US Youth delegates to the Copenhagen climate summit the ?Hitler Youth.?
-?????? ?the Sunday Telegraph, that employer of fine climate journalists such as James Delingpole, who decided that the mere existence of the CRU emails was Ipso Facto proof that climate change is a crock.
Reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal doesn?t want to discredit her own source but isn?t this sort of like asking Jennifer Aniston for her assessment of Angelina Jolie?s career?
Pachauri, if anything, comes across as humble (this man made a $49,000 salary last year? That?s it!) and desperate enough to prove his innocence that he provided his tax returns to The Times and addressed every single claim against him.
The only reasonable critic in this is Dr. Roger A. Pielke, Jr., who often makes good points about scientific integrity and is correct to say that the IPCC should have a conflict policy.
But would such a policy preclude Pachauri from doing consulting that benefits his nonprofit Energy and Resources Institute and the charity Lighting a Billion Lives? Almost certainly not.
As Hal Harvey of Climate Works notes, government panels in the U.S. tolerate conflicts of interest as long as they’re disclosed.
So what?s the problem here?