There’s a PR war going on
Pachauri is chief PR officer for the Global-not-so-Warming-Gravy-Train. His job is to say things with a straight face that are the complete opposite of what he’s said before, and to pretend he has never said anything differently.
The IPCC are a government committee who’ve stamped the brand name “science” to their policy wish list. They got away with it by using ancient tribal rhetorical techniques. Call your opponent names, spit on their reputation, spread nasty rumors, and tell the useful idiots who follow you that they are smart, caring, and superior — even as you teach them to chant “denier” in response to the dog-whistle. The good thing about having Idiot followers is that can believe at the same time that “denier” is a scientific term and that they have a high IQ.
It is also handy if you give out plum government jobs and consultancies, to keep your supporters ardent. The power of patronage, what ho!
But the game is changing, skeptics have scored too many points.
Thus and verily skeptics have been hitting home runs by shining a light on the religious attitude of the IPCC which keeps declaring unscientifically that the science is settled.
Pachauri is hoping he can rewrite history and neutralize some of the damage. The Endless Junket must go on.
At this point in the PR-game Pachauri cannot admit the skeptics were right and the IPCC was wrong. His best option in the game is to pretend that the IPCC have always been saying the same points the skeptics are scoring runs with — thus making skeptics seem irrelevant and the points moot. The only drawback is the zombie truth comes back to bite.
Can’t we just pretend the IPCC predicted decades of global flatness?
In 1990 the IPCC told global policymakers that even if they stabilized emissions, the world would warm by at least 0.2C per decade for the next few decades. That was their “low estimate”. Emissions didn’t remotely stabilize, so the warming trend “should” have been even more than that (they thought 0.3C per decade, maybe up to 0.5C per decade). Instead it warmed less.
The pause became noticeable. The goalposts started shifting as the pause got longer. Nothing disproves a climate model (that’s a tautology, by the way).
In 2008 NOAA said that pauses of 15 years or more didn’t fit with climate simulations (so if it went longer, the models would be wrong). Likewise James Hansen was caught in ClimateGate saying that ‘no upward trend’ has to continue for a total of 15 years before we get worried.’ When the pause got a bit longer still, Ben Santer said in a paper it really was 17 years we needed to see. That was 2011.
By 2013, instead of admitting failure, changing the theory and thanking the skeptics, Pachauri now says we’ll need 30 -40 years of the IPCC being wrong before we can say they are wrong. Bold, very bold.
THE UN’s climate change chief, Rajendra Pachauri, has acknowledged a 17-year pause in global temperature rises, confirmed recently by Britain’s Met Office, but said it would need to last “30 to 40 years at least” to break the long-term global warming trend.
They won’t make the mistake of making actual predictions again after they failed so badly in 1990. Now they predict warming, cooling, blizzards, droughts and unwarming. All roads lead to a crisis.
Can’t we just pretend the IPCC likes debate and skeptics are useful?
After years of making out that skeptics are “flat-earth-deniers who use voo-doo science“, Pachauri now reverses onto another track (did you know Pachauri is a railway engineer?) and says skeptics are useful and climate science is all up for discussion (apparently):
“..Dr Pachauri, the chairman of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said that open discussion about controversial science and politically incorrect views was an essential part of tackling climate change. .. no issues should be off-limits for public discussion.”
Dr Pachauri said that people had the right to question the science, whatever their motivations.
By 2010 Pachauri wished skeptics would “rub asbestos on their faces”. Not someone he wanted to invite to dinner then?
So what happened?
Skeptics really are winning. The IPCC realize they look like fools every time a skeptic points out that science is about asking questions and having a debate:
“People have to question these things and science only thrives on the basis of questioning,” Dr Pachauri said.
He said there was “no doubt about it” that it was good for controversial issues to be “thrashed out in the public arena”.
But in 2008 all of man-made climate science was known. Doubters were as stupid as flat Earthers according to Pachauri:
” There is, even today, a Flat Earth Society that meets every year to say the Earth is flat. The science about climate change is very clear. There really is no room for doubt at this point.”
Is this what he means when he talks of “thrashing” out the issue?
Pachauri’s tactic of rewriting history, without admitting any wrongs or acknowledging any errors, will work if lazy or ideologically-motivated journalists don’t point to his earlier statements and put him on the spot. But it fails if skeptics keep reminding the world of the inconvenient truth.
You know what to do .