Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN’s influential Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has resigned in the wake allegations of sexual harassment.
During Pachauri’s 13-year tenure as chair of the IPCC, the organization won a Nobel Peace Prize (2007) and weathered numerous controversies, including the Climategate scandal and the IPCC’s use of non-peer-reviewed reports from environmental lobbying groups that dramatically exaggerated the speed and amount of glacial melt in the Himalayas.
‘Doing IPCC a Favor’
Marc Morano, executive director of ClimateDepot,com a Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow project, says Pachauri had become a polarizing figure and has done the IPCC a favor by resigning. In a statement regarding the February 24 resignation, Morano said, “The IPCC is quietly popping champagne corks today. Pachauri gone can only be good news for the UN IPCC.”
Morano says Pachauri should have resigned sooner. “If Pachauri had any decency, he would have resigned in the wake of the Climategate scandal, which broke in 2009. Climategate implicated the upper echelon of UN IPCC scientists in attempting to collude and craft a narrative on global warming while allowing no dissent. Or Pachauri could have resigned when he wished skeptics would rub asbestos on their faces or conceded that the IPCC was at the ‘beck and call’ of governments”
“There were so many opportunities to do the right thing and fade away. But it took the proceedings of the Indian court system over the allegations of sexual harassment to finally bring Pachauri down. Things can only be looking up for the UN IPCC now that it has ridded itself of this political and ethical cancer,” Morano added in his statement.
Activist, Not Scientist
Pachauri was not a climate scientist, but instead began his career as a mechanical engineer with Indian Railways. Later he earned a doctorate in industrial engineering and economics from North Carolina State University. After serving in teaching and administrative positions at universities in the United States and India, in 2002 Pachauri was elected Chairman of the IPCC.
With Pachauri at the helm, each new IPCC report contained increasingly alarming claims concerning alleged dangers from climate change and greater certainty humans were the cause.
In his resignation letter, Pachauri stated, “For me the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma.”
On her blog, Nofrakkingconsensus.com, journalist Donna LaFramboise said, “Yes, the IPCC, which we’re told to take seriously because it is a scientific body producing scientific reports, has in fact been led by an environmentalist on a mission. By someone for whom protecting the planet is a religious calling.”
As the search to find Pachauri’s replacement begins, IPCC vice-chairman Ismail El Gizouli will fill Pachauri’s role at scheduled climate meetings.
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. ([email protected]) is a research fellow with The Heartland Institute.