New Scientist's Fred Pearce calls for Pachauri to resign

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Pearce writes:

If governments won’t fire him when the IPCC meets at the Korean seaside resort of Busan next week, he should fall on his sword. For the good of the battered reputation of climate-change science. For the good of the planet.

Patchy is an amiable, bearded, vegetarian railway engineer and cricket fanatic, born under the British Raj in India. He has been showered with prizes, including Indian of the Year in 2007, and held jobs all over the world. He got the IPCC chair in 2002, after the Americans fell out with the then chairman, a Brit called Bob Watson, who is now our Government’s chief environmental scientist.

But Patchy is not a climate scientist. And he is 70 years old now. There have been too many mistakes during his eight years at the top of the IPCC. And he has made too many of them worse. Patchy is no longer part of the solution to telling the world about climate science. He is part of the problem.

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Actually I think it was Booker and North that lit the fuse, but either way, your work has been important and your call for resignation correct. – Anthony

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45 thoughts on “New Scientist's Fred Pearce calls for Pachauri to resign

  1. I’m impressed with the irony of Fred being in early on the GlacierGate mess. I think it works on him a little, too. See how humbled he is by it?
    ==========

  2. Er……., you reported from the Daily Mail. Kiss of death mate. The newspaper is re-known in the UK for barking mad headlines and an economic approach to facts. Stick to the broadsheets. Quoting from the Daily Mail is like using graphs from the National Enquirer.

  3. Now, now Fred let’s not be too hasty. Patchy did help to win the Nobel Peace Prize for the IPCC, didn’t he? That has to count for a lot.
    The mistakes in the reports? Gavin over at RC has already explained all that. In such a massive undertaking a few minor errors are bound to happen. We’re all human.
    The chairman of the IPCC doesn’t need to be a scientist, just an administrator, which Patchy is.
    Let’s face it, Fred. The IPCC just wouldn’t be the IPCC without good ole Patchy, now would it?
    I think you should reconsider, Fred.
    heh

  4. Chris. Booker has a good article in today’s Sunday Telegraph. Booker and R. North have been tireless investigators of ‘Patchy’. I certainly wouldn’t want those two terriers investigating me.

  5. Gareth Phillips says:
    October 3, 2010 at 10:52 am
    […]The newspaper is re-known in the UK for […]
    It’s “renowned”.

  6. Gareth Phillips says:
    October 3, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Well…Not Quite. The Daily Mail is nevertheless read by the non-politicised masses and so is significant as a barometer of what’s now reaching them via the MSM.

  7. Gareth Phillips says:
    October 3, 2010 at 10:52 am
    Actually, they’re quoting from Fred Pearce, who happens to have written his opinion column in the Mail. The fact that it’s in the Mail doesn’t alter the fact that this is still the same Fred Pearce who writes for New Scientist (which, despite being the Hello Magazine of science reporting, is still a highly visible media outlet for science news and forms part of the vanguard of the more extreme Environmentalist movement).
    The Mail is irrelevant to this. He could have written his column in the Daily Star or, yes, the national enquirer. Dismissing the message because you don’t like the way the messenger behaves in his free time is a little obtuse, don’t you think?

  8. The Daily Mail is Main Stream Media, and read by the masses. That makes it indicative of what’s now getting through in the MSM.
    Reaction to the feedback on the article is quite interesting too.

  9. As far as it went, I think Fred Pearce did an excellent article.
    Congrats, Fred, you are halfway there. Upholding proper procedure.
    But you’ve still got the other half to cross. The science. Which means understanding enough of the evidence direct to be convinced.
    * The inflation of warming due to a whole basketful of factors corrupting the data and insufficiently or improperly accounted-for.
    * The artificial depression of past temperature records due to the very nature of the calibration of proxies, that cannot help but mine for hockey sticks.
    *The artificial depression of past CO2 levels due to a whole basketful of factors causing its partial escape from ice cores before measurement.
    * The city-dwellers’ failure to comprehend the vast mass of the oceans, compared with the tiny mass of the atmosphere, and their capacity, following Henry’s Law, to outgas CO2 far in excess of all our emissions, at the tiniest global temperature increase.
    * The reluctance to look at what is staring everyone in the face: the Sun: because its measured effects, still very inadequately understood, do not seem to match up to the measured temperature changes.
    * The pandemic of fear among top scientists, of losing face, which would never have happened had debate not been suppressed.
    But nobody wants to get rid of real scientists. We need good science. And real apologies, and plans for reform, with checkable openness and welcome to good citizens’ science, are warmly acceptable. Fred, I believe the best thing you can do now is to encourage open, public, high-level science debates. Skeptics would be more than willing and able to participate, if the conditions are fair.

  10. Brego wrote “The mistakes in the reports? Gavin over at RC has already explained all that. In such a massive undertaking a few minor errors are bound to happen. We’re all human.
    The chairman of the IPCC doesn’t need to be a scientist, just an administrator, which Patchy is.” I take it your remarks are heavy with sarcasm, or perhaps you have only read the official Patchy/IPCC version of the mistakes in the IPCC documents.
    JUST AN ADMINISRTRATOR?
    Only today in the Sunday Telegraph we have these figures for TERI Europe which show that for three years running Patchy’s TERI Europe were underdeclaring their income to the British Charity comision by about 85%. IE only 15% of the money going into the charity was being declared.
    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/10/before-and-after.html
    and here we have more prolems with his declared expense accounts http://nigguraths.wordpress.com/2010/10/03/kpmg-review-pachauri/
    Patchy is not corrupt, just an incompetant administrator of accounts and he smears the reputations of good scientists who shine a light on mistakes of the IPCC

  11. The daily Mail is certainly not the American Enquirer of the UK, or even any thing like it as some people try to make out. It’s main stream media and Anthony is correct with the title ‘ New Scientist’s Fred Pearce calls for Pachauri to resign’. The article is what is says on the box….

  12. No keep him. He is a disaster zone, we need people like that to further weaken the trust in climate “science”m
    On a separate subject, nice to see the 30 percent arctic ice up in line with 2005.

  13. I would actually prefer him to stay – he’s doing a stirling job !!!
    If the IPCC appointed someone who actually functioned in the role and didn’t create mayhem with conflicts, bad press, bodging results then our mission of accountability would be so much harder.
    Long may he reign rain – he’s bringing down the house of cards quite ably
    Andy

  14. I think that Anthony – or any high-profile good sceptic, for that matter – should start a campaign to keep Patchy exactly where he is. If ever there’s a petition to keep him on, my name will be top. I think most of us can agree that this man is the embodiment of the IPCC.

  15. In case you folks with a “nose in the air” need a good “whooping”…
    I worked in nuclear power for 20 years. In 1981 the National Enquirer published a Headline Story: “Three Mile Island Was A Hoax”. When you read the content, it pretty much told the story CORRECTLY. Indicating that there was never a significant hazard to the public, and that despite the Walter Cronkite “Frankenstein in Pennsylvania” comments of the MSM, the situation was always very much “under control”. I found the article to be the most accurate and factual thing I’d read in the “media” to date. But then, what do I know…I’ve only spent hours working at, and in and about nuclear power plants….
    Before slandering the “tabloids” for being trite and “off the mark”, perhaps a good idea to do some investigation and find that THEY OFTEN GET IT RIGHT, and they OFTEN GET THE SCOOPS well before the MSM outlets!

  16. Fred’s attempt to appear as a man of science and an environmentalist of principle is quite ironic – he has a long history of using carefully selected data to support whatever his cause du jour happens to be, usually a hatchet job on some organisation, industry or country for their huuuuuuge carbon footprint. Fred is an unreconstructed Green publicist and his grasp of scientific method and principles appears exceeding thin; the Himalayan glaciers fiasco largely stems from Fred’s own intial unquestioning and sensationalist journalism, which he, to give him credit in this instance, has held his hand up for, but one ‘Swallow does not a Summer make’.

  17. “And he is 70 years old now.”
    Outrageous, ageist comment.
    Lucy Skywalker wrote:
    “Congrats, Fred, you are halfway there. Upholding proper procedure.”
    Lucy, if you think Fred Pearce is ditching Patchy in order to return truth and objectivity to climate science, you are seriously mistaken.
    The only reason that the propagandists like Pearce have turned on their spokesman is because he’s failed to get the message over. He tried too hard and bent the rules. Yet all the time when he was lying about Himalayan glaciers and the Amazon rainforest, Pearce and his ilke were cheering him on. They cheered him when they thought he could get away with it. Unfortunately for them, and fortunately for the rest of us, the public have seen through the charade. The only thought on Fred’s mind is ‘we need to replace him with someone who won’t get caught in future.’
    What hypocrites!
    Long live Pachy.

  18. Tabloids need to be and are quite scrupulous with the facts because of their flirtation with the limits of libel laws.

  19. David Waring says:
    October 3, 2010 at 11:14 am
    Gareth Phillips says:
    October 3, 2010 at 10:52 am
    […]The newspaper is re-known in the UK for […]
    It’s “renowned”.
    ——————————————————–
    Thanks David, it is indeed, it is indeed. The issue of Fred’s piece being in the Daily Mail does not invalidate his opinion any more than if it had been published in the National Enquirer. It’s just that once something is published in that notorious rag, it is automatically subject to doubt regardless of scientific accuracy. Does anyone ever believe anything written in that illustrious journal? Next weeksDaily Mail headline will probably be something like “Patchy, does he give your pension cancer and cause house prices to fall?”

  20. It won’t matter whether Patchy stays or goes, there is still the Concensus elephant in the room that seeks to make the rules up as they go along, to support the cause, which is absurd.
    Man cannot save Earth. It’s the other way around: The Earth has saved Man the last 100 years by it’s storehouse of energy.
    Ingrates want to take the energy away to use themselves. Greedy.

  21. I think that he should stay as it ruins the credibility of the IPCC and this is a good thing insomuch as impartial undecideds are more likely to be sceptical of what the IPCC has to say as long as Pauchauri is in charge. Hope he rides the current storm and chairs the next report.

  22. Pearce says:
    “He turned a one-line mistake into a diplomatic incident….”
    We should never stop reminding ourselves that this itself is spin: A close investigation of the matter puts it beyond reasonable doubt that these ‘errors’ were motivated;…no expert in the field at any time would have defended the 2035 claim…and then there is this careless confession of the lead author:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1245636/Glacier-scientists-says-knew-data-verified.html#ixzz0dUx6pwXe
    Pearce says “the IPCC’s big mistake was not owning up to the error promptly.” Yet the mistake that Pearce refers to is not, as suggested, a mistake or sloppyness in the normal process of constructing a scientific report, rather it is a mistake in marketing of a report that abuses the scientific ground it purports to express. Pearce should be held to account for supposing it is otherwise. What is he investing his emotions in when he says: “Sometimes I want to cry for an agency stuffed with good, conscientious and clever people brought down by such stupidity.” ?
    And then these carefully confusing weasel words:
    “Let’s be clear. The basic problem here is not climate science. There is very little doubt that the world has been warming this past halfcentury. And little doubt either that man-made pollution is mainly to blame.”
    It seems that Patchy is being scapegoated by Pearce to save a ‘science,’ spinning pure what has undoubtedly been corrupted by this whole IPCC process.

  23. If “Patchy” goes, who is next in line for the IPCC chair? Will they accept outside nominations? ;->

  24. Patchy will go. SOP – pretend that a new public face proclaims a new dawn with no more “decline hiding” in the salt mines.
    Surprised that nobody has suggested the ‘nuclear’ option of a good old fashioned re-branding.
    When I raised these issues, the only answer I got was an email from Patchy’s co-editor Roger Parry from a ‘working retreat’ on the Caribbean island of Montserrat.
    Ouch.

  25. This from the online magazine that has infinitely tortured ways to associate anything to do with nature with human induced global warming. Physician, heal thy self. I’m still not going to visit their pages again.
    This call is correct and easy to make even for such a biased organization as NS. They have nothing to lose – at least, nothing left to lose. You’ll find their reputation on the same heap as Patchy’s.

  26. No, no! Keep him! He helps dissuade people of the IPCC message!
    He is the poster child for how bad the IPCC and everything it does and represents is regarding “climate change.”
    He is as crooked as the IPCC reports and why shouldn’t the head be as bad as the product?

  27. The old horny dawg Pachy is the best asset us sceptics have had since McIntyre and Watts. We must lobby to save him.
    Maybe a concerted lobbying effort from the blogesphere before the Busan meeting.
    But then again, if WE were to lobby to save him, they’re sure to fire him 🙂

  28. @gareth phillips
    ‘It’s just that once something is published in that notorious rag, it is automatically subject to doubt regardless of scientific accuracy. Does anyone ever believe anything written in that illustrious journal?’
    Please don’t be too nasty about the Grauniad.Despite Monbiot’s witterings, – which are universally ridiculed and its wide-eyed sponsorship and wonder at the ‘No Pressure’ fiasco, the gardening page often has some handy hints. And the crossword can occasionally be quite challenging.
    Interesting that even Fred Pearce – long-standing colleague of Moonbat – feels that he can no longer publish in that paper – presumably heresy is not allowed under its ‘principles’ of highly moderated free speech. And so he goes to the Mail.
    Or maybe its just that the Mail has 8 times the readership of the grauniad.

  29. While I found Pearce’s article to be quite refreshing, I do have some problem with his failure to recognize his own blindspot:

    The [InterAcademy] council’s report, published at the end of August, was damning. Chairman Harold Shapiro found that Parry’s climate impacts report in particular showed a tendency to ’emphasise the negative impacts of climate change’, many of which were ‘not sufficiently supported in the literature, not put into perspective or not expressed clearly’.
    […]
    Let’s be clear. The basic problem here is not climate science. There is very little doubt that the world has been warming this past halfcentury. And little doubt either that man-made pollution is mainly to blame. The problem is the IPCC. [emphasis added -hro]

    How did Pearce arrive at the conclusion that “the problem is not climate science” and that “man-made pollution is mainly to blame” for any alleged warming? Certainly he must know that, as Ross McKitrick concluded in his recent review, none of the inquiries examined “the science”.
    Has Pearce actually “examined the science” – or is “not checking” part and parcel of his practice as a “science journalist” because his sources were/are always those “good, conscientious and clever people” at the IPCC?
    Pearce’s hindsight is to be applauded as 20:20 … but it seems to me that perhaps his foresight may be somewhat clouded by the tint of 10:10.

  30. He should have never been given the job in the first place. He is a railway engineer with a PhD in economics. I rest my case.

  31. “Please don’t be too nasty about the Grauniad.Despite Monbiot’s witterings, – which are universally ridiculed and its wide-eyed sponsorship and wonder at the ‘No Pressure’ fiasco, the gardening page often has some handy hints. And the crossword can occasionally be quite challenging.
    Interesting that even Fred Pearce – long-standing colleague of Moonbat – feels that he can no longer publish in that paper – presumably heresy is not allowed under its ‘principles’ of highly moderated free speech. And so he goes to the Mail.
    Or maybe its just that the Mail has 8 times the readership of the grauniad.”
    ————————————————————————————————–
    I try not to be to hard on the Grauniad, but the miserableso and so’s never publish my letters on how blind they are with being being even handed in the climate debate. However the Torygraph has a much better gardening page. Apparently the National Enquirer hugely outsells even the Mail, now is that worrying or what? Does this account for some of the odd political statements that occasionally intruded into this great debate?

  32. John Marshall says:
    October 4, 2010 at 1:23 am
    He should have never been given the job in the first place. He is a railway engineer with a PhD in economics. I rest my case.

    Indeed. IIRC he was nominated for the post by the neo-cons in the the Cheney-Bush administration. If I put my conspiracy hat on I can’t help but think that this was a cunning ploy, to make it easier to discredit the IPCC in the future, should the need arise.

  33. Fred Pearce – USUALLY writes for the GUARDIAN…..
    He is one of their environment correspondants, and has written hundreds of articles for The Guardian. Presumably, the Guardian, can’t quite bring themselves to write it.

  34. Patchy should stay. He is fit as the head of IPCC, the organisation of lies, corruption, and non-science. Why would we want him replaced? Putting new skin on the rotten apple won’t help anyway.

  35. So essentially the concept of washing ones hands if one is zealot to the AGW-religion is:
    1. Blame someone else.
    And that’s it.
    Breaking it down to smaller parts it looks somewhat like this:
    1. Blame someone else (this to call to attention that someone else is to be blamed for ones own screw up.)
    2. Prepare for a back up to take the blame, just in case I imagine.
    3. Appeal to ones own ignorance and naiveté (like just being lowly journalist and can’t one trust a source of information that is this [………………… (21 dots I kid you not)] authoritative?)
    4. Make a show of pointing out that this one error, that one self completely screwed up, was just a simple “one line” mistake, really, anyone could have done (as long as it was someone else that did it.)
    5. Make a last show of really how authoritative ones authority-heroes are by pointing out other error that “in fact” wasn’t any error at all but, alas, simple mistakes (done by other people). And at this point don’t give valid references nor evidence for it so people just have to take ones word for it.
    One thing I can agree with though is that Mr Pearce appears to be just the simpleton journalist who missed out on the fact checking process that he appears to now want to project onto the world. I don’t know, I’m no journalist, but isn’t it kind of dumb to point out that you failed the most basic of your own profession?

  36. “Actually I think it was Booker and North that lit the fuse, but either way, your work has been important and your call for resignation correct.” – Anthony
    The difference is that Pierce makes his case with a calm analysis of “Patchy’s” arrogant PR blunders as IPCC chairman, whereas Booker and North built much of their case on baseless claims of personal and financial malfeance (unless of course KPMG is a part of the grand “eco-fascist” conspiracy). Booker, North, and Delingpole could learn a thing or two from Fred Pierce’s level-headed skepticism, instead of shamelessly pandering to their oft conspiracy-obsessed readership.

  37. For anyone who might still be following this comment thread, mai I put the record straight on some serious factual errors in the post above by John Heyte, Had he examined the evidence with the care WUWT readers normally expect, he would not have charged that Dr Richard North and I built much of our case’ against Dr Pachauri on ‘baseless claims’
    Despite the fact that, for technical legal reasons, the Sunday Telegraph was eventually forced to publish a limp and very brief ‘non-apology’ for one of our reports on Dr Pachauri’s commercial dealings, his lawyers were not able to prove a single factual error in our coverage. After scrupulous research, we were able to bring to light the worldwide network of influential positions built up by Dr Pachauri during his eight years as chairman of the IPCC, and this remains unchallenged.
    The only evidence Mr Heyte could find to support his comments was a report commissioned by Dr Pachauri’s Teri institute from the international accounting firm KPMG. Did Mr Heyte actually read that KPMG report? It was so heavily qualified, and KPMG were so anxious to emphasise that it was in no way based on a proper audit of the Teri accounts, that it could have given comfort to no one other than Dr Pachauri himself and his supporters,
    Despite the impression Fred Pearce tried to give in his Mail on Sunday article, it was not he but Dr North whose expert researches did more than anything to bring to light the facts behind those various IPCC scandals last winter, such as ‘Glaciergate’, ‘Amazongate’ and ‘Africagate’. Mr Pearce’s only real involvement with the errors exposed in the IPCC’s 2007 report was that he himself was indirectly responsible for the most glaring error of them all – the prediction that most of the Himalayan glaciers would have disappeared by 2035 (which originated in a telephone conversation between Pearce and Dr Syeed Husnain in 1999).
    Mr Heyte may wish us to believe that Mr Pearce’s article in the Mail on Sunday constituted ‘calm analysis’, rather than simply an example of overheated and rather self-regarding tabloid journalism. But it was sad to see him making such a dottily ill-informed contribution to WUWT’s comment thread, where we have come to expect rather higher standards, both of accuracy and courtesy,

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