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« Government response to S&TC report | Main | A coverup at the Charities Commission? »

Fred Pearce calls for Patchy's head

Fred Pearce has a long piece at the Mail on Sunday, setting out in gory detail why Rajendra Pachauri should fall on his sword or be sacked.

There is a pattern of behaviour here, I think, from the man with arguably the most important role in protecting the world from climatic meltdown. Complacency. Loyalty to those who do not deserve it. Intemperate statements at inopportune times.

Climate scientists should not tolerate this. Environmentalists should not tolerate this. The UN should not tolerate this.

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Reader Comments (22)

Fred's piece is great to read. One thing that could be added is that Patchy claimed the reason he didn't respond well or quickly to the glacier issue is that he was busy in the run-up to Copenhagen. That seemed reasonable, until the next month, when he released a novel. So it was really the novel that was taking up his time! And the novel was soft porn, and semi-autobiographical.
You couldn't make it up!

Oct 3, 2010 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterSuramantine

Pearce is still a true believer in the religion is AGW:

"I am a science journalist - one who happens to believe that man-made climate change is virtually beyond doubt."

What is "virtually" in science? Never come across the term before except in "virtual reality". Now I understand.

Oct 3, 2010 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Phillip Bratby

"I am a science journalist ...

Your point, as usual, is sagacious.

I think he meant to say: "I am a science fiction journalist - one who happens to believe that man-made climate change is virtually beyond doubt."

In any case, hanging Pachy's head over the gates will not change a damn thing, and he should know it.

Some time ago, I predicted that Pachy would be the chauffeur and not the maharajah. Sadly I predicted "by May" I believe, but better late than never.

Oct 3, 2010 at 5:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

'protecting the world from climate meltdown'

Who are the people who believe they are doing this?

Whoever they are, they certainly have a good conceit of themselves.

I suppose they include those who produced 'An Inconvenient Truth', whose very title is a contradiction of its contents. And those who produced 'No Pressure', with once again a severe contradiction between title and content. This separation of 'front' or 'image' and perhaps even 'self-image, from the reality of what they actually do is more than a little worrying. Because these people are on a bandwagon which has already done a lot of harm (biofuels, diversion of funds from development projects, dissipation of capital and revenue into windfarms and the like, disruption of school curricula, and distraction of the United Nations, many governments, the EU, the British Council, and numerous NGOs (Oxfam, WWF, etc) by means of the IPCC). The IPCC also produces output in some conflict with what one might expect from its title, being more of a pressure group for alarm about CO2, than a review panel on climate variations and their possible causes.

Oct 3, 2010 at 5:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

I suppose nobody should be surprised that the Guardian didn't publish this and Fred had to take it to the Daily Mail to get his point across. One wonders if a red button has been installed in the Guardian editor's office, and Fred knows it.

Fred knows that you can't just be a committed CAGW believer at the Guardian these days, you have to commit to the full action package or you just might finish up being a red, dripping stain on the office walls and floor.

Oct 3, 2010 at 5:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimon Hopkinson

“Patchy is no longer part of the solution to telling the world about climate science. He is part of the problem. ”

Uggh. Everytime I see this kind of thing written now I will probably think back to that horrible 10:10 ad.

Oct 3, 2010 at 5:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterStu

When did Fred Pearce EVER write for the Daily Mail

I have the paper, a double page article.....

hush, hush everybody, don't tell the Guardian and Fred will be OK..
How many hundreds of articles has Fred written in the Guardian about 'climate change'

I cannot imagine, a Guardian reader, or editor ever reading the Daily Mail.
So the Guardian won't find out, unless someone rats on him.

{sarcasm off}

Seriously, what is going on there...

Good article in tne Times today, toxic landscapes in china due to solar panel production.... water not safe to drink, in china, etc..

All that saving the planet, is just going to kill it and of course some poor chinese people....
But, I imagine, Franny and 10:10 think that is in the greater good.

Oct 3, 2010 at 6:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Go easy on Fred, he seems like a nice guy who's slowly starting to realise he's been had. Bit like Richard Black over at the BBC when he was attacked by the warmists for daring to question the consensus.

Oct 3, 2010 at 7:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

bbc no 'off topic' comments allowed now...........

Oct 3, 2010 at 9:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

re Fred Pearce's comment,

Where is Salome, now that we need her desperately?


Oct 3, 2010 at 10:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterRETEPHSLAW

"Nobel Prize or no Nobel Prize, the 22-year old organisation is too important to be allowed to fail. "

Why? And what is a journalist doing making this sort of declaration?

Oct 3, 2010 at 10:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

Suramantine writes: Fred's piece is great to read. One thing that could be added is that Patchy claimed the reason he didn't respond well or quickly to the glacier issue is that he was busy in the run-up to Copenhagen.

It was non-sense! We had COP15 covered live on Swedish TV and in addition the webcasts were and I believe still available. They knew of the problems and deliberately did not correct them(glaciergate, amazongate, africagate, etc). With regards to Glaciergate claiming 100s of millions would suffer water shortages due to Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming was a made for TV event that could not be bypassed even if it were not true. It burns me up knowing that the IPCC had groups of children standing on stage all teary eyed, arms outstretched hands open asking for money to solve problems that are total fabrications.

Just as an aside:

During one of the smaller sessions I remember some UK reporter(I'm tempted to think Webster) did a double take on what he was being spoon fed.

Somewhere in India or Southeast-Asia one particular community was already suffering the ravages of "Global Warming". The woman describing the devastation explained that a local commercial fish farming operation setup in a coastal community, tore up all of the mangroves, setup their nets, failed to produce a profit and abandoned the project. Now with all the mangroves gone the tide is ripping the coast apart. This is how "Global Warming" is already devastating third world countries and climate justice demands that the EU & the United States pay huge sums in climate reparations.

It was almost comical, the reporter had to confirm what he had just heard acting more like a court reporter than an investigative journalist. He paraphrased, commercial fish farming came in ripping up all the mangroves, they left the site and because of "global warming" the coastline is now being devastated. There were other things like that at COP15 but that is one that really stuck in my mind.

Coastal erosion, something we are all taught at an early age and know has occurred throughout history and until just a few years ago was a natural process. I tell you this now, in the coming years the beach resorts in the South of France are going to send their annual beach sand replenishment bills to Brussels asking for reparations from Climate Change!

Oct 4, 2010 at 7:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul in Sweden


Patchy's 'novel was soft porn, and semi-autobiographical.
You couldn't make it up!'

I think he made up all the autobiographical soft porn bits. Or pinched them from a non peer-reviewed top shelf magazine and then presented them as fact. He has form on that score :-)

Oct 4, 2010 at 7:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Most people, whether believers in the AGW doctrine, or sceptics, think that Patchy should go. However, his going will have little influence on the IPCC. The only thing that might help to change AGW from a religion to a subject worthy of scientific study is abolition of the Panel. Followed by its replacement with an international Panel overseeing climate research in general. Research that studies natural as well as man made influences on climate. Surely this should be called for by the many sceptical Conservative MPs, that we are assured, entered parliament in May 2010.

Oct 4, 2010 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

Just a few errors

So in the 3000 or so pages of AR4 we now know that claims of impending doom of rapid loss of Himalayan, European Alpine & South American glaciers are unfounded. We also know that claims of Amazon rainforest susceptibility to CAGW as well as African agricultural losses are unfounded. Sea level rise also does not seem to be an issue.

I constantly hear "but the rest of the report is solid". I remember a bunch of what-if studies and the possible effects should the planet increase in temperature which always at the end appended the obligatory "and we "believe" AGW is to blame".

What else remains in AR4 that is of merit or of concern? Can AR4 be redacted of baseless rhetoric, placed on a postcard and mailed to me?

Oct 4, 2010 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul in Sweden

"but the rest of the report is solid"

I can't remember the official term, but it has been observed before that we tend to believe newspaper reports on matters we don't know about, even though we may have just read a piece that we know to be inaccurate. Perhaps scepticism should be on the school curriculum...

Oct 4, 2010 at 5:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Paul in Sweden
You said it, man. The 'errors' are all in the only 'interesting, useful' parts of the AR4 - the hockey stick, the Amazon, the Himalayas and Africa. Take that out and what do we have left? Just a bunch of CO2, methane and other vaporous piffle.

And in each case - it is the same story. Too many people pointing fingers in many directions, everyone looking at everyone else, ...and Fred Pearce taking credit. What a joke.

Oct 4, 2010 at 6:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Fred Pearce says:

"I lit the fuse under Patchy's chairmanship eight months ago. Now, I say he should go
...How did I light the fuse under Patchy?....we hacks called it Climategate"

I know there are a few Fred Pearce fans here, and he is a nice guy etc etc, but....does Fred Pearce not have any sense of shame? How exactly is he taking credit for 'lighting the fuse' here? If you read Jack Ives on 'Himalayan alarmism' in 2005, Graham Cogley's letter to Science in November 2009, Pallava Bagla's article in Science in November 2009, and most importantly VK Raina's clear explanation of why satellite measurements might have overestimated the rate of melt because their baseline pictures were being obtained a month earlier, if you know about the 'grumblings' of scientists at the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology - it is pretty clear that a lot of people knew and had published on the Himayalan error before Pearce.

Neither was Pearce first with the story of Glaciergate. And most importantly, Pearce was not the one to try to explain, and even today has no explanation to provide, for why the amiable, bearded gentleman Pachauri reacted the way he did at all.

And as for Climategate, it becomes a "we hacks called it" - this is the most unbelievable part. So a term used at WUWT, in itself a cliche, picked up by James Delingpole, obviously the 'hack', has now joined ranks with "science journalist" Pearce in a "we", so that Pearce can take credit for the term 'Climategate'? No, hacks, especially the hacks at the Guardian did not call it anything. The Guardian, waited and waited until forever, when the blogs and chewed and spat everything out and then tried to do a "authorized version of Climategate" so that bored onlookers could come in and scribble margin notes.

"Those contacted by New Scientist by and large had simple explanations for their statements" - thus wrote the magazine New Scientist under the headline "Hacked archive provides fodder for climate sceptics". The author: Fred Pearce.

When it came to the Glaciers, Pachauri, the IPCC, the hockey stick and the Amazon, we all know who did the hard work, dont we?

Just one look at Roger Pielke's interview with Pearce recently, is good enough to show up the 'science' in the science journalism when in comes to Pearce.


Oct 4, 2010 at 7:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Dear mod/Bishop:
Please fix the stray html I left hanging in the previous post. Thanks

Oct 4, 2010 at 7:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub


Next time remember to use Preview Post, else we might think you are shouting for some reason :)

Oct 4, 2010 at 7:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

From a skeptic's perspective, Pachauri is useful right where he is. He is a bit ridiculous, slow, corrupt and not very effective as the IPCC head. He is a wonderful target for skeptics in that he personifies the IPCC, is quite famous and is vulnerable to attack, thus making it easier to attack the IPCC. There is good reason to not rely on the IPCC for direction in climate science policy but not much reason to get rid of Pachauri (if you want to attack the IPCC).

The real problem is the IPCC, not Pachauri. The charter of the IPCC states that it is all about finding man made environmental warming. There is nothing in the IPCC charter about finding non man made sources of global warming or cooling. The IPCC is just doing what it was created to do. Changing the head of the IPCC is not going to change what the IPCC does but will make it tougher to attack the IPCC.

From a USA perspective, the first step in January (assuming the Republicans take the House in next month's elections) is to discredit the IPCC and stop the EPA from outsourcing climate science/policy to the IPCC. Being able to bring in Pachauri as the IPCC head and interrogating him in public congressional hearings re: ClimateGate/IPCC will help make this happen.

Oct 4, 2010 at 10:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Koch

Sacking anyone at the UN is not easy, unless they are white.

In any case if Pachauri didnt exist, Peabody Coal would have to invent another one. (Pachy is so doozy he must be a Manchurian Candidate)

Oct 6, 2010 at 7:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterBill

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