Too many distractions put the IPCC on the defensive
It’s been almost a year since the conveniently-timed hacking of computers at the East Anglia Climate Research Unit on the eve of the COP15 climate conference ushered in what climate deniers breathlessly dubbed “climategate.”
Soon after came embarrassing reports of mistaken Himalayan glacier data allowed into the Fourth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) with Dr. Rajendra Pachauri at the helm. Further public squabbling and questions (if ill-founded) over Pachauri’s business dealings and conflict of interest made him an easy target for the climate disinformation industry.
In the U.S. the mere mention of global warming met with derision as conservative congressman gleefully built snow forts in honor of Al Gore (in the dead of winter, of course). And now that the Democrats have given up control of the House of Representatives, many expect the newly minted Republican majority to all but outlaw global warming (as if they could).
It’s been a tough year for climate change action.
After a report from the InterAcademy council recommended changes in the “management structure” of the IPCC, pressure began to mount for Pachauri to resign and for the panel to seek new leadership. Many felt that a recent plenary meeting of the panel would be good time to push for his resignation in an effort to help restore credibility to the beleaguered IPCC.
Despite this mounting pressure for Pachauri to resign, no effort was made for his removal when the panel met last month. A recent article in Nature News ponders the question of whether the IPCC needs new leadership now to effectively carry out its mission.
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