Book Review – Into the Dustbin – Rajendra Pachauri, the Climate Report & the Nobel Peace Prize, by Donna Laframboise

Into the dustbin coverThis book is a collection of essays about Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), originally published as blog posts between February 2010 and August 2013. It begins with a new essay about the IPCC and the Nobel Peace Prize, “which documents how Pachauri improperly advised IPCC personnel that they were Nobel laureates after that organization was awarded half of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize (Al Gore received the other half).”

The collection provides a straight-forward, no-holds-barred, in-their-face assessment of the IPCC and its chairman and shows why the IPCC should not be taken seriously.

Donna LaFramboise is a Canadian journalist, proprietor of the blog No Frakking Consensus and author of the book: The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert, an IPCC Exposé which I reviewed here.

Laframboise sets the stage for her story in the introduction as follows:

According to activists, climate change is a planetary emergency. But the more one learns about the man in charge of the United Nations body that examines climate issues, the harder it is to believe that that’s really the case.

It may not be fair to judge a book by its cover, but it’s entirely reasonable to judge an organization by its leader. Rajendra Pachauri has been the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 2002. He also writes fiction and plays cricket. Regrettably, he does only one of those things – the cricket – well.

If our senior political leaders regarded climate change as a genuine threat, someone dramatically different would be leading the IPCC. That person would exude professionalism. Whenever he spoke in public, he’d choose his words carefully. Like a judge at a murder trial, his behavior would be scrupulously even-handed. By word and by deed, he’d invite us to believe in his organization’s neutrality and integrity.

Pachauri fails these tests spectacularly. If I were to cast him as a character in a play, literary critics

would dismiss that character as implausible. They’d say it strained credulity that someone so ill-suited to the task would remain at the helm of such an important international body for so long.  But truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.

Throughout the book, Laframboise provides links to the original articles which, in turn, provide links to the original source material so that interested readers can check for themselves.

This collection shows that the IPCC is an agenda-driven political organization, not a scientific one.  It and its leader are shown to be corrupt, arrogant, and hypocritical.

And they lie.  Pachauri has claimed that all the IPCC conclusions are based only on peer-reviewed scientific literature, but upon checking the sources, one finds that overall, less than two-thirds of sources come from the scientific literature; in some chapters of the various assessment reports, less than 25 percent of cited sources are peer-reviewed scientific papers.

About the IPCC assessment reports: “The biggest myth of all is that [the assessment reports are] based entirely on impeccable source material that was published in scientific journals beforehand and was therefore rigorously vetted via the academic peer-review process.”

Laframboise notes that the IPCC breaks its own rules whenever those rules are inconvenient.  For instance, the 2007 report (AR4), referenced a British economic report (The Stern Report which came out in Oct. 2006) even though it was not peer-reviewed, it came out 10 months after the IPCC-set deadline, and it was not available for IPCC reviewers to consider.  Pachauri claimed that the 2007 IPCC report (AR4) “was based on scientific studies completed before January 2006, and did not include later studies…”  Yet six papers in Chapter 2 and 17 papers cited by Chapter 11 were published in 2007 rather than before January, 2006.  Also, the IPCC invoked the cut-off date to ignore other papers that would not fit into their agenda.

Into the Dustbin provides many such examples of duplicity by Pachauri and the IPCC.  The articles examine in detail some of the issues the IPCC got spectacularly wrong such as their predictions about Himalayan glaciers, and, despite the IPCCs alleged neutrality, the cozy relationship between Pachauri and radical environmental groups.

In an appendix, LaFramboise discusses media carelessness in reporting IPCC matters with emphasis on the Nobel Prize incident.

All in all, Into the Dustbin, together with her previous book, should disabuse anyone from taking the IPCC seriously. Credulous policy makers would do well to read both.

Into the Dustbin is available from Amazon as a Kindle edition and a paperback here.  Barnes&Noble have a paperback edition here.

See also:

Book Review: The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert, an IPCC Exposé

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