The Pandit, the pundits and the bandits

The IPCC got another knock
recently, perhaps from an unexpected corner. In its 2007 report, the predictions for the Himalayan glaciers indicated that they would entirely disappear by 2035.

In late 2009, at the request of his government, the Indian geologist V.K. Rania (retired) looked into this, and concluded in a White Paper that glaciers (in the Himalayas and elsewhere) advanced and retreated irregularly over the past 150 years, with no direct connection to world heating or cooling.

Meanwhile, this revealed the following version of ”peer review”within the IPCC (a k a the International Politically Correct Conundrum):

– the claim in respect to Himalayan glaciers was lifted from a 2005 report from the World Wildlife Fund
– upon request, the WWF responded that this originated in a quote from an article in the New Science Journal
– but the author of the article, Dr. Hasnain (now head of glaciology at the The Energy and Resources Institute in New Delhi) denied having made such a statement.

However, IPCC Chair Pachauri reacted by saying the report was an ”extremely arrogant statement”, dismissing it as ”school boy science”.

Two queries: first, how could admitting to uncertainty be considered arrogant? Second, if this is ”school boy science”, why should the great IPPChief take any notice at all? Further, unlike Pachauri, Rania is a scientist with solid on-site experience in empirical observation of Himalayan glacier development for some 35 years.

Maybe IPCC should contemplate having recourse to such people, rather than scientists trained to follow the leader?

Also, here is a piece from the Spectator, pointing out how the blogosphere makes a difference in spotting inaccuracies and untruths ahead of mainstream media.

Photos: freedigitalphotos


About the Author: Jacob Arfwedson

Jacob Arfwedson first worked on environmental issues with the ICREI (Paris) in the early 1990s ( He has published extensively on various free market issues, working with some 20 think tanks in Europe and the US for the past 20 years. He received his MA from the Catholic University of Paris before studying at the Catholic University of America (Timbro Capitol Fellowship). His articles have been published by the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, le Figaro and AGEFI Switzerland.