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Climategate: what do we do with a problem like Pachauri?

On New Year’s Day I had a very annoying lunch with a family friend who works for something grisly called the European Climate Foundation. We talked about the scandalous revelations concerning the head of the IPCC, Dr Rajendra Pachauri. See if you can guess what my friend’s response was. Yes, that’s right. He wasn’t bothered in the slightest.

“What you have to remember about the IPCC is that it has no power to implement policy. Governments are quite free to ignore its advice,” said my friend airily. He also took a very charitable view on the conflict-of-interest issues raised by Pachauri’s many and various business arrangements: “Well of course a man in a post as senior as that is bound to have acquired a few directorships over the years,” he said. This, my friends, is what we’re up against.

So thank God for Richard North, for my money one of the most diligent, thorough and heroic bloggers on the planet. Once he’s got his teeth into something, he just won’t let go. And currently his jaws are clamped so firmly round Pachauri’s ankles I really see no escape for the jet-setting, troll-impersonating, cricket-loving, ice-and-meat-shunning millionaire beardie unless like some grubby poacher caught in a Victorian man trap Pachauri decides to get out his penknife and hack both his own legs off.

There’s a good summary of North’s discoveries so far at Wolf Howling’s site. Alternatively, just go to North’s website and have a dip. Here’s one on Pachauri and Big Oil, and one on his potentially lucrative association with Deutsche Bank and Pachauri’s most agreeable home in one of the most expensive parts of New Delhi. But North is now largely concentrating his efforts on the activities of Pachauri’s main front organisation TERI (formerly Tata Energy Research Group, now The Energy Research Group). And one of the many shocking things North has unearthed is the extent to which Pachauri’s millionaire lifestyle (not to mention all that misleading “science”) is funded by the British taxpayer.

He notes, for example, that:

earlier this year minister for International development Douglas Alexander launched a partnership with TERI-India, pledging up to £10 million to support the work of TERI over the next five years.

Amongst other thing, the money would enable TERI “to focus on building its own institutional capacity, helping it to become an even stronger organisation than it is already.” Dr R K Pachauri was very pleased. And after he had offered his ritual comments about the “removal of poverty”, he no doubt retired to his multi-million dollar home at 160 Golf Links – further then to consider the plight of the poor.

Blogger Purple Scorpion is properly sceptical as to how these wodges of British taxpayer cash are going to be spent.

“Building institutional capacity” is an objective Sir Humphrey would be proud of. Impossible to quantify, too vague to be checkable, and all behind the scenes anyway. Nothing vulgarly visible that anyone could examine.

Yet as Purple Scorpion goes on to remind us, this is just the kind of vital and urgent foreign aid spending which Dave Cameron has promised to ring-fence, come what may, when he attains power. Is there anyone out there who still wonders why I’m so depressed about the prospects of a Conservative victory?

Source by James Delingpole