Monday, August 30, 2010

Charges that IPCC Chief Was Making Millions Untrue

Another attempt to tarnish the reputations of scientists engaged in research on global warming has come up empty. The Guardian reported last week that the head of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been cleared of accusations that he had used his authority for personal gain:
The head of the UN's climate science panel did not abuse his position to enrich himself, according to an independent review of his finances by the accountants KPMG that was published publicly for the first time today.
The charges were as startling as they were wrong:
In December, an article in the Sunday Telegraph had claimed that the UN climate chief was "making a fortune from his links with 'carbon trading' companies" and that payments from his work for other organisations "must run into millions of dollars". The article has since been removed from the newspaper's website.
The newspaper issued this apology:
On 20 December 2009 we published an article about Dr Pachauri and his business interests. It was not intended to suggest that Dr Pachauri was corrupt or abusing his position as head of the IPCC and we accept KPMG found Dr Pachauri had not made "millions of dollars" in recent years. We apologise to Dr Pachauri for any embarrassment caused.
It is the newspaper's editors who should be embarrassed. Instead of the supposed millions he was hauling in, it turns out Dr. Pauchari earns a salary of 45,000 pounds from his non-profit organization, and pulled in another 2,174 pounds from speaking fees and book royalties. That's about $73,000, well short of a million.

The damage done to Dr. Pauchuri goes well beyond embarrassment. Another bogus scandal involving climate scientists was left out there to dangle for months. This one, along with the allegation that scientists had manipulated data, have been found by independent reviews to be untrue. And yet millions have been duped into believing that scientists can't be trusted when it comes to climate change. The harm to the rational public discussion of climate change has been incalculable.

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