Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and one of the world’s foremost authorities on climate
science, Rajendra Pachauri, would like to have seen the climate science driving the climate negotiations at the COP17 in Durban last week.
“I’d like to see the science driving some of the discussions and the decisions that are taken. I’m sorry I don’t see much evidence of that right now”, Pachauri told Amy Goodman last week on Democracy Now.
AMY GOODMAN: What do you want to see at the end of this week?
DR. RAJENDRA PACHAURI: I’d like to see the science driving some of the discussions and the decisions that are taken. I’m sorry I don’t see much evidence of that right now.
AMY GOODMAN: What is, in fact, in evidence then this week?
DR. RAJENDRA PACHAURI: A complete absence of the discussion on the scientific evidence that we have available on climate change. I would like to see each day of the discussions, starting with a very clear presentation on where we are going, what it’s going mean to different parts of the world, and what are the options available to us by which, at very low cost and, in some cases, negative cost, we can bring about a reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases. I would like to see an hour, hour and a half every day being devoted to this particular subject, because I think then the movement towards a decision would be far more vigorous, it would be based on reality, and not focusing on narrow and short-term political issues.
Of course, that is the real tragedy because as the climate negotiators make plans for what is politically expedient, the planet adheres to the laws of physics and chemistry and the window of opportunity to limit warming to 2˚C is fast closing. And a 2˚C warming world as a best case scenario would bring more and stronger versions of the extreme weather events that have become the new normal over the past decade.
Often called the “grandfather of climate change” for sounding an unheeded early warning to the world, NASA’s James Hansen said, “The dangerous level of global warming is less than what we thought a few years ago. It was natural to think that a few degrees wasn’t so bad…. (But) a target of two degrees is actually a prescription for long-term disaster.”
- Nobel-Winning IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri To Obama: “Listen to Science” on Global Warming (richardemanuel.wordpress.com)
- COP17: Deal in Durban (myearthprints.com)
- The Brutal Logic of Climate Change Mitigation (grist.org)
- 21st Century Scopes Monkey Trial: Ed Markey And Jim Inhofe To ‘Debate’ Climate Science (thinkprogress.org)
- On climate change, the message is simple: get it done | Amy Goodman (guardian.co.uk)