The speed with which the climate change lobby is falling apart is quite astonishing. Following on from the expensive fiasco that was the Copenhagen conference, and the matter of those emails from the research unit at the University of East Anglia, we now have the admission from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that a claim made in its 2007 report – that the Himalayan glaciers would melt away by 2035 – was false.
The IPCC’S chair, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, has refused to resign or apologise for the mistake. In an interview with the Guardian, he says he was not personally responsible for that part of report. ”You can’t expect me to be personally responsible for every word in a 3,000 page report,” he said. A statement expressed regret for the mistake, but Pachauri said a personal apology would be a “populist” step. “I don’t do too many populist things, that’s why I’m so unpopular with a certain section of society,” he added.
This kind of arrogance is characteristic of the whole climate change movement; you can’t possibly disagree with us, and if you do, you are stupid, a bad person or, possibly, actually evil.
Huge amounts of political and intellectual capital have been invested in the climate change movement. Underlying so much of it has been an anti-Western, anti-capitalist, specifically anti-American sentiment. In the past year however, the emphasis has been shifting away from the US as the Great Satan of pollution; India and China are in the frame now. Could this be one of the reasons why the movement has started to implode?