As the UN’s climate change chief, Dr Rajendra Pachauri has spent his career writing only the driest of academic articles. But the latest offering from the chairman of the UN’s climate change panel is an altogether racier tome.
Some might even suggest Dr Pachauri’s first novel is frankly smutty.
The book, which makes reference to the Kama Sutra, starts promisingly enough as it tells the story of a climate expert with a lament for the denuded mountain slopes of Nainital, in northern India, where deforestation by the timber mafia and politicians has “endangered the fragile ecosystem”.
But talk of “denuding” is a clue of what is to come.
The Telegraph suggests that the book might make Pachauri a “laughing stock” among the scientists and world leaders with whom he works on the issue of climate change.
However, the past weeks and months should have been one long embarrassment for Pachauri and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Pachauri has been exposed as having a worldwide portfolio of business interests, investing billions of dollars in organizations dependent on the IPCC’s policy recommendations. Indeed, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) — a Delhi-based company of which Dr Pachauri is director-general — took in research money related to the unfounded claim about the melting of Himalayan glaciers. The latest IPCC report made use of 16 non-peer reviewed reports from the World Wildlife Fund — giving rise to the unsubstantiated claim that global warming might wipe out 40% of the Amazon rainforest.
If none of that embarrasses the IPCC and its patrons into addressing the controversial tenure of Dr. Pachauri, another bit of cheap fiction (properly labeled) is unlikely to be the final straw.
Someone might want to ask how many trees are being killed for Dr. Pachauri’s trashy novel — and whether he bought a carbon offset, even if the money ends up going from the doctor’s right pocket to his left.