Monday, June 27, 2011

The Rubber Duckies: Two United Nations giants of junk

By Peter Foster

This year, we award a special joint Rubber Duckie to two giants of junk, Achim Steiner and Rajendra Pachauri. Together they are collectively responsible for uncountable thousands of reports, initiatives, policies, statements, comments, studies and panels that are based on science that is politically motivated, either in content or objective.

Mr. Steiner is head of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), a font of untenable science, including his enthusiastic support for the idea that 50 million refugees would plague the world to escape climate change by 2010.

A long-term shill for junk environmental science and the green energy industry, Mr. Steiner is also an expert at sophistry. Following the 50 million refugee debacle, he took to the editorial pages of The Guardian to cover the issue with rhetoric. “Imagine if the world acted only when 100% scientific proof was in place,” he declared. “We would still be insulating buildings with cancer-causing asbestos and fuelling cars with lead additives, damaging babies’ brains.”

See the logic? Those who question “official” junk science are baby killers.

Mr. Steiner’s rhetorical arsenal also includes the reductio ad absurdum. When he was head of the IUCN, the World Conservation Union, Mr. Steiner was part of the pack ­attack on Bjorn Lomborg’s book The Skeptical Environmentalist. “Mr. Lomborg,” he wrote, “is wrong to suggest that species extinction, climate change and pollution are imaginary environmental problems.”

Mr. Lomborg had suggested none of these things.

Since UNEP is one of the parents of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Mr. Steiner has stoutly defended the IPCC, even as that institution’s credibility sinks to zero. He has suggested that questions about the stewardship of his colleague at IPCC — Rajendra Pachauri — amounted to a “witch hunt.” The IPCC’s claim that all the glaciers of the Himalayas might disappear by 2035 was, he said, a “typographical error.”

Mr. Steiner, who accuses skeptics of being “ideologically driven,” is another global bureaucrat whose priority is reformulating humanity. “We have a misdirected economic compass,” he has said. “We have arranged our economies in a way that they destroy their environmental foundations.”

Over at the IPCC, meanwhile. Mr. Pauchauri has dug himself another hole. On top of Climategate, through which he clung to power, we now have Mr. Pachauri positioning Greenpeace as lead author on a global energy report that, amazingly, endorsed Greenpeace’s global energy plan — a plan for which Mr. Pachauri had written a glowing introduction.

All in all, Mr. Pachauri and Mr. Steiner have turned in very fine performances worthy of a rarely awarded joint Rubber Duck.

No comments: