Monday, June 14, 2010


Common man often wonders what to believe and whom to believe while trudging to eke out a decent life amidst the chaos that exist in most part of the world. While politicians and bureaucrats have lost their credibility long ago, scientific community was commanding some respect because of pioneers like late Sir C V Raman and other well respected stalwarts of yesteryear. Frequent allegations about plagiarism by Indian scientists progressively diluted the respect from the citizens and recent controversy about the blatant attempt by the IPCC of the UN led by an Indian "scientist" to increase the impact of global warming through misrepresented data must have shamed many people in this country as well as internationally. No amount of prevarication can undo the damage already done.

"But its reports have been dismissed by climate skeptics who attribute global warming to natural cycles. The skeptics were bolstered by a series of errors in the IPCC's 2007 report. Pachauri told the committee's first review meeting that the panel's conclusions are valid, even in areas where mistakes were discovered. Pointing to the most glaring error, a claim that the world's glaciers will melt by 2035, Pachauri said glaciers are indeed melting, though not that fast. Nonetheless, glacial melt accounts for 28 percent of sea level rise, and the panel's assessment on glaciers contains "a lot of facts which we can ignore at our peril." Pachauri said the panel is comprised of volunteer scientists contributing several years of their own time and who disband after issuing their report. The panel has no mechanism for responding to criticism once the reports are issued, other than the small secretariat".

One of the traits emerging lately is the ability of many disgraced Indians to show no remorse and justify their mistakes at any cost. In this particular case a wise option would have been to resign and express regrets in stead of continuing with the position that can only attract derision and contempt from the public as well as from the fellow scientists. A scientist of proven credentials and unsuspecting integrity is an asset no one would allow to retire and the IPCC members, if they are really sincere and above suspicion, should have put in their papers, leaving the judgment to others regarding their work.


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