IPCC Chair trots out Hitler

by William Yeatman on April 27, 2004

in Politics, Science

Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, the chairman of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), compared Bjrn Lomborg, Danish statistician and author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, to Adolf Hitler in an interview with Jyllandsposten, a leading Danish newspaper (Apr. 21).

 Pachauri said, What is the difference between Lomborg’s view of humanity and Hitler’s?  You cannot treat people like cattle.  You must respect the diversity of cultures on earth.  Lomborg thinks of people like numbers.  He thinks it would be cheaper just to evacuate people from the Maldives, rather than trying to prevent world sea levels from rising so that island groups like the Maldives or Tuvalu just disappear into the sea.  But where’s the respect for people in that?  People have a right to live and die in the place where their forefathers have lived and died.  If you were to accept Lomborgs way of thinking, then maybe what Hitler did was the right thing.  (English translation published on the internet by DR Nyheder)  

 The Skeptical Environmentalists longest chapter is devoted to global warming.  In it, Lomborg accepts the IPCCs scientific assessment reports as the basis of his analysis.  What Pachauri apparently objects to is that Lomborg concludes that the Kyoto Protocol would do almost nothing to reduce the rate of global warming, but at enormous expense.  For a fraction of the costs of Kyoto, many pressing environmental problems afflicting poor countries could be addressed.

 In searching for other resemblances between Lomborg and Hitler, it is to be noted that both are vegetarians, although Pachauri may be as well.  Unlike Hitler or Pachauri, Lomborg has been awarded the Julian Simon Prize by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, so in that respect it could be concluded that Pachauri has more in common with Hitler than does Lomborg.

 This is not the first time Pachauri has launched an ad hominem attack on his critics since becoming chairman of the IPCC.  In December in Milan at the ninth Conference of the Parties to the U. N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, Pachauri sent out a press release attacking the motives and affiliations of Ian Castles, former chief statistician of the Australian government, and David Henderson, former chief economist of the OECD.  Castles and Henderson have pointed out that the storylines used to produce IPCCs predictions of future warming are based on ludicrously improbable economic assumptions.

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