The unadorned truth was door number one. Cringe-worthy exaggeration was door number two. The IPCC made the wrong call.
The Financial Post (the business section of Canada’s National Post newspaper) has published a piece by me today, titled 9,000 Nobel Pretenders.
Since we’ll be hearing a great deal over the next few days about the new report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it’s helpful to know a bit of history.
In 2007, the IPCC was awarded half of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize (Al Gore won the other half). What happened afterwards is revealing.
Being one of an estimated 9,000 authors linked to an organization that was awarded half a Peace Prize isn’t the same thing as being a bona fide Nobel laureate in one’s own right. Only people who are OK with pushing the envelope, only people who are OK with extravagant exaggeration, could possibly think so.
Yet the IPCC’s chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, did push that envelope. He incorrectly told thousands of IPCC personnel: “This makes each of you Nobel Laureates.” According to such logic, he himself magically became one, as well. (Which is why Amazon.com tells us that his novel was written by a “Nobel laureate.”)
Many IPCC personnel followed Pachauri’s self-aggrandizing lead. To this day, many still claim to be a “co-recipient” of the 2007 Peace Prize on their academic CVs.
This was a test. Did the IPCC – whose judgment we’re now being urged to trust – pass or fail? As I say in the Financial Post:
The unadorned truth was door number one. Cringe-worthy exaggeration was door number two. Many IPCC personnel made the wrong call.