In an interview with Science published January 29, Rajendra Pachauri speaking from New Dehli made a few subtle points
Q: A statement from TERI lists the number of companies you are associated with, the money which has flowed back to you and the organization: 100,000 from Deutsche Bank, $80,000 from Toyota, and so forth. You don't think this is conflict of interest?and he had a few comments on glaciers
R.K.P.: Where is the conflict of interest? I am a paid employee of my institute, not of the IPCC. I don't see why I shouldn't advise anybody anywhere in the world ... as long as I am not making money out of it. [The money] is going to my institute.
Q: Some people disagree; they believe that you have to be cleaner than Caesar's wife.
R.K.P.: Yeah, but Caesar was also murdered by Brutus, wasn't he? Caesar was murdered by a group of people for their own interest,all right? So I cannot possibly be held accountable for all the lies that the media are writing about in a certain section of the U.K. press. I mean, if they are going to influence public opinion, I can assure you it is not going to last forever. I am absolutely convinced the truth will prevail in the end.
Q: You put up a brave face, but some in the scientific community feel let down. They say that you are carrying too much baggage, that it's time for you to move on.
R.K.P.: I certainly have no intention to quit. I will continue as the chairman of the IPCC till I have completed the fifth assessment report.
Q: Are you becoming a thorn in the side of vested interests—a thorn they wish to eliminate?
R.K.P.: No question about that. But I have no intentions of backing off. I am not going to tailor the truth to suit the vested interests of those who would like to continue with business as usual.
Q: The big issue dogging IPCC this winter is the inclusion of a prediction in the fourth assessment that Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035. IPCC has offered regret—but not an apology.Eli does not recall having seen this much commented on elsewhere? Has he become dyslexic?
R.K.P.: We have made a mistake and we have admitted that. Our job is essentially to bring the science into our assessments from the best sources that exist. Look at the extent of the glaciology work that has been done in this country. It is pathetic. I mean, that is really where we need to come up with an apology.
Q: In a 20 January statement, IPCC still says that India's glaciers are melting away. Isn't that a tall claim?
R.K.P.: Our glaciers are under the same influences, the same temperature changes as other glaciers in the world. So you know we cannot possibly assume if all the other glaciers are melting, that for some reason we are insulated from those influences. The lay public ... can see with their eyes what is happening to our glaciers.