Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pachauri -"I am not a monk. I don't live in a monastery"

The Samar Halarnkar and Chetan Chauhan duo are back!!! Like Rajan-Iqbal or Batman and Robin. Before and during Copenhagen the duo ran one screaming alarmist piece after another, often in large, shouting headlines about the end of the world. They got quite a stick from me at this blog -e.g. here and here. To Chetan Chauhan's credit his alarmism has apparently toned down after Glaciergate. Now the team is back to interview Pachauri and they try -not easy for them - to question him in an impartial way.They hit the top of front page of the Hindustan Times today( Feb 2 issue)-

But I'm afraid they made a hash of it.It is still too difficult to put toughies to the man they have worshiped for so long.There were so many things they could have asked -but didn't. I can almost sense their frustration -at themselves.They just weren't mentally equipped to take on Pachauri. So they lobbed such easy balls that Pachauri could have batted the whole day without blinking.

Some excerpts-
Do you believe you are under attack because you are from the third world?   I don't know, but you can draw your own conclusions. But, I must say that throughout the period I have functioned as chairman of the IPCC I have had the support of every country. If that wasn't the case, I would not have been re-elected unanimously.  The outsiders who really don't want any action on climate change may find me inconvenient. They probably think that I am an inconvenient truth, like the Al-Gore movie.

Do you wear 1,000-dollar Armani suits?

I am not a monk I don't live in a monastery. I don't think I will ever do that. I have an inherited house, it is an ancestral property in Golf Links. If you think I should not be living in Golf Links, please get me a nice house and maybe I would consider moving from there. I find it very convenient [the house is half km from TERI]. It is not something I have invested in. As far as my suits are concerned, I get them stitched by Chadda and Company in Khanna Market [A middle-class market behind the TERI building]. He charges me the princely sum of Rs 2,200, and this is after I have bargained with him. Normally, he would have charged Rs 2,500. I am a regular customer. I will recommend you very strongly to him, I will take you along if you want. If my suits look like a thousand dollars, then he is doing a pretty good job, I would say. He is a good tailor.

I don't eat meat, I stopped eating meat years ago, I never go to a shopping mall, I don't think I have ever been to a shopping mall in this country because I am ethically against these energy guzzling establishments. When I step out of my office, I always switch off my lights. At home I never use a heater during the worst period in the winter, I just don't like it. I try to do my best in my own lifestyle, I know it is not good enough, but this is something that is a part of my daily existence. For anyone to say I have a luxurious lifestyle, I think it is a lie of the worst kind.

Can you provide us revenue for 10 years to prove there is no link between IPCC and TERI?

I don't see a link. As, I said if I would had been administrator of UNDP or in World Bank or in corporate sector, where I could dole out favours to people, then you can say that people are favouring TERI. I am proud of the credibility I have. If people feel I can run the organization, and this organisation does deliver, not through my efforts but everybody's efforts, we are proud about it. I have proved myself in several aspects in the world. Not in eyes of Sunday Telegraph. Fortunately, there are a few people, thank God, like the Sunday Telegraph. But yes, if you want, we can provide the accounts, the payments made over these 10 years.

Read the whole thing.It made me feel sorry for the duo.They just didn't have the ammo to take on Pachauri. So they never passed through Amzongate,Sterngate,Student-essaygate and whatnotgates.I suspect they have a poor understanding of these issues. I almost wish they had taken me along.We could have done marvels with a pair cojones among the three of us.

But at least they tried - even if so feebly. And that's a start - if a feeble one.Here's hoping they grow some.