Now hot, now cold climate-wallahs

Demeter, the Olympian goddess of harvest and climate, is known to act in extremes, at times her benevolence knows no bounds and so does her wrath. Probably, the climate nowadays seems to be going along with the whims of the ancient Greek goddess. Suddenly, there is a flash-storm in Philippines, an earthquake in Haiti, hurricane in Florida, unbelievable snowfall across Europe and now the east coast of the US. The whims of Demeter seem to be dictating the climes now.

And she isn’t the only one whimsical around. The climate-wallahs or more appropriately the climate change-wallahs seem to be more whimsical thanDemeter and with passage of each day they seem to turning ridiculous as well.  Savour this, not such a long-time ago, there was a large looming question mark over our very existence, every action from the computers we run to the farts of the cows (they are a big cause, by the way) were dubbed as detrimental to our environment and hence our health as well. The climate seers while predicting doom, also prescribed big sacrifices from all, from what we eat to how we commute.

Just when we were getting used to the Armageddon-kind of future, climate atheist have heralded on the scene, debunking all that was said earlier. Reassuring us that all those scary graphs and plotted lines were erroneous . Telling us that all this time we had been taken for a royal ride by the climate change-wallahs, who had an ulterior motive behind all this scare-mongering; big bucks for self and such activities. At the main target of the new climate atheist is a man with a balding plate and a flowing beard with a single white-patch, a man who answers to the name of Dr. Rajendra Pachauri.

In the olden times, it was a common practice with many tyrants kings to shoot the messenger in case they did not like or were angered by the contents of the message, giving rise to a phrase. While the times of the kings and the tyrants are past, the practice isn’t, evident from the way the anti-climate change lobby is relentlessly attacking Pachauri. In Hindi there is a phrase which may seem ludicrous in translation but aptly describes the modicrum of this lobby; haat dho ke peeche pad gaye hain (after his life post washing their hands).

While Pachauri has always been under the attack from this vested lobby, the attacks intensified after the flopshow at Copenhagen. Also, they got very personal in nature. Till date there was a big debate raging on whether the science of climate-change was science at all. But suddenly the debate shifted on to Pachauri, especially after the publication of a scathing piece in the Sunday Telegraph ( .  Aspersions were thrown to Pachauri’s motive, his professional background, the benefits he reaps and why he is happy if the world believes in the climate doom scenario.

The libellous piece resulted in an avalanche of similar ones. Moreammunition was provided to them with the IPCC’s retraction on the Himalayan Glacial melt, apparently they got the calculation wrong by some 700 years. Pachauri who in 2007 was a hero winning the Nobel Prize with Al Gore, is now painted as a scheming villain who apparently is stashing millions away in some obscure Swiss bank. There was a recent survey done in the UK, which stated that climate scepticism is on the rise. Of course, it has to be, after all in all these attacks and counter-attacks, where is the word on climate.

One thing that is sorely missing these days is a sense of proportion from the part of the media. When the climate seers was on the roll, reams and reams of reports, stories and surveys were published compelling us to believe them. And now when the climate atheist have come into their own, the very opposite is happening. The flip-flop of the reporters is what is making us sceptic more than the science.

The trouble is that the very journalist who question Pachauri’s ability to head the climate body, is himself (or herself) unable to discern what is science or what is not. He or she is merely a medium, the words are someone’s else. There is no real whetting before a piece is published. And hence, you have these see-saw kind of stories appearing.

In the end, I know not whether the world is going to end or drown in the next 100 years (provided the mean temperature rise is more than 2°C), our children or their own will face that. But what I do know is that if indeed this climate-change is a hoax (which I doubt much), the headless media chickens need to take much blame for it, cause it is they who perpetrated and spread it, certainly not Pachauri.

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