Rajendra Pachauri on The Australian, sceptic, climate change | Crikey
The world’s most influential climate scientist Rajendra Pachauri speaks to Crikey on the need for sanity and fair reporting in media coverage of climate change — and explains why Australia should care.
“What is particularly important is that sane and rational voices must respond to these questions and this scepticism, and I think that should get adequate currency,” said Pachauri, who in 2007 accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the IPCC. “Then people can make up their minds on their own.”
He called on the media to take responsibility for the stories they run. “Unfortunately in several parts of the world, the media gives disproportionate coverage to those who take a contrarian view, even if they represent a very very small percentage of either the scientific consensus or public opinion. They get almost equal billing, and to my mind that seems a little unfair,” he said.
Despite the persistence of scepticism, Pachauri was upbeat about global acceptance of the science of human-induced climate change. He thought some prominent sceptics were changing their minds: “I hope that will be the case once they see all the compelling scientific evidence, in this country and in other parts of the world.”
The IPCC chief was confident the world was getting the message on climate change: “I think the extent of awareness is growing very rapidly … I feel quite optimistic about the way things are going”.
Pachauri praised Australia’s carbon price, saying the IPCC had found a price on carbon was one of the most effective ways of encouraging low-carbon technology. “I think what Australia has done has to be commended and I hope other parts of the world will also see something similar being done,” he said. He also called on governments to remove subsidies on fossil fuels because they acted as a deterrent to alternative sources of energy.