Nature has announced its newsmaker of the year. It is Rajendra “Pachy” Pachauri.
For those of you who ask “Rajendra who?”, he’s the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the director of The Energy and Resources Institute (formerly Tata Energy and Resources Institute). The IPCC shared this years Nobel peach…uh…peace prize with the Goracle.
His profile in Nature is both entertaining and inspiring (particularly for Indian scientists, who should read the bit about his work ethic). From a slightly controversial selection, to being called a “feet dragger” or worse, Pachauri systematically overcame all critics and helped the IPCC forge ahead with its findings and getting global leaders to agree on something.
“On his way to collect his own medal, Gore stopped to shake Pachauri warmly by the hand. Patchy and Al, as they call each other, get along famously. It is all a far cry from the situation in 2002, when Pachauri beat Gore's favoured candidate to run the IPCC in a bitterly fought contest. Immediately afterwards, Gore lambasted Pachauri in the pages of The New York Times as the “let's drag our feet candidate”, a patsy put in place to weaken the IPCC as one of various “acts of sabotage” by the new Bush administration. Pachauri had fought back with a letter of his own to the Times . “In a 1991 speech, Mr Gore [referred] to my 'commitment', 'vision' and 'dedication' … Will the real Al Gore please stand up?”
You can read the entire profile here, on the Nature website. It is an excellent article to read.
(And if Nature decides this is subscription only, and you want to read it, send me an email and I’ll send you a pdf)