To Err is IPCC

Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change

One of the news report in the newspapers today read ‘IPCC retracts 2035 alarm on glacier melt.’ The Chairperson of the coveted body, on behalf of 2500 best scientists from across the world, accepted on Wednesday 20th January 2010 that it made a huge goof up in its fourth assessment report on climate change and withdrew its assertion that the Himalayan glaciers ran the risk of being wiped out by 2035. They took complete responsibility of the report being wrong.

It takes tremendous courage and integrity to come out and say that we made a mistake and face the consequences of that. Without the successful inclusion of all governments in the process of creating the climate change report by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) this could have possibly challenged the entire UNFCC report, related to climate change and its potential impacts. Already Industrial western world has been using the “glacier theory’ to flog India on climate change. Survival emissions from burning firewood and cow dung and wet paddy fields emitting methane, have come under criticism for potentially contributing to climate change. These emissions were linked to the seasonal ‘brown cloud’ over parts of India. These were used to put pressure on India to take stronger actions and take greater responsibility for the climate crisis.

How do we look at the goof up on the year of 2035 for Himalayan glacier melt down? Or can we be complete about it. We can say yes! It happened and look at what next? by accepting it, forgiving it and appreciating the new possibility for actions that opened up especially for India and China.

We are at the next level. New environment friendly energy production options, new possibilities of cooperation between nations through ‘debt for swap’ and CDM technologies are today possible that did not exist earlier. Let’s do it..while we still can.

Life is not about waiting for the glaciers to melt…it’s about learning to dance in the snow!


Environmental anthropologist by training, been in the field for over 20 years, Gialome (pseudonym) is mainly concerned with the impacts of infrastructure and technology projects on local communities.

2 thoughts on “To Err is IPCC

  1. Pingback: :: Delhi Greens :: » Independent Review of IPCC’s Working Completed
  2. When a body such as th IPCC…makes a blunder…that everyone knows is no error, one doesn’t really know what to believe and what not to. Back home, the institute run by the man in question starts a new masters course every year. One can only try to ask if such agents in the hands of vested politics should ever be spared. A shame for science and environment and a question mark on our very future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Views: 4,906