Patchy: climate sceptics set up harassment allegations

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Even by the usual standards of the Guardian / Observer, this article by John Vidal is completely bonkers.

Apparently the sexual harassment charges Pachauri faces were all cooked up by climate sceptics. The evidence for this is that there’s a newspaper that criticised him, and a man who used to be an editor of that paper now has connections to the Cato Institute. These wicked climate sceptics hacked into Patchy’s email accounts, sent messages pretending they were from him, then paid the woman involved to press charges.

Additional evidence to support Vidal’s conspiracy theory is the fact that a climate-sceptical blogger once wrote about wanting to get rid of Pachauri.

Furthermore, apparently the young woman involved was flirting with Patchy, a story that Vidal seems to find plausible despite including a photo of him in the article.

All this is revealed in a sequence of emails and a meeting between Patchy and The Observer.

Vidal’s scoop has been widely ridiculed on twitter, with some describing the article as “farcical” or “mad”.

40 thoughts on “Patchy: climate sceptics set up harassment allegations

  1. I’m sure it must be nothing more than pure coincidence, but I can’t help wondering if climate-change crusading Vidal’s “revisionist” scholarship was perhaps “inspired” by the recent acquittal of (now former) CBC super-star, Jian Ghomeshi on similar charges, here in Canada. [See, here for example].

    In any event, Vidal’s dutiful repetition of the Nobel myth – and his willing suspension of disbelief in one of Pachauri’s earliest twists ‘n turns (i.e. it was the “deniers” wot done it) during the course of this saga – strongly suggest that fact-checking is not his – or the Guardian / Observer‘s – forté.

    Not to mention the almost obligatory (but never substantiated by any credible evidence) claim of having received “death threats”. IIRC, this particular frequently-recycled allegation (and/or variants thereof) was first conjured up by Ben Santer on the heels of Climategate 1.0. To the best of my knowledge, however, even Ghomeshi (and/or his lawyer) didn’t stoop quite this low.

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  2. The new Guardian/Observer policy on sexual harassment – “Well if some tasty young totty seems up for it – any randy old bloke’s gonna cop a feel. Innit?”

    Providing conclusive proof that, in the infinitely convoluted hierarchy of PC victimhood, thermo-catastrophilia now trumps mere sexual abuse.

    I read elsewhere this week that gay men are about to be expelled from the LGBTQERTY movement for being “insufficiently oppressed”.

    Confusing times for old blokes like me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. More reaction, from Huffpo India
    http://m.huffpost.com/in/entry/9552272

    “baffling”, “curious”… It also accuses Vidal of taking a very biased position and not reporting responses from the complainant and her lawyer.

    And another article here
    http://www.dailyo.in/politics/rk-pachauri-sexual-harassment-climate-change-ipcc-john-vidal-the-guardian-environmentalism/story/1/9734.html
    very critical of Vidal.
    “Perpetuating patriarchal and racist power structures while claiming to be fighting for planet earth.”

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  4. I wonder what Dr Lew makes of the clear conspiracy ideation by Vidal. It’s not a ideation by Patchy, because he knows he’s lying through his teeth. If he was genuinely being set up, he’d be looking far closer to home for suspects and wouldn’t want to muddy the waters with mad accusations. I rather think he’s just confessed.

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  5. Evaluating the evidence from the perspective of climatology, John Vidal’s claims seem plausible. After all, Pachauri is widely acknowledged to be one of the leaders in trying to save the world from dangerous climate change. There have been many attempts to discredit the evidence, and hacking of emails is not uncommon. There is no better way of discrediting someone than accusing them of sexual harassment.

    The other perspective is that Pachauri was the a very powerful figure in a small organisation. A young female would need to be very careful in making any accusations of sexual harassment for fear of her career.

    The fact that Pachauri has given out details before the trial indicates an attempt to prejudice the trial. If there was any real substance to the claim, it would be better to leave it to the trial. Even weak evidence that his email account could have been compromised could provide doubt on email evidence. Having weak evidence aired beforehand gives the prosecution team a chance to check the allegations and rebut them.

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  6. Warmists again doing ‘Narrative PR instead of science’

    Another easily challengable article, where they use the trick of having no open comments.

    Just like today I had cause to look at Mehdi Hasan articles, but they too had no open comments

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  7. Consulting for business or government very much depends on what is in fashion. Pick a hot topic, and business can boom. Climate Change – as in ‘CO2 Catastrophe’, not as in ‘banal platitude’ – has been roasting hot, and remains, I guess, quite toasty although cooling quite rapidly I hope. Try Googling ‘Climate change consultants’. I just got 35,500,000 million hits for it.

    There are a lot of aspirant Pachauris out there. Let us hope that only a few have soft porn writing as a way to pass the time (since this kind of consultancy needs little work once you have got the fashion angle right and have a few sets of slides for a range of occasions), and that even fewer like to impose their imaginings onto real people under their power.

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  8. BTW last week I was looking at Gdn articles saying the “Victims must always be believed”
    ..but that was a bout the Met Police’s intention to reverse their current policiy of not being neutral

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  9. I’m baffled how people can have such strong opinions on someone’s innocence or guilt without being party to the facts (as opposed to the “facts” reported by one or other interested party).

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  10. It seems that life in general baffles you, Raff. The only person on this thread who is anything other than amused by this tale is you. You are the only person to express anything other than amusement. Perhaps you should reflect on that and your apparent need for hero figures to support your sense of self-worth.

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  11. Kind of interesting just how the Indian justice system allows so much public pre-trial comment.

    Given the nature of the reported electronic evidence against him, it seems like he has few other choices in an attempt to discredit it. They’ve had such a free ride for many years, directing all sorts of ‘evil-shady-money’ accusations at climate sceptics, that it isn’t really surprising he thinks this is his best remaining option.

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  12. Raff,

    1) India has a major rape problem, it’s not a big step to imagine that it also has a major sex harassment problem.
    2) Patchy has demonstrated he’s not discrete about his sexual fantasies and doesn’t understand that positions like his require self restraint – ie don’t publish porn in your name if you want to retain respect.
    3) Trying to pin this on climate sceptics? Seriously? If he’d said that he’d upset someone in government or a colleague was trying to undermine him maybe we’d consider he might be innocent but when he starts trying to implicate the shadowy forces of climate denial he strayed into ‘the dog ate my homework’ territory. He’s clutching at straws because he knows he’s guilty.
    4) Anyone thinking it was sceptics responsible for this is an idiot – Patchy is a great asset to sceptics. The more corrupt little clowns the better.
    5) He’s not denying the poetry is his or that the emails came from his PC. Why was that stuff on his work PC and why didn’t he notice anything being sent from his PC? At the very least, he’s guilty of messing about at work writing terrible prose.
    6) The statements from the women are far more plausible than his.

    Why do YOU think he’s innocent?

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  13. Why do YOU think he’s innocent?

    I know nothing about him, his guilt or innocence, nor of the case beyond a few snippets I have read. But I do believe in someone being innocent unless proven guilty, which you clearly don’t:

    He’s clutching at straws because he knows he’s guilty.

    Like much of skepticism, you write with such certainty when you really have no clue.

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  14. So Patchy claims his accuser had access to all his e-mail accounts and could have planted the incriminating sexual messages via his ‘send mail’. Hah! Next thing he will attempt is to claim she was the ghost author of his racy novel, Return to Almora.

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  15. Donna Laframboise looked into this a while back, and noted that Pachauri had denied writing the messages:

    Pachauri has denied writing these messages. He says his electronic devices were hacked. For 16 months, while he was apparently none the wiser. His version of events is that all of this creepy, cringe-worthy material was forged by “unknown cyber criminals” intent on undermining his climate saving work. Even if this were remotely plausible, the allegations by this woman (and other former female employees) of frequent and inappropriate physical contact remain.

    Readers with robust constitutions can read the messages for themselves in this downloadable file, along with a submission from another woman, and decide for themselves how plausible it is that his young accuser constructed it all in collusion, presumably, with ‘cyber criminals’: https://nofrakkingconsensus.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/pachauri_allegations_formatted.pdf

    Source: http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2016/03/01/pachauri-criminal-charges-total-1400-pages/

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  16. As well as the daft conspiracy theories, it has been pointed out that Vidal’s article contains two basic factual errors.

    Pachauri is not a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and he did not found TERI.

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  17. Tiny, that is not the standard by which the good legal systems work, however much you might like it to be.

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  18. I know I shouldn’t respond to the troll, but the troll did ask a question in another thread and this is a good example.

    Raff, you asked in another thread to give you an example of you changing the subject. This is a perfectly good example. The original post does not opine in any way whether Pachauri is guilty or innocent in a criminal sense. It purely discusses the unethical and inappropriate nature of the John Vidal article. Likewise, almost all of the comments up to yours also purely discuss how appalling and inappropriate the Guardian article is, and do not explicitly opine on whether Pachauri is innocent or guilty of the charges.

    So, you have changed the subject from “the Vidal article is appalling” to “is Patchy guilty or innocent”. This is trolling and changing the subject. You even got one person to bite. This is how discussion threads get derailed by trolls.

    So Raff. Prove to me you are not a troll. Answer this simple question which is actually on topic for this post. Given that the Vidal article is based on an interview regarding the defendant of an ongoing trial; given that the defendant makes claims – without evidence – of a great conspiracy against him by climate sceptics, and that he also directly accuses the person making sexual harassment claims against him of being a part of that conspiracy, do you think the Vidal article is ethical journalism and appropriate? A simple yes or no answer to these will suffice, and feel free to elaborate on that topic if you wish, but may I suggest that you cease the trolling and changing of subject.

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  19. The ‘defence’ that his emails were hacked is not new – Pachauri came up with this soon after the harassment accusations were made, stating that ‘cyber criminals’ had hacked into his email account:

    “In a court order, Pachauri’s lawyers claim his emails, mobile phone and WhatsApp messages were hacked and that cyber criminals accessed his computer and phone to send the messages in an attempt to malign him.”
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-sexualharassment-pachauri-idUSKBN0LP0S020150221

    It was probably a foregone conclusion that he would point the finger at climate change sceptics. I mean, who else but nasty fossil fuel funded sceptics would want to discredit a man who is busy saving the world? In that respect, maybe Bob Ward gave him the germ of the idea in February 2015, or perhaps they cooked up this cunning defence together, maybe even with the help of a few Guardian journos? Just a small step from cui bono to outright accusation of direct sceptic involvement.

    “It’s “understandable” that Pachauri resigned while he faces “allegations against him in India. The allegations are unrelated to his post as chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, said by e-mail.

    “There will no doubt be some climate change ‘skeptics’ who seek to use Dr. Pachauri’s resignation as an opportunity to attack the IPCC,” Ward wrote. “Such efforts should be recognized as the act of desperate people who have simply lost the argument over whether human activities are primarily driving climate change and who cannot face up to the truth.”
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-24/pachauri-quits-un-climate-panel-after-harassment-allegation

    Whatever the case, they were very sophisticated hackers who also managed to hack into Pachauri’s synapses and nerve endings in order to involuntarily trigger him into physically molesting his accuser as well. Or maybe she just plain lied about that part.

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  20. Spence, my comments are on-topic or responding to Tiny. I said quite clearly: “I’m baffled how people can have such strong opinions on someone’s innocence or guilt without being party to the facts (as opposed to the “facts” reported by one or other interested party).”

    Tiny certainly did “opine in any way whether Pachauri is guilty or innocent in a criminal sense” (“He’s clutching at straws because he knows he’s guilty.”), so is it not legitimate to question that? Or have you also pre-judged the case based upon incomplete evidence? I don’t know whether Vidal’s article is “ethical” or by what standards you would judge that, but if it is not, then neither is this article and most of the comment here.

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  21. No, Raff, your comments are off-topic and a deliberate attempt to derail the thread.

    Also, the fact that you cannot determine whether a conspiracy theorising article that directly blames the victim in an active sexual harassment case is ethical or not tells me your own personal moral standards are in the gutter. You disgust me.

    That’s all I have to say on the topic.

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  22. Spence_UK, to be fair I did start it but as you write, the victim isn’t being given the right of assumed innocence until proved guilty in a major newspaper. Raff doesn’t care about that, he just bitches about sceptic web sites, I assume because he thinks they’re more important.

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  23. Spence, it seems Tiny is not alone here in not believing in “innocent unless proven guilty”:

    …article that directly blames the victim…

    Which other legal principles do you disagree with?

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  24. Raff…grow up. Stop distorting the evidence as Mann, Schneider, Rahmsdorf, Foster, Schmidt do.Try to behave as if climate science is just a load of crap…in other words…be an adult.

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  25. I should never write that’s all I’m going to say on a topic, should I?

    This is somewhat different for me as I’ve witnessed this personally, when someone very close to me had to take her boss through a sexual harassment case. Not only did she suffer the demeaning harassment in the first place, the amount of stress involved in just bringing an internal complaint is astonishing. And it doesn’t end there – you hear the dismissals, the accusations of lying, claims she was flirting, or asking for it. You kind of figure that crap doesn’t happen in this day and age, but it really does.

    In that case, she won her employment tribunal, with a considerable award against the company, but no criminal charges were pressed. According to Raff, because nobody was convicted, there was no victim. I can’t imagine any situation in the world where the victim doesn’t exist until conviction takes place, then suddenly, as if by magic, a victim appears.

    Just as with the case I have direct experience of, in which the tribunal was resolved via an independent internal investigation, there has already been an independent internal investigation of this matter at TERI. According to the Hindustan Times:

    A three-member Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) at TERI has found that RK Pachauri’s “repeated attempts” to foster a personal relationship with a young woman colleague caused her “harassment.” It further said that when the woman tried to resist, the accused “retaliated by taking away her work.”

    Vindicating the young woman in the case, the ICC said that though the TERI director general had claimed that there was a “mutual camaraderie” between himself and the woman, the correspondence between them and his behavior told a different tale.

    It has further recommended that TERI take disciplinary action against Pachauri, 74, for sexual harassment. Several of Pachauri’s emails, as attached by the woman in her complaint to TERI, go “beyond the professional space,” found the ICC, that comprised three women.

    Upon a detailed review of all messages exchanged between Pachauri and the woman, the ICC found that the accused’s behavior was “causing her discomfort and harassment.” The report adds that when the young woman expressed her discomfort at the unwanted attention, Pachauri “retaliated by taking away her work and assigning it to other colleagues.”

    The ICC added that the complainant’s health was also adversely affected by the stress caused by the misconduct. The girl suffers from various symptoms that “are indicative of stress… she has been diagnosed with mental depression,” the report said.

    Of course, this is all painfully familiar to me. The only exception is that this poor woman doesn’t just have the smears from inside the organisation, she also has smears from international media. I know first hand how bad it was in the first instance, I can’t even imagine what the latter must be like.

    Just to be clear, even if there is no conviction, this woman is a victim of harassment, shocking and unethical behaviour by Pachauri. This is already confirmed by the internal investigation. The only thing we don’t know yet is whether the shocking and unethical behaviour is also criminal – we have to wait for that last piece of the puzzle.

    Raff, your dismissal of the suffering this woman has gone through makes me sick to the pit of my stomach. I have seen such low life before, it just never fails to amaze me how low people can be. Just one request. Don’t ever, EVER talk to me again.

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  26. I have known Pachauri for well over 20 years. He always travels with a research assistant, who is always female, always young, always none too bright. In this specific case, Pachauri is, of course, innocent until proven guilty — but the case against him seems strong.

    Pachauri’s attitude towards young women is, of course, separate from his track record for the IPCC: He oversaw the rift between WG1 and WG3, and the chaos in WG2, while his public engagement was, to put it mildly, gaffe prone. I know a number of people who dearly love the IPCC and can only speak his name with clenched teeth.

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  27. Man In A Barrel, Raff doesn’t recognise flaws in his own side, he’s made himself the Miss Manners of the sceptic blogosphere. We of course can be accused of all sorts of things without trial, including genocide and the end of the world. Unfortunately for Raff and Pachauri, while it’s ok to use sceptics as the scapegoat for CO2 emissions and weather, it’s not so easy to blame this on us. It seems that dirty old men are more problematic for the wider warmist audience than dirty old CO2 sceptics.

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  28. “Raff doesn’t recognise flaws in his own side . . . . We of course can be accused of all sorts of things without trial, including genocide and the end of the world.”

    Perhaps because those flaws are so huge – you just end up falling straight through them. Whist Patchy has been hob-nobbing around the globe for the last 20 years with various young attractive female assistants in tow, and finding the time to write soft porn novels, Europe, and Germany in particular has been rapidly decarbonising its energy infrastrucure in a one-sided and ridiculously forlorn attempt to prevent global warming. The result has been disastrous. Industrial competitiveness has been sacrificed to places like China, but worse than that peoples’ lives have been sacrificed – around 40,000 in 2014 according to German magazine Focus.

    Not counting the millions of bats and birds killed by wind turbines of course. The Green genocide, in contrast to that which may or may not be resting heavily on the shoulders of climate sceptics/mitigation delayers, is a clear and present reality, happening now. But hey, what’s 40,000 mostly old, sick folk dead now compared to millions predicted to die due to global warming in the future? Lets’ also not forget all those lives lost in extreme weather events around the globe which Forensic Climate Science has ‘fingerprinted’ as anthropogenic – they’re current. If evil climate deniers had not delayed climate action, all those poor people killed by hurricanes, floods, heatwaves, etc. would be alive today, so we should stop griping about a few deaths caused due to teething problems with the roll-out of the Great Green Energy Scam (oops, sorry, Plan) and look at the bigger picture. Well, as far as I can see, the bigger picture includes a LOT more people dying directly as a result of ‘renewables’ making electricity less and less affordable and more unreliable.

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  29. Jaime Jessop, absolutely. The UK is currently seeing the result of trying to service too many ideals, including CO2 reduction. I say ‘servicing’ but it should be ‘lip servicing’ becuse as we know, just because the CO2 ends up on China’s account doesn’t mean it wasn’t emitted on our behalf. The curious thing is how many people from union leaders to journalists are happy to misinterpret the evidence and blame anything but stupid CO2 plans.

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  30. The shameful piece of biased apologia written by Vidal deserves to be preserved in aspic as an illustration of just how craven, complicit, credulous, and conformist to ‘authority’ so many in the mass media have been over climate matters.

    Another woman has come forward to bring charges against the ‘Into the Dustbin’ man who led the IPCC in such a way that Laframboise was in all fairness able to describe it as behaving like a delinquent teenager: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/31/rajendra-pachauri-third-woman-accuses-ex-ipcc-chair-sexual-advances-un

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  31. Looks like Humpty Dumpty Pachauri may be heading for a fall and when he does, he might just take with him the reputation of the IPCC who installed him as chairman and kept him in that very high position of trust and responsibility for 13 years, undoubtedly in the full knowledge of his indiscretions and other personality faults. Then again, it might all be just swept under the carpet.

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  32. Pingback: More idiocy from John Vidal and Peter Wadhams | Climate Scepticism

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