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Return to Almora, by Rajendra Pachauri

Rajendra Pachauri, head of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  (Source:
Steamy novel is set in the Himalayas, the site of Mr. Pachauri's controversial melting proclamations

Imagine this.  You've been caught at work in an exaggeration that has put your organization's central campaign at jeopardy.  Some are calling for your resignation, but you're currently surviving on your past accolades.  So what do you do?

Well if you're Rajendra Pachauri, the embattled Indian economist who chairs the UN IPCC, you apparently write a raunchy novel.  Pachauri has aired to the public what has been occupying his spare time -- a tome of sexual fantasies and frustrations entitled Return to Almora.  The book chronicles the adventures of a liberated climate expert seeking love in the 1960s.

Obviously, Pachauri has freedom to behave how he sees fit in his personal life.  However, many are critical of the public figure's decision to share his fantasies with the public.

Moreover, they note that the book's titular setting, Almora -- an Indian town in the province of Uttarakhand that's nestled up against the Himalayan Mountains -- is particularly ironic given Pachauri's recent trouble.  Pachauri came under fire several weeks ago when he was forced to retract part of the IPCC's 2007 climate report, a critical document that policy makers worldwide are using to shape pending climate legislation and restrictions.  

Pachauri claimed in the document that the Himalayan glaciers could melt as early as 2035, but that turned out to be pure speculation -- and incorrect, at that.  Scientists who are supportive of warming theory admitted that even in their most pessimistic scenarios, the glacier would last for a hundred or more years.  It appears that Pachauri pulled the figure literally out of thin air, and now it has put him on thin ice.

So, perhaps it was not the wisest decision for Pachauri to set his new novel in the Himalayas.  Or perhaps it's another bold move for a man who once suggested that the world shun meat to fight climate change.  

One would hope, though, that Pachauri at least penned a quality work, that would make his gamble pay off, and the criticism he would surely receive worth it.  Unfortunately, Return to Almara is no praiseworthy litany of lust, says romance novelist Kathy Lette.  Lette, whose own work has sold millions thanks to its refined raunch, comments in a CNN interview, "The sex scenes are so, so terrible.  But in fact he is in charge of climate change so it is just a lot of hot air."

Pachauri's work does at least have major backing, though.  The multi-billionaire boss of India's largest energy company is launching the book with Pachauri.  And Pachauri also has company in the circle of politicians turned romance novelists.  Many famous political figures worldwide have launched raunchy novels in the past, including former French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing and late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

In an effort to keep this entry clean, we'll offer you a link to Climate Audit's story on the topic, which includes an excerpt of the work.

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RE: Crank of the Week
By kattanna on 2/10/2010 12:44:57 PM , Rating: 5
how about you prove that it is a threat?

RE: Crank of the Week
By reader1 on 2/10/10, Rating: -1
RE: Crank of the Week
By kattanna on 2/10/2010 3:13:48 PM , Rating: 1
why? if CO2 where the primary reason for warming, then the temperature would rise steadily year after year as the concentration rose, yet it hasnt.

proof alone that CO2 isnt the MAJOR cause of climate change.

RE: Crank of the Week
By xpax on 2/10/2010 9:17:50 PM , Rating: 1
That's what we're attempting to do by decreasing C02 emissions.

Incorrect. Decreasing CO2 emissions is a response, not a diagnosis. In order to justify a response, there needs to be something verifiable to respond to.

By the way, it's CO2, not C02. One carbon atom, two oxygen. It's not the number on the side of the General Lee.

RE: Crank of the Week
By MozeeToby on 2/10/2010 3:24:37 PM , Rating: 3
The question isn't whether it's a threat or not, if global temperatures increase by a significant amount, it will cause problems. Rises in sea level, changing ocean currents, and changing weather patterns. Furthermore, we suspect that global temperatures have been increasing since the end of the little ice age, possibly more or less recently (the research is too politically sensitive to truly trust in my opinion). In the medium to long term, temperatures have been rising.

The questions that matter are:
Is there anything we can do about it?
How much human suffering and problems will warming cause?
Will doing something about warming cause fewer problems than not doing something about it?

And that last is the question that gets forgotten. Even assuming that CO2 is the be all and end all cause of global warming, I've yet to see an analysis that shows the cost of eliminating emissions (which would have to be the end goal) compared to the cost of doing nothing. Reducing and ending emissions will stall development of third world countries, it will decrease the amount of food than can be grown on a given piece of land, and it will increase the cost of energy and with it the cost of every single thing we do.

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