What Do Barney Miller and IPCC chief Rajendra Pachauri Have In Common?

In 1977, on the Barney Miller episode “Blizzard”—for those under 40: a cop sitcom—a man who was poking people with a sharp stick was arrested.

The man wanted to bring “awareness” to people, to “wake them up” about the coming ice age.

As he was being booked, he told Sgt. Dietrich, “Did you know that the polar ice cap is increasing at 46% per year?”

It was the end of the world.

But later it stopped snowing. The man was incredulous, beside himself. “Years of research and study, measurements and observations. Could it be all wrong?”

Barney Miller

Dietrich told him the snow had turned into a heavy rain. “A flood!” the man said, “That’s it!” Captain Miller said to him, “Never say die.”

(If you are in the States, you can watch the episode on Hulu.)

In 2007, on The IPCC Show—for those over 40: a quasi-government revue—a man in need of a sense of humor is awarded a Peace Prize.

The man wanted to bring “awareness” to people, to “wake them up” about the coming heat wave.

As he was being honored, he told VP Gore, “Did you know that the Himalayan glaciers are decreasing at an alarming rate? They will be gone by 2035.”

It was the end of the world.

But later the temperature went down. The man was incredulous, beside himself. “Years of research and study, measurements and observations. Could it be all wrong?”

A newspaper man told him that glaciers were actually growing. “An ice age!” the man said, “That’s it!” The UN leader Ban Ki-moon said to him, “Never say die.”

(If you are on the internet, you can watch the episode on the Telegraph.)

Actually, it’s funnier than that.

Turns out that Pachauri knew his flunky Syed Hasnain—from whom he had first heard the Himalayan claim—was lying, yet Pachauri still decided to put that lie in the 2007 IPCC report. They did it just as climate guy (I almost said “scientist”) Stephen Schneider advised: exaggerate like hell to make a political point. It’s for the people’s own good.

Hasnain scored big, too. According to the Telegraph, for his research group TERI, of which Pachauri is Director-General, Hasnain garnered a “substantial share of a $500,000 grant from one of America’s leading charities.” He would use that money, he said, to “study” the non-disappearing-disappearing glaciers.

What makes the whole thing hilarious is that India’s “leading glaciologist” Dr Vijay Raina called out Pachauri when the IPCC report was published. While playground ethics allowed Raina to use more colorful language, he remained a gentleman and merely said that the IPCC report was “baseless.”

Raina, of course, was ignored by all and sundry. He wasn’t part of the The Consensus because he disputed that consensus. Therefore, you see, there was still a consensus. Because if you didn’t agree with that consensus, you weren’t part of it, thus there was still one. Do you follow?

Raina’s objectivity caused Pachauri to flip his nut. He called Raina’s methods “voodoo science.” This undoubtedly hurt Raina’s feelings. Now that everybody knows that Hasnain lied, Raina asked Pachauri to apologize. Pachauri stuck by the “voodoo” claim—-rather, he circumnavigated it, explaining that, at the time, Raina’s claim wasn’t credible because it lacked “proper citations.”

Still not amused?

Then how about this: day before yesterday, Pachauri said that admitting and fixing of the lie, “only strengthened the credibility” of the IPCC.

He “described the IPCC’s processes as ‘robust and solid’.” Or to put it plainly, Pachauri says that getting busted means, “Trust me.”

I don’t know how to spell it, but right now I’m giving you the “Get it? Get it?” elbow.

For the show stopper, I can report that Hasnain (and his boss) gets to keep his money. Why? Because Hasnain isn’t an employee of the IPCC. No heads will roll. Nothing can be done. Move along.

OK, OK. One last joke.

According to the Times of India, “Pachauri maintained that all ‘rational people’ would continue to repose their faith in IPCC and its findings.”

If you aren’t laughing by now, you must be crying.

Update A small correction where I stupidly switched Raina’s and Hasnain’s name.


  1. Wasn’t this on one episode of the Monty Python’s Flying Circus? It sounds so familiar.

  2. Chuckles

    I think Dr. Pachauri is absolutely correct in his assertion. I consider myself a rational person, and my faith in the the IPCC and it’s findings have not altered in the slightest from their previous position.


  3. As the current Lesser Sahib of the Breatharians, I call for a turkey drop, and we all know which turkeys I’m talking about.

  4. Ray

    Dr Schneider later claimed he wasn’t advocating lying. It’s like the king saying “can no rid me of this meddlesome priest?” and later claiming he wasn’t advocating murder.

  5. DAV

    The sad thing is: the number of Warmers who will change their minds over this will be exactly zero.

  6. a jones

    The term is a turbulent priest Sir.

    And I quite like turbulent priests.

    If the Church of England had allowed, which it did not, I for one would have applauded the appointment of TUTU to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of all England.

    He would have been outstanding.

    Still we do actually have in York, Primate of England, a pretty promising candidate for turbulent priest, and of course usually York is translated to Canterbury.

    I do hope so. We shall see.

    Kindest Regards.

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