No. 1 Scientist on Copenhagen: “All Very Baffling”


Regular readers of my coverage of the Copenhagen climate summit know how complicated the proceedings have been. There are many points of contentions—about substance and process—being discussed on different levels and on different tracks. Journalists stuck in the Bella Bubble—the cavernous conference center where this all takes place—routinely complain about the complexity of the negotiations and about trying to figure out what’s really going on, if anything. They need not feel too inadequate. Moments ago, I spotted Dr. Ranjendra Pachauri, the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN-backed and Nobel-winning group of thousands of scientists, which has produced the scientific research that underpins all these talks. I asked him to assess the current state of play in the negotiations. Shaking his head and smiling, Pachauri said, “It’s all very baffling to me.” Really? Yes, really, he said. And this guy knows how to run scientific models of the atmosphere. 

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  • David Corn

    David Corn is Mother Jones' Washington bureau chief and an on-air analyst for MSNBC. He is the co-author (with Michael Isikoff) of Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump. He is the author of three New York Times bestsellers, Showdown, Hubris (with Isikoff), and The Lies of George W. Bush, as well as the e-book, 47 Percent: Uncovering the Romney Video that Rocked the 2012 Election. For more of his stories, click here. He's also on Twitter and Facebook.