SciTechBlog   « Back to Blog Main
October 20, 2008

Nobel laureate offers hope, and a warning

Posted: 12:44 PM ET

"The British Empire got its standard of living by consuming half the world's resources.  How many planets will it take for India to do the same?"

Nobel Laureate R.K. Pachauri

Thus did R.K. Pachauri, last year's Nobel Peace Prize co-Laureate, quote his most famous countryman, Gandhi.  And so did he underscore how the problem of Gandhi's time has gotten much, much bigger and more immediate.

Pachauri delivered the keynote address to the Society of Environmental Journalists'  Annual Conference in Roanoke, Virginia, last week.  WIth nearly all the world's governments, relevant science organizations, and a torrent of peer-reviewed research converging on a picture of climate change already taking hold, Pachauri delivered a mixed message of alarm and hope.

There's still time, he said, but not much.   The whirlwind of financial news - nearly all of it bad - in the past few weeks could mean a sharp turn away from the potential investments needed to alter our energy economy, he said.   Even a two-year stall in reversing greenhouse emissions could threaten our ability to pull the world out of a worsening greenhouse situation within the next decade - the critical time for action, he said.

Pachauri welcomed the U.S. presidential candidates' attention to climate.  John McCain was one of the first U.S. Senators, along with Joe Lieberman, to introduce legislation to cap greenhouse gas emissions (the legislation never passed, however).   McCain has called for a 60% cut in U.S. greenhouse emissions by mid-century; Barack Obama has set a target of 80% by 2050.

With a diplomatic phrase and a bit of a smirk, Pachauri insisted that he didn't "want to name countries" that had slowed progress in reaching global climate agreements, but it was clear to all in the room that he was fingering the U.S. and the Bush Administration.  He acknowledged that even if the Developed World made strides in reining in greenhouse emissions, the aspirations of China, India, and much of the Developing World could more than offset the gains as those countries increase their standard of living via a fossil fuel economy.

Pachauri also offered a glimpse of his day job as Director General of the Energy and Resources Institute in New Delhi.   It's a non-profit dedicated to bringing solar and other non-fossil forms of energy to some of the hundreds of millions of Indians desperate to improve their standard of living without impacting their - and our - climate further.

–Peter Dykstra    Executive Producer, CNN Science, Tech & Weather

Filed under: Uncategorized

Share this on:
Larian LeQuella   October 20th, 2008 1:12 pm ET

I find it ironic that a gathering of scientists trying to effect policy met in the US. The US has turned into about as backwater a scientific wasteland, and home to anti-intellectualism as you can, and still retain indoor plumbing and electricity. Okay, that may be overstating it a bit, but unless we take an understanding of the world around us more seriously, we are pretty much doomed as a species.

Alex   October 20th, 2008 1:41 pm ET

If the new president really carried through on energy independence within the first 100 days, with an emphasis on wind and solar... oh who am I kidding? Get ready to bake, world!

Franko   October 20th, 2008 2:09 pm ET

Bad drives out the good.

Al Gore the Nobel Climatist; What next ?
Nobel Prize for IPCC's Pachauri ??
NASA Climate Dogma Deparment, Hansen, also in line ?

Then come those, who propose 50% population extermination.
Knock on your door, middle of the night,
Climatist, with a Nobel sharpened knife.

Derek   October 20th, 2008 2:45 pm ET

Larian, I don't think you're overstating it much. Intellectuals are hard to come by these days, especially where I live. This is not to insult anyone, but to be honest, if I try to have a conversation with someone on a particular academic topic, they quickly bore and then accuse me of "having no life." What a laughable statement! I'm sorry, I did not know that my interest in our economic policies meant I had no life. I shall refrain to talking merely about superficial things such as, "that ridiculously huge eight-pointer buck you killed last hunting season with your muzzleloader."

Larian LeQuella   October 20th, 2008 3:09 pm ET

Derek, where do you live? I'm in the Panhandle of Florida. My wife and I were discussing the "intellectual wasteland" that the AF placed us in. Don't get me wrong, the beaches here are beautiful, and the protected wildlife lands are amazing, and I enjoy that tremendously, but in finding someone to have a conversation with... Well, I feel your pain. Type in my name as a URL dot com and say hello. 🙂

Franko   October 20th, 2008 3:33 pm ET

"Energy Choices For A Carbon Constrained World"

Carbon, CO2 are not dangerous greenhouse poisions.
Reduce CO2, plants suffer, people starve and die.
Nobel Peace Prize fo Osama next, After all, Arafat got one.

Route to Peace is Death. A quiet, peaceful, Nobel Prize approved grave yard.

Wisdom   October 20th, 2008 3:57 pm ET

1950... Nuclear Holocaust
1960... Food runs out by 1984
1970... Global Cooling
1980... HIV will end mankind
1990... The Ozone
2000... Global Warming (guess we fixed the problem on the 70s)

2010... You pick... the next end of life is up for grabs...

I can't believe I've lived through so much doom... must be a lucky man

NotSmartEnoughToLiveWithLarianLeQuell   October 20th, 2008 6:05 pm ET

You know what really scares the hell out of me, a free society trying to operate without a free press.

Press organizations with political, environmental or religious tinges are the beginning of the end. We must act quickly before it’s too late!! Please, please, stop talking to environmental journalists. They have been found to cause the majority of greenhouse gas emissions….

NotSmartEnoughToLiveWithLarianLeQuell   October 20th, 2008 6:07 pm ET

I'm sick and tired of being at deaths door, someone please drive their SUV those last few miles to put us past the point of no return.


For the love of the planet please make the pain of listening to these guys stop....

NotSmartEnoughToLiveWithLarianLeQuell   October 20th, 2008 6:11 pm ET

Dear Journalists of the Green Cult

I have prepared as instructed. I have purchased those Nike sneakers and I'm awaiting delivery by thos aliens in the comet.

I havent opened that container of CoolAid you sent me when I signed up. I'm awaiting just the right time to quench my thirst.

S Callahan   October 20th, 2008 8:17 pm ET

I have faith in man to help this planet....perhaps engaging in conversation with others on the topic may stimulate 'intellect' or even inform those 'that don't know'.
I also know that if O'b'ama is elected that the USA will be pro energy efficency, and his adminstration will be an advocate of the land, water, and science programs (yeah for NASA! ).

I think the next few years are going to be more considerate of this planet.....the earth demands it.. I side with HOPE.

Franko   October 20th, 2008 11:09 pm ET

Significance of Global Warming (CO2 doubling is only 0.24°C)

Mirage of coming catasrophe; Gone with the wind; Swept away by convection
Cannot cook a pizza pie, when the oven door is open, convecting (T^4)
But now, a Nobel Prize, for an IPCC bogyman, never even a pizza chef.

Erin   October 21st, 2008 12:33 am ET

Perhaps he needs to be a little more forthright with uncomfortable facts for the developing world, like the fact that China ADDS France's TOTAL CO2 output to China's total each and every year. If this is not addressed, then it doesn't matter. Why should the USA or anybody else transfer wealth to the developing world when global warming will happen anyway, due to this inconvenient truth I mentioned.

John, Virginia   October 21st, 2008 7:50 am ET

But all of the current scientific evidence depicts global cooling (related to sunspots or lack there of), so climate change can go either way. It is too bad when our scientists prostitute themselves for fame (and research money) rather than dealing with evidence and the scientific method. Academic integrity has replaced military intelligence as the oxymoron of our time.

Franko   October 21st, 2008 9:54 am ET

"Aristotle was ordered to drink hemlock"

Things have improved through the ages;
Feel the cold, Disagree with the warm Godma, and get your rice bowl broken

Luboš Motl; "I would answer that it is a big scale organized crime."

Alan J Goldstein   October 21st, 2008 10:07 am ET

It's a fiction that global cooling was predicted in the 70s.

7 articles predicting cooling
44 predicting warming
20 that were neutral
In other words, during the 1970s, when some would have you believe scientists were predicting a coming ice age, they were doing no such thing. The dominant view, even then, was that increasing levels of greenhouse gases were likely to dominate any changes we might see in climate on human time scales.

Daniel M   October 21st, 2008 10:27 am ET

It amazes me how many foolish people feel that learning to conserve and respect the environment is a challenge to their "freedom" and feel that scientists are lying to them. I have a simple experiment you can do to understand what we are being warned about and for. Take a cup of coffee, tea, what ever you like to drink, let it get moldy, and then a the mold uses up all of the material that it can for food, its waste gradually polutes the base and it dies off. This is a small version of a closed ecosystem. 6 bilion people, only so much water and coastline. How many closed beaches and toxified lakes and rivers do you need to wake up?

James in Nebraska   October 21st, 2008 12:56 pm ET

I have to agree with Daniel. There are those that really lash out when "green" is mentioned. It don't take much for someone to help out either. If all you do is recycle your common items, or use a few less plastic bags, or whatever, it makes a big difference. And it really isn't that hard to do. Unless you don't have a recycling center nearby.

Some might think that it's to small of a thing to help. But, what if 1 million people used 1 less plastic bag a day, or an additional 1 million households recycled there milk jugs, plastic bottles? I don't know, maybe it isn't much, but it seems like a big help to me.

Rick   October 21st, 2008 1:16 pm ET

Some very interesting thought in here, good to see there are still some thinkers on this rock, except for Franko.

Franko   October 21st, 2008 5:55 pm ET

"Czech prez: Environmentalism is new communism"

This guy may be just a solar panel peddler, for now – given a chance ?
Hiltler seemed insignificant, got elected, then killed by the millions.
But the champion Eco Exterminator was a commie -*- Stalin -*-
Militant environmentalists, trying to keep quiet .– But an occasional slip

Joyce Y   October 22nd, 2008 9:59 am ET

It's astounds me how so many can ignore and even critique climate change as a joke when so many facts pointing to the truth. Scientists devote their lives into finding a solution to this crisis – how could you think it's a lie? "Even a two-year stall in reversing greenhouse emissions could threaten our ability to pull the world out of a worsening greenhouse situation within the next decade". We have to act now. It's because of these people who refuse to face the truth that result in our slow response to this crisis.

It doesn't take a lot to be "greener". How hard is it to walk a little farther to a recycling center? How difficult is it to carpool to get to work instead of having each person driving a car for an average 16 miles? If everyone was willing to face the truth and take just a tiny step, it may be possible that we can turn away from the devastating doom we've created for ourselves.

People turn to turn away from the truth because it's often painful and uncomfortable. Face the light now.

Wisdom   October 22nd, 2008 11:03 am ET

James in Nebraska

I remember changing to plastic to save the trees... you can't win for losing sometimes... although it's great to see so many blue bins out on Tuesdays in my neighborhood... years ago you didn't see people trying to recycle... it's pretty common now which it a great thing.

Alan J Goldstein

The articles may be true... however I remember the 70's and don't ever recall global warming... just cooling... Carl Sagen saying that and how wonderful Venus must be... just like Earth... we live and learn. Although I should note that cooling could be a result of warming should enough surface be covered with water... reflecting sunlight, etc... so I would guess that both answers are correct given that possibility... my mind is open on the subject... even to the point of naturual cycles as we've experienced mass climate change on the planet prior to mans ability to impact it. However... I agree that our impact isn't a positive one... no matter the degree.

Franko   October 22nd, 2008 11:32 am ET

"I agree that our impact isn’t a positive one… no matter the degree"

Plus or minus, Fahrenheit or Kelvin, Pint or slug, by any other measure
Guilty are US, for being alive ?

Our Wisdom, our only hope, also broken down by the EcoPropaganda ?
Gaia, not just a theory, but skill and wisdom in adaptation !

World revolves around US,
Not a seaquake deafened Whale in the wrong Shipping Lane.

Wisdom   October 22nd, 2008 1:40 pm ET

Can't say I disagree on a lot of that...

Guilty are US, for being alive?... in some eyes sadly true... not in mine

SS   October 22nd, 2008 2:55 pm ET

Alan J Goldstein-

How do you know the exact number of those articles? Where did you get that information? Can you provide a RELIABLE source?

When stating such information you should also give the source.

SS   October 22nd, 2008 3:01 pm ET

"Guilty are US, for being alive ?"

What a great question!!

Relativist   October 22nd, 2008 10:21 pm ET

You puny humans are but a blink of an eye on the planetary clock, so stop worrying so much and enjoy the ride, however brief it may be.

dontcare   October 23rd, 2008 3:54 am ET

Honestly, we deserve what we get. Considering how spiteful, greedy, and dishonest most of the world is, it's probably good that we get kicked in the pants. We'll either learn from it or die.

Anyone ever considered human population as the cause of increased global warming? After all, we're just walking gas exchangers.

Franko   October 23rd, 2008 10:19 pm ET

"cause of increased global warming? "

Ken Gregory; "Significance of Global Warming"

Basic physics, new equations and calculations.
Human Global Footprint, not found ?
The smoggy heat island of the city,
Temperature swept away, gone with the convection.

James Tracy   October 28th, 2008 6:46 am ET can cut all emissions, and more. Please look and consider the possibilities.

Franko   October 30th, 2008 3:41 am ET

"Pure Power Inc. is looking for partners to build the Oxygen Scrubbing technology. There is a $1 million buyin,"

The oxygen really needs a good scrubbing, not only to the molecule, but also to each atom; to purify. O16 is preferred by the Nepharin, coming on Planet Niburu 2012

The Nepharin ran out of Live Human Sushi, drooling, salivating, If you buy in at the minimum $10^6 - Pure Power Inc will issue a genuine, Do Not Eat Me Tshirt. Save the Earth, Save Yourself. Be a friend to the extinction threatened Nepharin.

As a sign of things to come; Wall street had a Dead Nepharin Bounce

kim   October 30th, 2008 4:35 am ET

Franko, for God's sake, get some help! Some of these responders are posturing in defense of their own fragile pseudo-intellectualism by agreeing with you. Or, maybe they really just don't realize how disturbed you really are because you sound kind of smart. Either way, they are not helping your psychosis by supplying you with positive feedback. Darlin', you need to turn off the computer and walk around the block in some cold, fresh air. Since we are all doomed anyway, try to smell some roses or pet a furry animal while you are out there. Also, you might have a vitamin deficiency. Check it out and get better. I'm pulling for you. Go, green!

Franko   October 31st, 2008 1:52 am ET

"Franko, for God’s sake, get some help! "

You are very perceptive; I took your advice - 2 multivitamin tablets with minerals. Found a bottle of long forgotten Chromium GTF, 500mcg tablets; took 2. Now my brain cells are stronger than Tony Starks'

Just cannot afford to scrub my O2;
"Oxygen Scrubbing technology. There is a $1 million buyin"
So, I will just keep developing my Chromium Man suit !
Nepharin choke, throw up, not salivate, at the thought of Chromium

winie Spencer   November 6th, 2008 9:33 am ET

Its awsom that an African American slated to become PRESIDENT of the United States of America. I believe this is by DEVINE INTERVENTION.

Another thing that perhaps you can look forward seeing accomplished by DEVINE INTERVENTION is this:

A Person of Colour DISCOVERS the
1. The CURE for the Common cold, and/or the CURE for the FLU

winie Spencer   November 6th, 2008 9:56 am ET

November 6th, 2008 9:33 am ET
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Its awsom that an African American BORAK OBAMA, is selected to become PRESIDENT of the United States of America. I believe this is by DEVINE INTERVENTION.

Other things that perhaps you can look forward seeing accomplished by DEVINE INTERVENTION are these:

A Person of Colour DISCOVERS at least one of the following

1. The CURE for the Common cold, and/or the CURE for the FLU
VIRUS (within 6 months to one year)

2. A CURE for ASTHMA (within 6 months to one year)

so that there may be no more such thing as 'Drinking and driving" and so there will be a significantly decrease in drunk driving, and fatal traffic accidents, since after people have consumed as much alcohol as they want to, they would then be able to purchase this concoction either in the form of a tablet, a candy, an herbal drink, a capsule, etc, and immediately, and consume it, and immediately after, the ALL or MOST of the alcohol will be METABOLIZED from the blood stream including being metabolized from the blood vessels in the brain cells. (no bulls)

3. A CURE for CANCER (no bulls)

and finally................

4. A CURE for the HIV virus and the AIDS disease (about 1 to 2 years down the road)

Franko   November 9th, 2008 7:14 am ET

winie Spencer

"1. The CURE for the Common cold,...
2. A CURE for ASTHMA ...
3. A CURE for CANCER (no bulls)...
4. A CURE for the HIV virus and the AIDS "

How will the Greenie Fascist Killers gonna keep up ?
So many need to be culled, to cure Earth from the disease, Humanity

James Tracy   September 1st, 2009 6:29 pm ET

LOL some nice posts, funny too. But Seriously if your so smart (KiM) maybe you should read 1st, watch the smoke destruction videos. Google James Tracy Pure Power Inc. Read some of that. Then Make a rational desicion. Read what other real people and real news has said. Thank you.

Marketing Consultant   December 17th, 2018 11:34 am ET

Where should I find out even more on this topic? These short, simple Youtube videos have turned him into one of the most popular influencers online. I really love your write ups. You might have just saved me a lot of hassle just now. Kids today really need to pay close attention to this sort of information or they're going to have a really hard time later on in their life. When you put good people with a common goal in a room together, they’re sure to connect over common interests.

wine insiders review   December 22nd, 2018 6:08 pm ET

I got to bookmark your website. How often do you research this topic? A lot of what you're saying is a little confusing to me but I still find it very insightful and I want to discover much more. I am sure this page will help all who see it. I've been a big fan of yours for a while now and I look forward to seeing more from you. I'll be sure to bookmark this website, I will definitely come back often.

Larue Kusek   December 20th, 2020 6:56 pm ET

There couple of fascinating points at some point in this posting but I don’t determine if them all center to heart. There may be some validity but I’ll take hold opinion until I investigate it further. Excellent write-up , thanks and that we want much more! Added to FeedBurner also

Joshua Delorme   January 11th, 2021 2:13 am ET

Danilo Paterniti   January 12th, 2021 1:43 am ET

I’m very happy to read this. This is the type of details that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.

Porter Sagraves   January 28th, 2021 10:28 pm ET

Dane Wrinn   March 4th, 2021 9:44 am ET

Adelle Groening   March 6th, 2021 2:13 pm ET

great issues altogether, you just gained a emblem new reader. What would you recommend about your submit that you just made some days in the past? Any sure?

muse injection   April 3rd, 2021 2:20 pm ET

muse alprostadil suppository alprostadil 250mcg urethral supp

levitra (vardenafil)   April 4th, 2021 10:50 pm ET

ed pills vardenafil vardenafil 20mg india manufacturer

how to buy sildenafil without a prescription   April 5th, 2021 2:23 pm ET

cost of sildenafil 100mg tablets sildenafil generic canada

generic tadalafil united states   April 7th, 2021 12:27 pm ET

40 mg tadalafil tadalafil dosage

price sildenafil generic   April 12th, 2021 10:13 am ET

sildenafil singapore sildenafil soft tabs generic

vardenafil prices   April 13th, 2021 9:02 pm ET

warnings for vardenafil generic vardenafil 20mg

where can i get zithromax   April 14th, 2021 12:39 pm ET

zpack uti treatment antibiotic zithromax

Leave Your Comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

subscribe RSS Icon
About this blog

Are you a gadgethead? Do you spend hours a day online? Or are you just curious about how technology impacts your life? In this digital age, it's increasingly important to be fluent, or at least familiar, with the big tech trends. From gadgets to Google, smartphones to social media, this blog will help keep you informed.

subscribe RSS Icon
Powered by VIP