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hypocrisy and environmentalists

Written By Gopal Krishna on Friday, February 05, 2010 | 11:50 PM

Note: Corporate media has routinely accused Rajendra Pachauri of being an environmentalist despite his consistent anti-environment position. For long he has been involved in green washing and blue washing (by providing UN logo) of business enterprises of dubious colours.

True, walkable distances must be walked. But senseless promotion of myopic “automobilisation” and mad rush for consequent compulsion for fly overs by the corporate media has created a trasport policy that has led to insane ugliness of traffic jam in urban India. This is the situation when cars are owned by only around 0.7% of households in India. A recent World Bank report noted that currently there are eight cars per thousand people. Imagine a situation when there would be 86 privately owned cars per 1,000 people in 2031-32.

The active promotion of such car ownership by the government and the corporate media is quite regressive. In recent times, do remember the shallowness of corporate media in the matter of nano.

Pachauri is a creation of companies and corporate media not of environmental movements.

Gopal Krishna

hypocrisy and environmentalists

Climate change scientist Rajendra Pachauri has been slammed by a British newspaper for using a car to travel just one mile (1.6 km) to work.
“Controversial climate change boss uses car AND driver to travel one mile to office... (but he says YOU should use public transport),” the Mail on Sunday newspaper told its readers.

“On Friday, for the one-mile journey from home to his Delhi office, Dr Pachauri could have walked, or cycled, or used the eco-friendly electric car provided for him...

“But instead, he had his personal chauffeur collect him from his 4.5 million pound home - in a 1.8-litre Toyota Corolla,” the paper said.

It quoted Pachauri's chauffeur as saying the family owned or ran a total of five cars.

Pachauri uses three: a company Toyota, an electric REVA and an “Ambassador-style car”, which was described as a “a smoke-belching” vehicle.

The family's two other cars are owned by Pachauri's wife and his son.

“Dr Pachauri does use the electric car sometimes but most of the time he uses the Toyota,” the chauffeur was quoted saying.

“…As controversy continued to simmer last week over the bogus 'Glaciergate' claims in a report by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - which he heads - Dr Pachauri showed no apparent inclination to cut global warming in his own back yard,” the paper said.

It gave an account of Pachauri's lifestyle, reporting how he lives in Delhi's plush Golf Links area - where Britain's richest man Lakshmi Mittal owns a house - and how he was driven “to an upmarket restaurant popular with expatriates and well-off tourists just half a mile from his luxurious family home”.

Rajiv Chhibber, manager for corporate communications at The Energy Research Institute (TERI), where Pachauri works, said: “He does use the REVA electric car whenever he can and he encourages the staff to use the other electric cars when they drive around town. He also encourages all his staff to pool cars when we can.

“But sometimes the REVA is not practical. It may be he has to pick up other people. There is not so much room inside.”

Pachauri created a stir in the British media last year by advising people to eat less meat in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

sameer mohindru
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