Pachauri’s 5-Star Sustainability Summit

Source:  No frakking consensus

Sustainable. That word is everywhere these days. So is Rajendra Pachauri, the discredited chairman of the discredited Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This week he’s in India for the 12th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, which begins on Thursday.

The summit is organized by TERI, an institute led by Pachauri. In other words, he isn’t merely a guest at this event. He’s the conductor of the orchestra. This is his show.

Which is why it’s so eye-popping that it’s taking place in an over-the-top, five-star hotel that’s described this way:

Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi offers guests a choice of Deluxe Rooms and Luxury Rooms. All guestrooms are luxuriously appointed with central air conditioning, these rooms measure 304 square feet and feature luxuriously large bathrooms. [bold added]

Now I like opulent hotel rooms and spacious bathrooms as much as the next person, but I don’t make a habit of scolding the rest of humanity about how unsustainable their lifestyles are. I don’t go around telling other people that they should change their values. Pachauri, on the other hand, does.

A UK newspaper quoted him, in late 2009, declaring:

“Today we have reached the point where consumption and people’s desire to consume has grown out of proportion,” said Pachauri. “The reality is that our lifestyles are unsustainable.” [backup link]

According to that news report, Pachauri believes

Hotel guests should have their electricity monitored; hefty aviation taxes should be introduced to deter people from flying; and iced water in restaurants should be curtailed…

A few months prior Pachauri told a magazine:

First, we need to reorient our value systems. We need to start feeling responsible for our own individual carbon footprints…The thermostat for air conditioning or heating being kept at a level where you feel some degree of discomfort. [backup link]

The Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development reports that, at an earlier sustainability conference, Pachauri used his closing remarks to declare that individual citizens must behave in a responsible manner and that:

leadership through lifestyle choice and modest consumption are important at every level. [backup link]

So where is this leadership? Which part of modest consumption includes three-day extravaganzas at five-star hotels?

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