The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines

The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines

4.7 9
by Michael E. Mann
     
 

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The ongoing assault on climate science in the United States has never been more aggressive, more blatant, or more widely publicized than in the case of the Hockey Stick graph—a clear and compelling visual presentation of scientific data, put together by Michael
E. Mann and his colleagues, demonstrating that global temperatures have risen in conjunction with… See more details below

Overview

The ongoing assault on climate science in the United States has never been more aggressive, more blatant, or more widely publicized than in the case of the Hockey Stick graph—a clear and compelling visual presentation of scientific data, put together by Michael
E. Mann and his colleagues, demonstrating that global temperatures have risen in conjunction with the increase in industrialization and the use of fossil fuels. Here was an easy-to-understand graph that, in a glance, posed a threat to major corporate energy interests and those who do their political bidding. The stakes were simply too high to ignore the Hockey Stick—and so began a relentless attack on a body of science and on the investigators whose work formed its scientific basis.

The Hockey Stick achieved prominence in a 2001 UN report on climate change and quickly became a central icon in the “climate wars.” The real issue has never been the graph’s data but rather its implied threat to those who oppose governmental regulation and other restraints to protect the environment and planet. Mann, lead author of the original paper in which the Hockey Stick first appeared, shares the story of the science and politics behind this controversy. He reveals key figures in the oil and energy industries and the media front
groups who do their bidding in sometimes slick, sometimes bare-knuckled ways. Mann concludes with the real story of the 2009 “Climategate” scandal, in which climate scientists’ emails were hacked. This is essential reading for all who care about our planet’s health and
our own well-being.

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Editorial Reviews

Juliet Eilperin
The strength of Mann's book lies in the light he sheds on how the scientific peer-review process works, along with his first-hand account of his role in the national political feud.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
In this meticulous and engaging brief on climate change research and the political backlash to legitimate scientific work, Penn State professor Mann narrates the fight against misinformation from the inside. As a member of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (recipients of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize), Mann helped compile 1,000 years of temperature data that when graphed, illustrates the extreme rise in degrees at the end of the 20th century. The persuasiveness of the “hockey stick,” as it was dubbed, made Mann an instant political target. In the 2009 hacking scandal known as “Climategate,” emails discussing the mathematical models he used to create the figure were said to prove an international conspiracy to dupe the public. That controversy, Mann writes, is only the latest attempt by deniers to discredit scientists one by one; for decades, powerful interests have spent untold millions to tarnish legitimate research and the reputation of scholars who have dedicated their lives to understanding our world. Although the book sometimes slides into overly technical language, Mann balances the statistical analysis with charming personal anecdotes from his life and work. Careful descriptions of the methods and models behind climate change science bear out that assertion, proving that the only way to counter dangerous lies is to expose the truth, however inconvenient it might be. (Mar.)
Bill Nye the Science Guy

If you don't believe our climate is changing, read this book. Dr. Mann will change your mind. For us, it's a war of words. Preserve the Earth, and pass the ammunition.

Irish Times

And if you read just one book on climate change, make it Michael E. Mann's riveting exposé of disinformation and denial....

Metascience - Kristin Shrader-Frechette

Mann deserves praise for taking the time to speak to other scientists and citizens about what threatens us all. He is not only a brilliant scientist but an ethical hero, a model for all.

Choice

Mann's account and nontechnical rebuttal of the attacks on climate science provide an excellent primer on contemporary climate science....Highly recommended.

Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith

If you read only one book on climate change, this one is hard to beat.

Daily Kos
The best part, in my science-geeky opinion, is readers of this book will enjoy a dazzling, informative tour of the science underlying climatology and especially the analysis that went into the diagram that caused all the ruckus.

— DarkSyde

Huffington Post
A harrowing ride through the politics of truth and denial.Huffington PostHuffington Post

— Shawn Lawrence Otto

Naples Daily News
...this is a book you should read, because it clearly shows the contrast between how science works and how politics works. The difference is dramatic. And fateful.

— Ben Bova

Star Tribune
...vitally important to all citizens of a warming planet Earth.

— James P. Lenfestey

Geoscientist
I heartily recommend this book for an unusually clear view of the action on the front line of climate science from one of its principle palaeoclimate protagonists.

— Colin Summerhayes

Physics Today
Mann deserves our respect and admiration for what he has been through and for his willingness to discuss it. The narrative is a deeply honest scientific coming-of-age story.

— Naomi Oreskes

Jeff Masters WunderGround Blog
a must read for every serious student of climate change science, and gets my highest rating: five stars out of five.

— Jeff Masters

Chemical & Engineering News - Rudy M. Baum

One of the most useful books yet in explaining climate science, especially the use of paleoclimate proxy data to assess the history of Earth's climate.

Jerry Brown

Confronting climate change will require clear scientific thinking and courageous actions by many individuals. Dr, Mann's book details the powerful evidence supporting climate change as well as the relentless attempts by climate deniers to distort climate science and attack those who are speaking the truth about it.

Natural Hazards Observer

A very entertaining book that winds its way through the thicket of climate science and politics.

Rolling Stone - Jeff Goodell

must-read

Australian Book Review

This book is well written and tells a remarkable story that is likely to be of interest to a wide range of readers.

Science

Mann's honest and thorough testimony on the attacks against climate science is a critical step toward resolving the climate change debate.

Bill McKibben

Very few people have sounded more important alarms about our climate future, and very few people have paid a higher price for doing so. Michael Mann is a hero, and this book is a remarkable account of the science and politics of the defining issue of our time.

Paul R. Ehrlich

A brilliant and courageous climatologist, Michael E. Mann knows what it's like to be viciously attacked by the well-funded deniers of scientific evidence and how critical it is to respond. In this gripping, personal, front-lines account of climate politics, he eloquently conveys the importance of both doing great science and communicating its societal implications to a wider public.

Chris Mooney

Michael E. Mann has been the most important, resilient, and outspoken warrior in the climate battle, responding to threats and persecution with courage and resolve every step of the way. Anyone who cares about the climate issue must read his fascinating -- and enraging -- story.

James Lovelock

Michael E. Mann presents his conviction that climate change is real and potentially deadly. A truly readable book on a topic that will remain evergreen.

Sherwood Boehlert

A must read to appreciate the endless disinformation campaign by climate change deniers at the highest levels of government and corporate America and the chilling yet serious implications of the crusade to discredit distinguished scientists like Michael E. Mann.

Henry Waxman

As one of the nation's leading climate researchers, no one has felt the brunt of the attacks from politicians and the fossil fuel industry more than Michael E. Mann. This is his personal account from the center of the maelstrom, documenting the lies and distortions about his work and his heroic efforts to stand up for scientific truth.

The Science Guy - Bill Nye
If you don't believe our climate is changing, read this book. Dr. Mann will change your mind. For us, it's a war of words. Preserve the Earth, and pass the ammunition.
Daily Kos - DarkSyde

The best part, in my science-geeky opinion, is readers of this book will enjoy a dazzling, informative tour of the science underlying climatology and especially the analysis that went into the diagram that caused all the ruckus.

Huffington Post - Shawn Lawrence Otto

A harrowing ride through the politics of truth and denial.

Naples Daily News - Ben Bova

...this is a book you should read, because it clearly shows the contrast between how science works and how politics works. The difference is dramatic. And fateful.

Star Tribune - James P. Lenfestey

Vitally important to all citizens of a warming planet Earth.

Jeff Masters WunderGround Blog - Jeff Masters

A must read for every serious student of climate change science, and gets my highest rating: five stars out of five.

Geoscientist - Colin Summerhayes

I heartily recommend this book for an unusually clear view of the action on the front line of climate science from one of its principle palaeoclimate protagonists.

Physics Today - Naomi Oreskes

Mann deserves our respect and admiration for what he has been through and for his willingness to discuss it. The narrative is a deeply honest scientific coming-of-age story.

Kirkus Reviews
From climate scientist Mann (Meteorology and Geosciences/Penn State Univ.; co-author: Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming, 2009, etc.), an important and disturbing account of the fossil-fuel industry's well-funded public-relations campaign to sow doubt about the validity of the science of climate change. The author was an originator of the "Hockey Stick," a graph showing that average temperatures today are higher than they have been for at least the past 1,000 years, which became an icon of the "climate wars" when published in a 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. In 2009, he was among the scientists whose e-mails, hacked and posted online, gave rise to "Climategate." As a target of critics who deny the reality of climate change, he has been subject to smear campaigns and accusations aimed at discrediting his work. In fact, the validity of his work has been affirmed many times by leading scientists. Despite personal anger, Mann offers a scientist's factual chronicle of the evolution of the disinformation industry that has challenged climate science. He describes a "virtual Potemkin Village of pseudoscience institutions" including dozens of think tanks, such as the Advancement of Sound Science Center and the George C. Marshall Institute, many of them funded by Koch Industries and the Scaife Foundations, and all working to "introduce some measure of doubt into the public mindset." Noting connections between the climate-disinformation campaign and past industry-funded efforts to deny the dangers of smoking and other health threats, Mann details the many tools used by deniers: misleading articles, questionable petitions, cherry-picking of documents and one-sided conferences featuring deniers. With their need for controversy, immediacy and "balance" in reporting, even respected media have often "parroted" deniers' accusations and innuendo, giving credence to their claims. This blistering indictment of corporate-funded chicanery demands a wide audience.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231526388
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
01/24/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
262,223
File size:
18 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

What People are saying about this

Bill Nye the Science Guy

If you don't believe our climate is changing, read this book. Dr. Mann will change your mind. For us, it's a war of words. Preserve the Earth, and pass the ammunition.

Sherwood Boehlert

A must read to appreciate the endless disinformation campaign by climate change deniers at the highest levels of government and corporate America and the chilling yet serious implications of the crusade to discredit distinguished scientists like Michael E. Mann.

Henry Waxman

As one of the nation's leading climate researchers, no one has felt the brunt of the attacks from politicians and the fossil fuel industry more than Michael E. Mann. This is his personal account from the center of the maelstrom, documenting the lies and distortions about his work and his heroic efforts to stand up for scientific truth.

Bill Nye the Science Guy ©

If you don't believe our climate is changing, read this book. Dr. Mann will change your mind. For us, it's a war of words. Preserve the Earth, and pass the ammunition.

Paul R. Ehrlich

A brilliant and courageous climatologist, Michael E. Mann knows what it's like to be viciously attacked by the well-funded deniers of scientific evidence and how critical it is to respond. In this gripping, personal, front-lines account of climate politics, he eloquently conveys the importance of both doing great science and communicating its societal implications to a wider public.

James Lovelock

Michael E. Mann presents his conviction that climate change is real and potentially deadly. A truly readable book on a topic that will remain evergreen.

Chris Mooney

Michael E. Mann has been the most important, resilient, and outspoken warrior in the climate battle, responding to threats and persecution with courage and resolve every step of the way. Anyone who cares about the climate issue must read his fascinating--and enraging--story.

Bill McKibben

Very few people have sounded more important alarms about our climate future, and very few people have paid a higher price for doing so. Michael Mann is a hero, and this book is a remarkable account of the science and politics of the defining issue of our time.

Read More

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