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

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

by Michael E. Mann
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The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines by Michael E. Mann

In its 2001 report on global climate, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the United Nations prominently featured the “Hockey Stick,” a chart showing global temperature data over the past one thousand years. The Hockey Stick demonstrated that temperature had risen with the increase in industrialization and use of fossil fuels. The inescapable conclusion was that worldwide human activity since the industrial age had raised CO2 levels, trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and warming the planet.

The Hockey Stick became a central icon in the “climate wars,” and well-funded science deniers immediately attacked the chart and the scientists responsible for it. Yet the controversy has had little to do with the depicted temperature rise and much more with the perceived threat the graph posed to those who oppose governmental regulation and other restraints to protect our environment and planet. Michael E. Mann, lead author of the original paper in which the Hockey Stick first appeared, shares the real story of the science and politics behind this controversy. He introduces key figures in the oil and energy industries, and the media front groups who do their bidding in sometimes slick, bare-knuckled ways to cast doubt on the science. Mann concludes with an account of the “Climategate” scandal, the 2009 hacking of climate scientists’ emails. Throughout, Mann reveals the role of science deniers, abetted by an uninformed media, in once again diverting attention away from one of the central scientific and policy issues of our time.

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: 1,199,033
File size: 18 MB
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About the Author

Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Meteorology and Director of the Earth Systems Science Center at Penn State University. Despite being in the public eye, he continues an active research program in climate science and has published over 160 peer-reviewed papers in leading scientific journals. He is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union. In 2012 he received the Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Geosciences Union. Along with other scientists, he contributed to the reports of the IPCC, which was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He is also a co-founder of the award-winning website

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The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Field Notes from the Front Lines 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Sheltie More than 1 year ago
I probably first read Dr. Michael Mann's name on the Web site of the Norfolk, Va., newspaper in association with a witch hunt the Virginia attorney general - a climate change denalist - had undertaken against him in the so-called "climategate" thingee - case that took on media wheels thanks in large part to conservative, right-wing outlets like FOX News. Dr. Mann is on the faculty at Penn State's main campus at State College, Pa. My late wife was a Penn State faculty member and academic official at the university's campus at Hazleton, Pa. So naturally I follow Penn State events and people pretty closely. But what really makes this book a must-read for Americans today is the science that drives its conclusion: Human activities, like burning coal and gasoline, are warming the planet, the only one we've got.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first author of the MBH hockey stick papers has performed a valuable service by writing a book that goes well beyond just saying, "Trust me, those deniers are dummies." He treats the reader as intelligent and able to understand a well-presented scientific argument addressed at the nonspecialist, and thus has made a valuable contribution to the wider public realization of the real lack of scientific underpinnings in the attacks on the hockey stick and related work. Basic blunders in the contrarian work by some of denial's main figures (simple errors in their own attempts to apply principal component analysis; using degrees in functions that expect input in radians; confusion of a function with its derivative; the list goes on and on) should be required knowledge for any journalist still thinking that "balance" is needed between carefully done research in this area and the shoddy work that Mann exposes here. Everyone - get a copy, read it, understand it, and think about it the next time you hear about that "bombshell" paper that just came out showing that humans aren't causing global warming. Those bombshells generally seem to blow up in their authors' faces.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a highly readable book about scientists and global warming. There is a natural variation in climate in the history of the planet, but there is also a recent warming trend associated with burning fossil fuels. The fossil fuel industry has funded dozens of astroturf groups to deny global warming , or if there is global warming, that fossil fuels have contributed to it.
RichRH More than 1 year ago
A clear and detailed writing of how the bought and paid for media has smeared the science.
Yellow-Snow More than 1 year ago
Wow, Mann provides enough empirical evidence for you to arm yourself against your unbelieving Uncle. I thought I already understood all about global warming and the political rhetoric around it, but this book made me realize how little I knew. Great book.
David_Cassatt More than 1 year ago
In this book Professor Michael Mann brilliantly interweaves three threads: how a curious person becomes a scientist and rises up the career ladder, what multiproxy temperature reconstruction is all about, and the fight against accepted, but inconvenient, science. Mann’s research showing that recent temperatures were unprecedented over the last 1000 or so years became a focal point for both climate scientists and their powerful foes, and Mann and his work were attacked by business and ideological interests. Mann recounts his own personal interest in science, how multiproxy reconstructions are done, and the resulting battles against his research. Each of these aspects is well-covered by a good writer and communicator; this is a story of curiosity and opportunity, a story of the science told in a way that an interested layman can understand it, and the story of a battle to defend good science. The reader will learn the science, but will also learn the tactics that the opponents of science use, and the way that scientists are targeted. (note: review copy provided)
GT-Colorado More than 1 year ago
Dr. Mann so called "hockey stick" has been discredited. I am quite interested in climate change, but have little interest in those who attempt to deceive and misrepresent the science. His data sets, methodology and statistical methods have been called out by prominent scientists inside and outside the climate science community. The Medieval Warming period, as well as, the Rome Warming Period, the Younger Dryas, the Maunder and Sporer Minimum have all contributed to climate change on the earth. I would much prefer that climate change be examined across the various scientific disciplines to better understand climate change on the planet. There is way more to climate change then what Dr. Mann is proposing and suggesting. Dr. Mann can do better for the good of science.
Stacy__Clark More than 1 year ago
A fabulous, informative and telling read. Michael E. Mann's research and analysis remains cutting edge. Highly recommend this book.
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