Ours is the age of global warming. Rising sea levels, extreme weather, forest fires. Dire warnings are everywhere, so why has it taken so long for the crisis to be recognised?
Here, for the first time, climate scientist and MET Science Fellow Peter Stott (not to be confused with climate sceptic Philip Stott) reveals the bitter fight to get international recognition for what, among scientists, has been known for decades: human activity causes climate change. Across continents and against the efforts of sceptical governments, prominent climate change deniers and shadowy lobbyists, Hot Air is the urgent story of how the science was developed, how it has been repeatedly sabotaged and why humanity hasn't a second to spare in the fight to halt climate change.
Professor Peter Stott is a Science Fellow in Climate Attribution at the MET Office's Hadley Centre and Professor in Detection and Attribution at the University of Exeter. He has played a leading role in the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and has been published in Nature and Science among many other journals.
"Hot Air is a compelling indictment of the people and organisations that, for whatever reason, refuse to accept the evidence of human-induced global warming. The scientific case for this has been clear for more than thirty years. It is disappointing that there is still a need for this book, but gratifying to find such a clear exposition of the science and the politics. The most important book you are likely to see this year."
– John Gribbin
"Hot Air provides a deep insight into the nasty, iniquitous, and nefarious tactics used to deny the reality of climate change. Peter Stott's first-hand account brilliantly documents the 30-year war against climate scientists in the name of fossil fuels, political expedience, and climate denial."
– Prof. Mark Maslin, author of How to Save Our Planet
"A rare and gripping insight into the drama behind the UN's landmark science reports shaping how the world responds to rising temperatures. With the feel of a past-faced thriller, Peter Stott takes the reader on a tense and sometimes painful journey through battles with climate deniers and oil-rich powers. It's a book that reveals the exhilarating triumphs and personal challenges of the researchers discovering how our planet is changing."
– David Shukman, science editor BBC News
"Peter Stott has been a key figure both in demonstrating the strength of climate science and in fighting the climate deniers, and Hot Air is a thrilling, enthralling and, yes, enraging account of his years at the heart of the most important battle of our time."
– Rowan Hooper, New Scientist, author of How To Spend A Trillion Dollars
"A riveting despatch from the frontline of the fight against climate change. Essential reading for anyone interested in the greatest threat human society has ever faced."
– Michael McCarthy, former Environment Editor, The Independent, and author of The Moth Snowstorm
"Gripping, urgent and human [...] Stott provides a unique 'eye-of-the-storm' perspective on the story of the century."
– Leo Hickman, director of Carbon Brief
"In today's world climate scientists don't just do science. As Peter Stott reveals in this extraordinary story, over recent years climatologists have also had to do battle with fossil fuel-financed deniers with a dark and dangerous agenda – that of blocking international action to tackle the most pressing crisis of our times, global planetary heating."
– Mark Lynas, author of Six Degrees
"This important book lays out many of the stories behind the most important science in human history: the effort to prove, against the well-funded denialists and vested interests, that the planet was heating, that humans were responsible, and that we better take swift action. If there are historians around someday to tell this epic story in all its complexity, they will lean heavily on this account."
– Bill McKibben, author of Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?