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.
Abbreviations and Acronyms
Prologue: What Is the Hockey Stick?
1. Born in a War
2. Climate Science Comes of Age
3. Signals in the Noise
4. The Making of the Hockey Stick
5. The Origins of Denial
6. A Candle in the Dark
7. In the Line of Fire
8. Hockey Stick Goes to Washington
9. When You Get Your Picture on the Cover of . . .
10. Say it Ain’t So (Smokey) Joe!
11. A Tale of Two Reports
12. Heads of the Hydra
13. The Battle of the Bulge
14. Climategate: The Real Story
15. Fighting Back
Michael E. Mann is a member of the Penn State University faculty, holding joint positions in the Departments of Meteorology and Geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI). He is also director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC). He received his B.S. degree from the University of California at Berkeley and attended Yale University for his M.S. degree in physics and his Ph.D. in geology and geophysics. In 2007, he contributed to the award of the Nobel Peace Prize along with other scientists who participated in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and in 2012, he was awarded The Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Geosciences Union. He is cofounder of the award-winning science website, www.RealClimate.org.
"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."
– Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
"The brilliant and courageous climatologist Michael 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, Mann tells the "hockey stick" story, exposing the forces behind the denialist rhetoric, refuting the charges of disinformation campaigns, and eloquently conveying the importance of both doing great science and communicating its societal implications to a wider public."
– Paul R. Ehrlich, co-author of The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment and Humanity on a Tightrope
"Although not initially of his own choosing, Michael 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."
– Chris Mooney, author of Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future
"In The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, Michael Mann presents his conviction that climate change is real and potentially deadly, and defends his now famous "Hockey Stick Graph." A truly readable book on a topic that will remain evergreen.
– James Lovelock, author of A New Look at Life on Earth and The Revenge of Gaia
"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, but serious implications of the crusade to discredit distinguished scientists like Michael Mann."
– Sherwood Boehlert, Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives 1983-2007, former chairman of the House Science Committee
"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 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."
– Henry Waxman, Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives, former chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee
"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."
– Bill Nye the Science Guy
"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."
– Publishers Weekly, 1/20/2012
"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 [...] This blistering indictment of corporate-funded chicanery demands a wide audience."
– Kirkus Reviews (starred review), 2/1/2012
"And if you read just one book on climate change, make it Michael E. Mann's riveting expose of disinformation and denial [...] "
– Irish Times, 12/31/2011