Recycle. Fly less. Eat less meat. These are some of the tactics that we've been told can slow climate change. But most of these recommendations are a result of a multi-pronged marketing campaign that has succeeded in placing the responsibility for fixing climate change squarely on the shoulders of individuals.
Fossil fuel companies have followed the example of other industries deflecting blame (think "guns don't kill people, people kill people") or greenwashing (think of the beverage industry's "Crying Indian" commercials of the 1970s). Meanwhile, they've blocked efforts to regulate or price carbon emissions, run PR campaigns aimed at discrediting viable alternatives, and have abdicated their responsibility in fixing the problem they've created. The result has been disastrous for our planet.
In The New Climate War, Mann argues that all is not lost. He draws the battle lines between the people and the polluters – fossil fuel companies, right-wing plutocrats, and petrostates. And he outlines a plan for forcing our governments and corporations to wake up and make real change, including:
- a common-sense, attainable approach to carbon tax – an overhaul of the flawed Green New Deal
- allowing renewable energy to compete fairly against fossil fuels
- debunking the false narratives and arguments that have worked their way into the climate debate and driven a wedge between even those who support climate change solutions
- how to combat climate doomism
With immensely powerful vested interests aligned in defense of the fossil fuel status quo, the societal tipping point won't happen without the active participation of citizens everywhere aiding in the collective push forward. The New Climate War will reach, inform, and enable citizens everywhere to join this battle for our planet.
Dr 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).
Dr Mann received his undergraduate degrees in Physics and Applied Math from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.S. degree in Physics from Yale University, and a PhD in Geology & Geophysics from Yale University. His research involves the use of theoretical models and observational data to better understand Earth's climate system.
Dr Mann was a Lead Author on the Observed Climate Variability and Change chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment Report in 2001 and was organizing committee chair for the National Academy of Sciences Frontiers of Science in 2003. He has received a number of honours and awards including NOAA's outstanding publication award in 2002 and selection by Scientific American as one of the fifty leading visionaries in science and technology in 2002. He shared the Nobel Peace Prize with other IPCC authors in 2007. In 2012 he was inducted as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and was awarded the Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Geosciences Union.
Dr Mann is author of more than 150 peer-reviewed and edited publications, and has published two books: Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming in 2008 and The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines in 2012. He is also a co-founder and avid contributor to the award-winning website RealClimate.org.
– Shortlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award, and one of The Observer’s ‘Thirty books to help us understand the world’.
"Mann shows that corporations and lobbyists have been successful in convincing us that climate change will be fine, if we just recycle our bottles and turn out the lights. Instead, he says, global warming is a problem way too hot for any one person to handle. He's optimistic though, because he sees what we really can and will do. Read his book, and let's get to work."
– Bill Nye, science educator, CEO of The Planetary Society
"Fossil fuel companies have, for decades longer than I have been alive, been the largest contributors to the climate crisis that affects my generation today – all in pursuit of profits and growth. In The New Climate War, Michael Mann holds them to account, and shows us how we can take the bold steps we must all take together to win the battle to save this planet."
– Greta Thunberg, climate activist
"This book takes the reader behind the front lines into the decades long information war waged by the fossil fuel industry and those that share their interests. From his perspective as a leader in the battle for scientific reason, Michael Mann provides hope and a roadmap for all of us to address the systemic issues fuelling climate change, and shows how we can come together to wage a new war in the fight for our future."
– Leonardo DiCaprio, actor and environmental activist
"With this book, Michael Mann details the challenges we face from enemies ('inactivists') both without and within while dropping critically important breadcrumbs for us to follow to lead us out of the forest of despair and set us on the path of victory in a battle we must win. We need an army of Michaels, stat!"
– Don Cheadle, actor, activist, and UN global goodwill ambassador
– Ben Cooke, The Times
"A strategic, wide-ranging overview of humanity's present predicament and an exploration of possible pathways out of it."
– Jonathan Watts, The Guardian
– The Financial Times
"The main focus of Mann's book is a call to arms in the new war against "inactivists" who are using new tactics of "deception, distraction, and delay" to prevent the phase-out of fossil fuels. Mann is a robust character [...] Mann does not pull his punches, but his aim is usually strong and true. This book will no doubt prove controversial for some climate campaigners, as well as the deniers, but I hope it will be read by everybody who is engaged in making the case for action."
– Bob Ward, The Observer
"Pulling no punches, Michael Mann lays out our predicament and tells the shocking story of persistent climate denial and corporate deception. We are in a war for the planet, but one we are now on the verge of winning. And he deftly cuts through the propaganda and shows us the path forward."
– Jerry Brown, California governor, 1975-1983, 2011-2019
"For over two decades, Michael Mann has been our Janus at the gates, defending climate science from corporate-funded insinuations of confusion and suspicion. We would not have progressed this far had it not been for his unflinching and brilliant rejoinders to the traffickers of doubt. This chronicle of ongoing climate injustice may make you mad, but hopefully it will make us act. This is the only civilisation we have. Mann is its resolute champion once again."
– Paul Hawken, founder of Project Drawdown
"The New Climate War is an insightful treatise on how the polluting fossil fuel industry and their right-wing allies have deflected the blame for the climate crisis. The book charts a common sense course for collective actions to force government and corporations to make real solutions to the climate crisis – an existential threat to humanity and the planet."
– Robert D. Bullard, professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy at Texas Southern University
– Pilita Clark, Financial Times
"The New Climate War is a punchy, provocative, informed [...] deeply personal take on the crisis, by a respected voice in the climate science and communications field."
– John Gibbons, The Irish Times
"A fascinating journey through the minds and motivations of the champions of climate denialism as well as the more recent climate doomists. Along the way, we learn of the unequivocal scientific evidence and the rapid evolution of technological solutions. Most importantly, public opinion finally seems to be at a 'tipping point' to catalyse political will to leave the next generation a sustainable world – and not a moment too soon!"
– Rosina Bierbaum, professor at University of Michigan and University of Maryland, and former Acting Director of OSTP
"Few people bear more scars from the climate wars than Michael Mann – and few have fought longer and harder for a basic, rational approach to dealing with this greatest of crises. Because of his persistence – and that of so many others – we are finally making progress!"
– Bill McKibben, author of Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?
"The New Climate War is engaging, approachable, and ultimately deeply uplifting. Mann outlines a hopeful vision of the transformation we must undertake in order to create a better, brighter future on this planet. He makes the clear case that our species is capable of great change, laying out exactly why and how we can rise to overcome the grave challenges before us."
– Sasha Sagan, author of For Small Creatures Such As We
"Provocative [...] The New Climate War makes a compelling case both for revising the global Green New Deal and for counteracting disinformation from climate sceptics."
– John Meagher, Irish Independent
"Mann is the genuine article [...] his prose rattles along, entertaining and horrifying us in equal measure as he exposes scientists, politicians, the conservative media and other supposed experts who have slowed climate action by caring more about the interests of big industry."
– Philippa Nuttall Jones, New Statesman
"Mann's call to get serious about climate change couldn't be more timely."
– Richard Schiffman, New Scientist
"Michael Mann is a pre-eminent climate scientist whose academic pedigree is beyond question."
– Art Flynn, Irish Examiner
"A wonderfully confrontational book."
– David Robbins, Sunday Independent
"This book is a must read not just for people currently working to address climate change but also for those who are new to the climate fight, the latter of whom will learn much about past challenges, struggles, and attacks that have been aimed at climate champions."
– Science Magazine
"One of the world's leading climate scientists embarks on a journey into the minds of climate change deniers to try to understand their motivations and strategies [...] Blunt, lucid [...] Consistently displaying his comprehensive command of climate science and the attendant politics [...] An expert effectively debunks the false narrative of denialism and advocates communal resistance to fossil fuels."
– Kirkus Reviews
"Mann starts from the premise that we can save the planet from the worst impacts of climate change if we move to net-zero carbon emissions. As a scientist, he dismisses most scenarios of an uninhabitable Earth because they're based on a misunderstanding of methane feedback loops, and, as a citizen, he has no time for "climate doom porn" because it leads to political paralysis. But if Mann is "objectively hopeful", he's not naïve. The challenges are real and the vested interests of business as usual are powerful [...] Michael Mann may or may not be a Climate Jedi, but he is a climate smart guy and The New Climate War is a must read."
– Donald Wright, The Globe & Mail
"The New Climate War is an informed, opinionated guide to an ever-changing conflict."
– Shelf Awareness
"An engrossing mix of footnoted history, acerbic political commentary, and personal anecdotes."
– Science News
"[P]unchy and illuminating [...] uses both peer-reviewed climate science research and combative wit to expose the strategies of people and industries bent on deflecting responsibility and limiting the systemic change necessary to move the world away from dependence on planet-destroying fossil fuel [...] Mann clearly has skin in this game. Both his professional and personal reputations have been viciously attacked in response to his work. Here he fights back, settles some scores and argues for the necessity and possibility of aggressive, systemic changes. It's a bracing read – both eye-opening and even fun."
– Alden Mudge, BookPage
"If there's ever a Hall of Fame for climate scientists, Michael Mann will be among the first to be inducted."
– Rolling Stone
"The New Climate War is an enlightening exposé of something that many of us probably already took as given: vested financial interests are psychotic in their efforts to control the dialogue."
– David Ferrell, The Canberra Times
– David Ritter, Pro Bono Australia
"The New Climate War is a detailed, passionate, and insightful overview of the latest schemes by fossil fuel interests and their minions to halt or delay a transition to a clean energy economy."
– The Progressive
"Lucid, accessible, and an important read for anyone who cares about the present and future of climate action."
– The Centre Daily Times
"Mann's book is an important addition to the pushback against inaction and doom that has delayed action against climate change for too long and led too many to surrender without even a fight."
– Sierra Club magazine
– Tim Rook, H and V News