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The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines [Kindle Edition]

Michael E. Mann
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (321 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.

Editorial Reviews


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 )

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.


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 )

Product Details

  • File Size: 1631 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; Reprint edition (January 24, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0072N4U6S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,183 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
663 of 872 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good scientist acting with integrity February 10, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have been directly involved in the hockey stick war. I have been been an active research ecologist for over 20 years, and during the last 10 years I have focused on climate change and its effects on living systems. During part of my recent career, I was employed as science advisor to the Century Commission for a Sustainable Florida, a legislatively mandated commission. In March of 2007, while giving an invited report on climate change to a select committee of the Florida legislature, a conservative legislator rose from his seat and declared me to be a liar and demanded that I be dismissed. Indeed, I was asked to step from the podium. Only one newspaper in the state carried the story, and my employers, who were GOP appointees, did not so much as apologize for my treatment. Democracy in action, right?

My sin? I had shown the hockey stick. When I approached the legislator who had objected, I discovered that he did not know that the National Academy and reviewed Michael Mann's work and found it to be fundamentally sound. Indeed, it was not apparent that he even knew of the existence of the US National Academy. After the climate gate emails were released, the prestigious journal Nature referred to the push back from the oil soaked Irrational Right as a "street fight." I could not agree more.

I have carefully read and evaluated Mann's work and I find it to be of the highest standards of scientific integrity. He has been vindicated by numerous reviews. Despite continued harassment, he continues to find time to do excellent research. I have the greatest respect for him as a colleague and role model.

The story that Mann recounts in this book is horrific and indicative of the demise of our most cherished institutions.
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366 of 492 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long live the hockey stick! February 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Repeat something a sufficient number of times and, eventually, people will believe it, no matter whether it is true or not. It is one of the most effective tricks of propaganda and it has been used more than once against science, for instance in the demonization of the "Limits to Growth" study. During the past few years, it has been applied repeatedly, even obsessively, against the "hockey stick," the reconstruction of past temperatures on which Michael Mann and coworkers had been working from the 1990s.

It is rare in the history of science that a single piece of experimental evidence has been the object of so many attempts of demolition. Yet, all the serious reviews of the original data have basically confirmed the initial results. Being unsuccessful in demolishing the science, the attacks have moved against the scientist, Michael Mann himself, who has been subjected to an unbelievable denigration campaign, defamed, insulted, and even physically threatened. Recently, the campaign against Mann has targeted his new book, "The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars", with a large number of negative reviews and derogatory remarks which appeared in the reviews of the book on the Amazon site. Most of these seem to be the work of web identities created expressly for this purpose.

What is amazing in this story is how people are fighting back! If you look at the comments on the Amazon site, you see how the derogatory comments have been overwhelmed by favorable comments written by real people who signed with their names. Climate science is still under heavy attack but, clearly, there is a core of concerned people who care about the future.

Michael Mann's "The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars" is a book about our future. You need to read it to understand what kind of threats we are facing and how we can work for a better future.
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154 of 206 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable Perspective February 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
If you're looking for an authoritative, first-person history of the recent politicization of climate science, this is the book. The writing is sketchy in spots -- Mann is, after all, a practicing scientist, not a professional writer. Nevertheless, the level of detail, and insights that could only arise from someone surprised to be caught up in a strange and frightening series of events, give the work a feel of authenticity. I'm reminded of Layton's "And I was there" discussion of intelligence breakdowns in the leadup to the opening of the second world war in the Pacific.

If you've followed the story of Prof. Mann and his emergence as perhaps the most disparaged scientist of our generation, probably you know, at a rough level, much of what is in this book. Nevertheless, this book still contains a first-person perspective and comprehensive, coherent presentation of the "Hockey Stick" saga not to be found elsewhere. It will be an invaluable reference for future historians, and not just of science, in explaining the policy choices of the early 21st century.

Beyond its historical value, there is real science to be learned from the book. The origins of Mann's famous graph, as something of an afterthought to a deeper interest in natural climate variability, is worthy of note. From a scientific viewpoint, his work is a relatively minor part of the climate change story. Mann is quite straightforward about that role and his admiration for the pioneering now-senior scientists who came before. How ironic that his detractors have made him into a larger-than life figure, more or less as an accident of having produced a visually compelling figure.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Overview of the Climate Wars by a Survivor from the Front Lines
Great overview of the so-called "climate wars" from someone who fought on the front lines! I'm currently a student at George Mason University and I was embarrassed by the... Read more
Published 3 days ago by lemac
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book which began the fight back against the Big Oil Denier...
Excellent explanation of how the climate change deniers attacked this guy; and, how he responded. It's well written and an easy read. Read more
Published 4 days ago by HopaLong
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous read - research-based insights on the undeniable and...
Fabulous read - research-based insights on the undeniable and provocative science of climate change.
Published 15 days ago by StacyClarkDallasWriter
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars Sets the Record Straight
I just finished reading "The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars." Helpful for understanding the science behind Dr. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Alan E. Eggleston
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Dr. Mann's book takes some work at the beginning....but when you realize all he has been through, the attacks he has weathered, and the massive forces that have lined up to silence... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Joseph MacDougald
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent on the Science and Politics of the Climate Wars
Written by a scientist deep in the trenches of the battle to get the truth out about the earth's changing climate. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Straight Talk
1.0 out of 5 stars Pure hogwash, Mike Mann style.
Pure hogwash, Mike Mann style. The opportunist who along with Lysenko belongs in the Stalinist Soviet Union era, resurrected under new and catchy climate change moniker that has... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Tuora
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading. Bogs down in technical details at times ...
Essential reading. Bogs down in technical details at times, but if you read this book with an open mind, it will demonstrate to you in very stark terms how politics and money have... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Michael S. Marsters
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A honest and clear report on a time-wasting war on science written by a courageous man.
Published 4 months ago by K.H.I. Reenders
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent review of the science and politics surrounding climate...
I encourage everyone to read this. Mann makes the scientific issues accessible to intelligent laymen and does a good job of explaining the threat posed by corporate and individual... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Tadpole66
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More About the Author

Dr. Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University, with joint appointments in the Department of 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 Ph.D. 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 honors 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 contributed, with other IPCC authors, to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He was awarded the Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Geosciences Union in 2012 and was awarded the National Conservation Achievement Award for science by the National Wildlife Federation in 2013. He made Bloomberg News' list of fifty most influential people in 2013. In 2014, he was named Highly Cited Researcher by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) and received the Friend of the Planet Award from the National Center for Science Education. He is a Fellow of both the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society.

Dr. Mann is author of more than 180 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 of the award-winning website "".


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