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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 (312 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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
652 of 855 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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I'm not sure which is more concerning, the increasingly irrefutable amount of data supporting 97% of the scientific community, or the increasingly brazen and desperate pushback from a community that relies on business as usual. Both subjects are handled very well in this book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is essential reading for people wishing to be better informed on climate science. It is moreover a necessary read in order to learn what lengths modern vested interests and their political advocates will go to attack both science and individual scientists.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid and informative. November 18, 2014
As an environmental professional and resource manager I have to recommend this a solid review of the facts and issues. Well worth your time.
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366 of 489 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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160 of 213 people found the following review helpful
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Engrossing and well-written account of the famous "hockey stick" graph depicting the spike in temperature in the last few decades. The author spends some time explaining the statistical techniques and data sources used, and also devotes quite a few pages to detailing the various attacks on himself, colleagues, and their results by climate change deniers.

Mann's account is lucid and evenhanded, and is particularly valuable for pointing out that skepticism is in fact essential for science--but the skepticism must be honest and in good faith, rather than the faux skepticism of denialists who are, more often than not, in the pay of Big Oil et al, and who adjust their arguments and evidence to accommodate a conclusion to which they are committed from the start.

(It is really rather amusing, as the author notes in places, that climate change denialists so frequently accuse honest scientists of the kind of underhanded tricks that they themselves practice as a matter of course.)

Unfortunately to be a climate scientist in the US today, one needs to be prepared for a street fight, or worse. This book may aid a return to rational discussion, and allow these scientists to again concentrate on their science.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 11 days ago by Tadpole66
5.0 out of 5 stars Great expose of media manipulation to control our awareness of climate...
As a parent and grandparent, I want my descendants to have a good life. 97% of the world's climate researchers have agreed that our children's lives are threatened by today's use... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Ted Cole Jr.
1.0 out of 5 stars Sloppiness and SLAPPs
Mr. Mann has used sloppy data and science to promote his views and career. So many scientists have refuted his findings, even the IPCC has backed away from his theories. Read more
Published 1 month ago by SueW
1.0 out of 5 stars COMRADES! Inform yourself with Earth-saving information!
COMRADES! Gather around this book, our heroic leader will dispense with important news that will educate you and help save the Earth! Our everlasting leader, Dr. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Josh McMindes
5.0 out of 5 stars Mann tells in great detail, those opposed to action on climate change
When one sees reviews with many one-star ratings and many 5-star ratings, one suspects the topic is controversial, rather than the author wrote poorly. Read more
Published 1 month ago by David S Folland
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book!
This is an excellent book, I would recommend it for anyone who is interested in climate and environment issues.
Published 1 month ago by jsandoe
4.0 out of 5 stars Adding clarity and credibility to a complex issue
Not quite a true biography, this book nevertheless tells us a great deal about the author, his scientific credentials, and how he became a prominent figure, if not the principal... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Marvin D. Pipher
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Vital information, courageous author, superbly written.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book - one everyone should read including people who think climate change isn't happening
Published 1 month ago by Mark Henry
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Well researched; credible presentation.
Published 1 month ago by Tim Stevens
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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 170 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 "".

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