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The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines Hardcover – March 6, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 023115254X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231152549
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (265 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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 ©)

Abbreviations and AcronymsPrologue: What Is the Hockey Stick?1. Born in a War2. Climate Science Comes of Age3. Signals in the Noise4. The Making of the Hockey Stick5. The Origins of Denial6. A Candle in the Dark7. In the Line of Fire8. Hockey Stick Goes to Washington9. When You Get Your Picture on the Cover of...10. Say it Ain't So (Smokey) Joe!11. A Tale of Two Reports12. Heads of the Hydra13. The Battle of the Bulge14. Climategate: The Real Story15. Fighting BackEpilogueGlossaryNotesSelected BibliographyAcknowledgmentsIndex



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))

And if you read just one book on climate change, make it Michael E. Mann's riveting exposé of disinformation and denial....

(Irish Times)

The best part, in my science-geeky opinion, is readers of this book will enjoy a dazzling, informative tour of the science underlying climatology and especially the analysis that went into the diagram that caused all the ruckus.

(DarkSyde Daily Kos)

A harrowing ride through the politics of truth and denial.

(Shawn Lawrence Otto Huffington Post)

...this is a book you should read, because it clearly shows the contrast between how science works and how politics works. The difference is dramatic. And fateful.

(Ben Bova Naples Daily News)

Vitally important to all citizens of a warming planet Earth.

(James P. Lenfestey Star Tribune)

A must read for every serious student of climate change science, and gets my highest rating: five stars out of five.

(Jeff Masters Jeff Masters WunderGround Blog)

I heartily recommend this book for an unusually clear view of the action on the front line of climate science from one of its principle palaeoclimate protagonists.

(Colin Summerhayes Geoscientist 1900-01-00)

Mann deserves our respect and admiration for what he has been through and for his willingness to discuss it. The narrative is a deeply honest scientific coming-of-age story.

(Naomi Oreskes Physics Today)

This book is well written and tells a remarkable story that is likely to be of interest to a wide range of readers.

(Australian Book Review)

Mann's honest and thorough testimony on the attacks against climate science is a critical step toward resolving the climate change debate.

(Science)

Mann's account and nontechnical rebuttal of the attacks on climate science provide an excellent primer on contemporary climate science....Highly recommended.

(Choice)

One of the most useful books yet in explaining climate science, especially the use of paleoclimate proxy data to assess the history of Earth's climate.

(Rudy M. Baum Chemical & Engineering News)

Confronting climate change will require clear scientific thinking and courageous actions by many individuals. Dr, Mann's book details the powerful evidence supporting climate change as well as the relentless attempts by climate deniers to distort climate science and attack those who are speaking the truth about it.

(Jerry Brown, governor of California)

A very entertaining book that winds its way through the thicket of climate science and politics.

(Natural Hazards Observer)

must-read

(Jeff Goodell Rolling Stone)

Mann deserves praise for taking the time to speak to other scientists and citizens about what threatens us all. He is not only a brilliant scientist but an ethical hero, a model for all.

(Kristin Shrader-Frechette Metascience 1900-01-00) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

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 1/20/2012)

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 2/19/2012)

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 2/27/2012)

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

(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...This blistering indictment of corporate-funded chicanery demands a wide audience.Kirkus Reviews (starred review)Kirkus Reviews (starred review)Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

(Kirkus Reviews (starred review) )

And if you read just one book on climate change, make it Michael E. Mann's riveting exposé of disinformation and denial....

(Irish Times )

...the best part, in my science-geeky opinion, is readers of this book will enjoy a dazzling, informative tour of the science underlying climatology and especially the analysis that went into the diagram that caused all the ruckus, first published in Nature by Mann, Bradley and Hughes in 1998: the Hockey Stick.

(DarkSyde Daily Kos )

A harrowing ride through the politics of truth and denial.Huffington Post

(Shawn Lawrence Otto Huffington Post )

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 "RealClimate.org".

Customer Reviews

It was a very good well written book and I would recommend it to any readers interested in this subject.
Alex K
This is an important book - detailing the concerted corporate/right wing media attacks on the science of global climate change.
David
I found Michael E. Mann's book, "The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars", to be exciting and re-assuring at first.
Concerned

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

576 of 736 people found the following review helpful By Stephen S. Mulkey on 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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229 of 297 people found the following review helpful By John M on February 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I first became aware of the changed nature of the debate about the world's climate and what Mankind is doing to it a few years ago. For years, arguments batted back and forth over the science, in newspaper columns and across the internet. There had always been a palpable sense of hostility to the scientists doing the research but a few years ago there was a shift, so that it became the prominent theme. In 2009 I read the excellent Climate Cover-up (also recommended) and the events than then unfolded confirmed pretty much what that book was documenting - the emails incident, disproportional seizing upon small errors in IPCC sub-reports that for years had lain undetected and so on. And - in particular - the personal harrassment of the folk doing the science.

Mann's book brings the whole story up-to-date, and comes out at a time where we have recently witnessed, for example, the disgraceful intimidation of Texas climate scientist and committed Christian Katherine Hayhoe. What these guys are up against is an organised disinformation machine that gets personal when its other methods fail to gain traction and then pretends it was doing nothing wrong. On certain blog sites, links to this review page were posted together with the advice that people should read the book before reviewing it, knowing full well that some would simply swarm onto here and post unpleasant reviews (many of which have now been removed). If you want an example of how this machine works, there you have it! If you want to learn more, read and digest the contents of this revealing book, about what it is actually like to be out there, on the front line. Highly recommended.
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34 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Martin Lack on November 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
In the opening chapters of this book, Michael Mann repeatedly makes it clear that, as a physicist, his interest in palaeoclimatology was entirely natural. That is to say, he did not approach the evidence for climate change with any prejudicial notion of what he wanted to find, least of all to prove that ongoing climate change is predominantly human-caused. However, those who are suspicious of his motives will no doubt respond, "Well, he would say that, wouldn't he!"

However, all readers of this book will, sooner or later, have to decide where they stand on the question of the validity of `Occam's Razor'. This is the logical supposition that, among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected. With regard to climate science, I have to say, it works for me: Either this book is an unashamed piece of propaganda and, from the very start, is deeply disingenuous; or it is the honest account of a very humble physicist who, completely unwittingly, became the focus of the biggest industry-funded misinformation campaign of modern times.

Having read both this book and Andrew Montford's `Hockey Stick Illusion', I should like to propose that, even if you have not done so, you have the following choice: Do you put your trust in an authoritative argument from a genuine expert (Mann) or do you want to believe the conspiracy theory put forward by a non-expert (Montford)?

Put it another way, are you going to believe that climate scientists are over-stating a problem in order to perpetuate the funding of their research; or are you willing to accept that business leaders are down-playing a problem in order to perpetuate the viability of their business?
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