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The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines Paperback – November 26, 2013

4.1 out of 5 stars 331 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Check out Michael Mann's book "The Hockey Stick & the Climate Wars" about his battle against climate denialism.

(Leonardo DiCaprio)


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...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)

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)

If you read only one book on climate change, this one is hard to beat.

(Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith)

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 ) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; Reprint edition (November 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231152558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231152556
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (331 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My wife Judy just wrote this blog post for Citizens' Climate Lobby about Michael Mann's wonderful book:

Michael Mann’s ‘Hockey Stick’ gives readers a handle on the science of climate change
By Judy Weiss

When I first learned that climate scientists thought climate change is potentially catastrophic and advancing faster than expected, I felt obligated to try to learn what I could. I took a MOOC (a Massive Open Online Course) that was an introduction to climate change for non-scientists, and read several books dealing with: reasons the public has trouble accepting climate change, effects on agriculture, and carbon pricing policies. But I had a hard time finding a climate science book that wasn’t too dense and technical, but also wasn’t too elementary.

Eventually I found Michael Mann’s The Hockey Stick and The Climate Wars (Columbia U. Press, 2012) which presents the material at a level that’s just right. I’ll try to convey why I found Mann’s book accessible and compelling.

Climate Scientists

Mann’s book gave me insight into what it takes to become a climate scientist. He began by describing in Chapter 1 the long educational path that leads to becoming a climate researcher. Mann majored in physics and studied more physics in graduate school. When it was time to choose a dissertation topic, he decided to do two more years of study in order to specialize in geophysics. By my count, it seems like six years of physics classes, math, a ton of statistics courses, computer science, probably a few chemistry classes, plus two years of geophysics studies.

Why does this matter? Some people think that anyone can offer useful opinions on climate science theories, models, or data analysis.
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Michael Mann tells the story of how his research on the climate of the past, turned him into a target of people who choose not to accept the basic science of anthropogenic climate change. It's a fascinating story, yet it is disturbing in the way in which one scientist was singled out for attack and abuse. Mann describes this as the "Serengeti Strategy," the singling-out tactic used by packs of predators in Africa to try to take down prey that would otherwise be too big for them.

The uplifting part of this story is that Mann's results have since been vindicated repeatedly and that Mann himself has not only survived the assault, but emerged stronger and more motivated than ever. He is now one of the most prominent spokesmen for good climate science, thanks in part to the failed efforts of his enemies.
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This was a good mixture of memoir and science, as Mann places himself in the historical context of the climate change debate. The science is thorough but not too technical, and the writing was engaging.
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I knew this would be engrossing reading, but I had no idea! I can't put it down as Mann masterfully winds his way through the science, the denial, the attacks and the outright criminal subterfuge engaged in at the highest levels of business and government.
Everyone please read this book! Then get out the pitchforks and firebrands. What industry and their lobbyists are doing to our earth, our future and science is downright disgraceful.
Thank you Dr. Mann for bravely staying the course. You are the true Galileo.
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