The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines

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Columbia University Press, Mar 6, 2012 - Political Science - 384 pages

The ongoing assault on climate science in the United States has never been more aggressive, more blatant, or more widely publicized than in the case of the Hockey Stick graph—a clear and compelling visual presentation of scientific data, put together by MichaelE. Mann and his colleagues, demonstrating that global temperatures have risen in conjunction with the increase in industrialization and the use of fossil fuels. Here was an easy-to-understand graph that, in a glance, posed a threat to major corporate energy interests and those who do their political bidding. The stakes were simply too high to ignore the Hockey Stick—and so began a relentless attack on a body of science and on the investigators whose work formed its scientific basis.

The Hockey Stick achieved prominence in a 2001 UN report on climate change and quickly became a central icon in the "climate wars." The real issue has never been the graph's data but rather its implied threat to those who oppose governmental regulation and other restraints to protect the environment and planet. Mann, lead author of the original paper in which the Hockey Stick first appeared, shares the story of the science and politics behind this controversy. He reveals key figures in the oil and energy industries and the media frontgroups who do their bidding in sometimes slick, sometimes bare-knuckled ways. Mann concludes with the real story of the 2009 "Climategate" scandal, in which climate scientists' emails were hacked. This is essential reading for all who care about our planet's health and our own well-being.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bness2 - LibraryThing

This is an excellent book covering the "climate wars." Michael Mann, contrary to the whining of some reviewers who appear to be part of the climate denial crowd, writes with modesty and restraint ... Read full review

THE HOCKEY STICK AND THE CLIMATE WARS: Dispatches from the Front Lines

User Review  - Kirkus

From climate scientist Mann (Meteorology and Geosciences/Penn State Univ.; co-author: Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming, 2009, etc.), an important and disturbing account of the fossil ... Read full review


1 Born in a War
2 Climate Science Comes of Age
3 Signals in the Noise
4 The Making of the Hockey Stick
5 The Origins of Denial
6 A Candle in the Dark
7 In the Line of Fire
8 Hockey Stick Goes to Washington
13 The Battle of the Bulge
The Real Story
15 Fighting Back
Selected Bibliography

9 When You Get Your Picture on the Cover of
10 Say It Aint So Smokey Joe
11 A Tale of Two Reports
12 Heads of the Hydra

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About the author (2012)

Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Meteorology and Director of the Earth Systems Science Center at Penn State University. Despite being in the public eye, he continues an active research program in climate science and has published over 160 peer-reviewed papers in leading scientific journals. He is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union. In 2012 he received the Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Geosciences Union. Along with other scientists, he contributed to the reports of the IPCC, which was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He is also a co-founder of the award-winning website

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