The hockey stick and the climate wars

51BfYlNHCGL._SL500_AA300_.jpgMichael Mann has been the object of merciless attacks from those who refuse to believe that human beings are changing the world's climate. In 1999, he was the lead author on a paper (link; subscription required) that included the infamous "hockey stick" showing that temperatures in the northern hemisphere have increased dramatically since the start of the 20th century.

His book, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, will be released on March 6.1 It tells the story of how climate science has been undermined by well funded interests determined to prevent adoption of any government policies that would reduce or restrict burning of fossil fuels. That effort has become a war on climate science. As an example, just take a look at a couple of stories about the recently leaked documents from the Heartland Institute (New York Times, Guardian). It's one thing to argue about what kind of response the projected impacts of climate change require. There are many uncertainties about the degree of impacts, the location of impacts, the actions that might be taken to mitigate impacts, and the policies that might reduce the impacts. But one thing about which there is no longer any uncertainty (any more than there's uncertainty that an apple dropped from a tree will fall to the ground) is that our burning of fossil fuels is causing global average surface temperatures to rise.

I mention all of this because, there's a nice profile of Mann at Wired Science. It's short and nicely done. I encourage you to click through and read it. In the meantime, enjoy this video, which accompanies the piece.


On a more local note, if you happen to be in the area on the 29th of March, Michael Mann will be the final speaker in this year's Teale Series on Nature and the Environment. Please join us. It should be a very interesting talk.



1The Amazon.Com page for the book suggests that it's already available. I know it's available for Kindle, because I just bought a copy.