A seat at the table in the climate war room
Climate change has evolved its own universe, complete with leading characters, heroes, villains, critics, trolls, bots, character assassins, misinformation, misdirection and backroom plots. It is a world largely unknown to most readers, who probably think of it as an argument among scientists. Michael Mann, arguably at the center of the vortex, tries to explain it in The New Climate War.
The hockey stick guy
Mann and his co-authors published the paper showing carbon pollution as a hockey stick, rising sharply after centuries of trivial growth. The name stuck and made their finding famous, and infamous. Attacks began soon after, and have continued — for nearly 25 years now. Mann has a thick skin and deals with it all in its turn. He is fighting the good fight — the one with the data, the sciences and the resolve.
Green New Deal?
He tackles the naysayers head on. When hears the Green New Deal will cost too much, the answer is inaction will cost far more. He wants everyone to know real progress is being made, doom can be avoided, and sitting on the sidelines is tantamount to criminal negligence.
The Disinformation Ploy
He is constantly correcting misinformation, as trolls, bots, and conservative politicians are forever pulling a figure out of context and using it to damn the entire issue. Or worse, an incorrect or fraudulent figure. From temperature rise to sea levels, from carbon in the atmosphere to carbon in the oceans, the constant flow of false claims makes scientists in general look bad. It takes total vigilance to get back to a level playing field. Mann says the models have proven reliable, the predictions are coming true, and action is required, right now.
Unfortunately, the Russians make their living selling oil and gas. And they are the troll and bot experts, dishing out disinformation to divide and confuse. Between them and American Big Oil, the war with climate science will continue, and it’s a dirty war.
It all started with Carl Sagan
As a child, Mann was inspired by the telegenic Carl Sagan and his Cosmos TV series. He has taken that passion and media-savvy onto his own back, and…