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

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  380 ratings  ·  72 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 395 pages
Published March 6th 2012 by Columbia University Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Simon Clark
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Short review: a thoroughly researched, meticulously referenced, carefully worded guide to the 'controversy' around global warming, written by a central figure in the debate.

Longer review:
Full disclosure, I have a fair bit more knowledge of climate science than your average Joe. The physics degree and PhD in atmospheric physics make it impossible for me to view this book as a member of the general public. That said, however, I found it to be an engaging, extremely thorough review of the evidence
Chris Mooney
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I first became familiar with the name Michael Mann in the year 2003. I was working on what would become my book The Republican War on Science, and had learned of two related events: The controversy over the Soon and Baliunas paper in Climate Research, purporting to refute Mann and his colleagues' famous 1998 "hockey stick" study; and a congressional hearing convened by Senator James Inhofe, at which Mann testified. Inhofe tried to wheel out the Soon and Baliunas work as if they'd dealt some sort ...more
Aug 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
As an engineer and someone who was brought up conservative I've never had so much disrespect for the Republicans as I have after reading this book. Their dishonesty and tactics are reprehensible. I'm angry at having been duped for so long.
G.R. Reader
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Michael Mann and his hockey stick. Trust me, it's all true.
May 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: politics
If you are a skeptic or in doubt and actually have an expectation to get some direct replies of the Hockey stick dispute from McIntyre you will be greatly disappointed. The funniest (or saddest) reply Mann comes up with is where the "deniers" claim he got rid of Medieval Warming and Little Ice Age - Mann's reply is: "it's there" (!) Where? Because I cannot see it. Emperor new clothes, perhaps?

The term "Hockey Stick" is a statistical derogatory term for "Junk Science" or even "Fraud", so Mann's
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Straight from the horse's mouth -- or at least from the mouth of the climate scientist most famous for his role as co-architect of the famous Hockey Stick graph showing the dramatic increase of atmospheric temperatures over recent decades -- here's an account of the war against climate science waged by vested interests (primarily the fossil-fuels industries), the politicians, media bloviators and even a few cupiditous scientists who act as their often very well paid shills, and their useful idio ...more
Steven Peterson
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is an important book to read. Not so much for Mann's explaining his position on climate change--but for the horrific politicization of science. one of the most distressing elements of the scorched earth partisan politics is that science has now been politicized. Political actors who don't like what scientists conclude now simply hire their own acolytes to prepare predictably harsh critiques of scientists. And, to make matters dicier, there are rogue scientists who fabricate data or sell the ...more
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book is good and it’s well-written, but I felt like I was dragging my heels through reading this the whole time. I think because I’ve read Dr. Mann’s other books, along with other books/paper/articles about climate science, climate change, climate change + politics, I see stuff about climate change everyday on twitter, etc. that this just felt like a rehashing of stuff I’ve already read. It’s a good book, but felt repetitive for me because I’ve read bits and pieces of what Dr. Mann wrote abo ...more
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars by Michael E. Mann

"The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars" is the interesting and revealing story of the fossil fuel industries assault on the science of global warming and its quest to undermine the policies devised to address it. This book tells the real story about the "controversies" behind the iconic symbol of the hockey stick and the scientists involved in the climate change debate. Dr. Michael E. Mann is a member of the Penn State University faculty, a
Todd Martin
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Michael Mann is at the forefront of the climate debate, both as a researcher into the science of global warming and as a target of those who have politicized the issue. Mann is a professor at Penn State University and directs the Penn State Earth System Science Center. The results of his research demonstrate not only that the earth is warming in a way that is unprecedented in the planet’s history, but that this warming is due to human activities (a view that is shared by the vast majority of the ...more
May 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 about his career in climate research and the many attacks against his work. He closes this newest edition of the book with an extensive afterword which brings some of the issues up to date. He also expresses continuing optimism that America will eventually come around ant get serious about doing what ne ...more
Aaron Anderson
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An insightful view from the trenches

Dr. Mann recounts the realities of climate denial in US policy. A must read for those interested in saving our planet from the worst effects of anthropogenic climate change
Nov 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
super book! demolishes climate change deniers and the whole notion of a "ClimateGate" scandal.
Neil R. Coulter
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Neil by: Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith (journal)
Shelves: non-fiction

I first heard of Michael E. Mann's The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars in a review in the journal Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith. The review said, essentially, that if you only read one book about climate change, it should be this one. As it happens, I was indeed looking for "the one book" to read about climate change, so I ordered Mann's book right away. I've just finished reading the book, and I feel that my perspective on science and the world has changed a lot (for the better)

A few years back I made the mistake of engaging with a climate change denialist on social media. At first it seemed that I was simply debating another random user of the social media platform who happened to be misinformed of the reality of climate change.

However, it quickly became apparent that this user had a clear agenda of spreading misinformation, and was exceptionally well-prepared to deal with any evidence put in front of him. Doing a bit of sleuthing into his account it became reasonabl
Don Shelby
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Michael Mann is more than an exceptional scientist - he is a soldier for truth. Real science, as practiced by Dr. Mann, is like that. Only verifiable facts are left standing as survivors at the end of the battle. But, Mann is no pallid research scientist closeted in the laboratory. He is on the front lines, and taking fire from some of the most well armed forces ever arrayed against science: ideologues, those fearful their vested interests will be harmed by the truth of the science, think-ta ...more
Jeff Wills
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Most of us have heard the apparent debate about global warming. But if you stop and actually take the time to read closely and actually study the information coming from climatologists who've actually conducted the scientific studies (over a dozen now) on global warming, you realize there really isn't a debate. Human caused global warming is a reality. The scientific community has reached a consensus. The real questions ought to be about how we go about mitigating the problem. It's a global prob ...more
Oct 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: politics, science
A rather long and boring book defending the infamous hockey stick of global warming fame. It does a poor job of informing on the real issues in the debate about Anthropogenic Global Warming (AWG). Most of the book is spent disparaging AWG skeptics who are disrespectfully referred to as deniers. Early in the book (page 17) the author states "by the mid-1990s there was no longer reason for real scientific debate over the proposition that humans had warmed the planet and changed the climate... What ...more
Jens Lindblad
Jul 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
Michael Mann comes across as someone who's been forced (by his colleagues perhaps?) into taking on the job of trying to convince the casual reader of the IPCC's position on global warming, by writing the "definitive" book on the subject.

His arguments often follow the form of first stating that something is a certainty, then he introduces some doubt, like "but there are many factors..." and finally he thinks it would be good to investigate some more!
This is like describing who's going to win the
Frederick Bingham
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An account by one of America's leading climate scientists from the middle of the climate wars. This is a man whose scientific findings have gotten him into all kinds of trouble with people who cannot stand the truth. He was dragged in front of a hostile Senate committee along with two of his greatest detractors. He was sent an envelope filled with mysterious white powder. A dead rat was left on his doorstep in the middle of the night. 10 years of his email was stolen from a server in England, an ...more
Bill Stepien
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it

I suppose it shouldn't surprise me that as more information becomes available to more people, groups with an agenda employ spin and obfuscation to muddle public thinking. As the stakes get higher, however, one would imagine that in a democratic society some sort of social responsibility would take over and all parts of the political spectrum would realize that the issue at hand was too important to confuse the public about. This book outlines, in excruciating detail (and some science I don't fu
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
Although this book had interesting parts, they were very spread out. The book mostly discussed the graphing techniques and statistics used to generate the Hockey Stick Graphic demonstrating a large increase in the Earth's average temperatures during the last decades. Environmental effects caused by increased average temperatures were not really discussed. The book also advertizes that it's about the political disputes caused by the publication of the graph. It does mention this, normally in the ...more
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
An important book that documents one of the most serious assaults on science in our lifetimes, with consequences that could affect human history for centuries or more. The book does such a careful job of documenting the lies, disinformation, threats, and ill will of the fossil fuel industry that I cannot imagine anyone who's read it continuing to describe global warming as a "hoax," the ludicrous claim made by Senator James Inhofe. Unfortunately, such careful and exhaustive documentation of the ...more
Sep 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Although he made many good points and adequately refuted _The Hockeystick Illusion_, he tended toward dismissiveness. I understand this tendency of scientists toward crackpots and deniers, but since he was writing for a general audience, I thought it inappropriate.

Once one gets past his attitude, he provides a decent history of climate change controversy, denial, and skepticism.

I do recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding the hockeystick, the science behind it, the nature of th
David Rice
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is an excellent primer on the freaky works of denying demonstrable reality in exchange for political tribalistic lies; scientists like Dr. Mann have been assaulted, persecuted, and oppressed for stating demonstrable facts, and this book shows how and why. The book also explains the basics regarding MBH98 and MBH99, and how the world's geophysicists have concluded that humans are the cause of the sharp and unprecedented rise in global average temperature.
going to read it soon
Dec 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: environment, science
I wish I liked Michael Mann better. He's emerged as one of the most prominent spokespeople for the scientific community about climate change, which is the most pressing issue of our time by a wide margin, other than maybe nuclear proliferation. I have a great amount of admiration for his work, but I have to admit that there is something personally about him that turns me off. I had to unfollow him on twitter because of his relentless retweeting of fawning, aggrandizing tweets.

This book is more a
Aug 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible
Mann's summary of the past two decades of the climate change debate is meticulous, well-researched and thoroughly depressing. I thought I had a thorough understanding of the techniques used by contrarians to stoke phony controversy about climate change but, as it turns out, the playbook is limitless and infinitely reusable.

Campaigns by powerful, well-resourced organizations in the fossil fuel industry and individuals with a pathological conservative bent are easily able to frame the public deba
Ryan Ward
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A book about the war against climate science written by a climate scientist. This means that the book does not suffer from the usual journalistic weaknesses of such work. The science is elegantly explained, and so to are the flaws and failings of the attacks against the science, leaving the indisputable conclusion that the climate change deniers and fossil fuel partisan hacks have nothing of substance to hinge their arguments on. Every climate scientist not in the pocket of fossil fuel special i ...more
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