The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars by Michael E. Mann

Review of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars by Michael E. Mann

For the most part, Rinexii has looked at climate change through the lens of what’s happening right now. We’ve talked about laws, current events, the connection between natural disasters and global warming, and also actionable steps you can take.

Yet one thing Rinexii lacks is a big picture understanding of how we know this isn’t just some weird swing in the elements of nature. When we got the opportunity to read “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars – Dispatches from the Front Lines” we decided now was the opportunity to take a closer look at climate change through the eyes of scientists.

Michael E. Mann is a well known climate scientist who rose to fame when he helped create the iconic “Hockey Stick” graph. It’s a graph that demonstrates that there has been an unusual rise in warm temperatures through the last century, even accounting for natural phenomenon.

I liked this book very much. Michael E. Mann clearly cares about science, and goes to great lengths to explain the science behind climate change, the research behind it, and what every piece of research means in plain English.

Although there were some parts I had to research more to understand, such as “Principal Component Analysis,” I felt like it gave me a good solid feel for where research is at in terms of accuracy.

Throughout the Book, Dr. Mann uses common events to help ground the story, so you feel like you know when it is happening. The book covers a broad range of climate related topics, but mainly focuses on human caused climate change.

I highly recommend this book if you are at all interested in the science behind our rapidly warming climate. The book is heavily sourced (In fact, the notes are over 100 pages long. They’re very detailed.) Every statement is backed up with science, and Dr. Mann is very careful to explain what we know, and don’t know yet, about climate change.

He also goes over the “Climategate” saga which he was a part of, explaining how and why it came to be. For those who don’t know, climate change deniers hacked the emails of Phil Jones in 2010. Professor Jones is the head of University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit.

E-mails were used out of context to claim that climate scientists were covering up data to make it look like global warming was happening, when it actually wasn’t. The book details what the e-mails that were pilfered meant in context.

Fact checking the book separately, I found that he and the other scientists involved were cleared by no less than 8 investigations. These investigations were performed by Pennsylvania State University (twice,) the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, the Independent Climate Change Review, the International Science Assessment Panel, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Commerce and the National Science Foundation.

All of these investigations found nothing but scientists chatting about science. Although it must have been quite embarrassing to have private correspondence revealed to the public, there’s nothing in them worth the fuss kicked up by it.

Based on my not-scientific-at-all quick glance around the internet, I believe Dr. Mann kept his book factual, and did his best to convey the science behind his famous “Hockey Stick Graph” in a clear manner.

If you’re interested in the science behind climate change at all, I do believe this book is worth a read.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *