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

Mann, Michael E.
Columbia UP 2012
ISBN 978-0-231-15254-9
Date finished: 2012-12-13

The author co-wrote two papers in 1998 and 1999 that reconstructed past global temperatures. The resulting graph shows a sudden and large rise in the 20th century, and at some point the curve was named 'the hockey stick'. This graph was widely published in newspapers and was cited in the IPCC reports, becoming an iconic image of climate change for a while. The authors therefore become the focus of harassment ranging from death threats and stolen e-mails to FOIA requests and attorney-general investigations.

Mann's book describes all these events from his POV. It's a dry account, and because I follow climate-change news fairly closely much of the material wasn't new to me. The best parts for me were the early sections on Mann's graduate work and his description of the work that went into the 1998/99 papers. Then we get into the accusations and investigations, and while Mann is certainly sincere in the worry and effort that all of these caused him, he doesn't offer more detail than any other journalistic account I've seen. Nor does he discuss the current state of climate science, ten years after MBH98 and MBH99, which would have been a more interesting topic.

Tagged: climate change


%T The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars
%S Dispatches From the Front Lines
%A Mann, Michael E.
%G ISBN 978-0-231-15254-9
%K climate change
%P 377pp
%D 2012
%@ 2012-12-13
%I Columbia UP
%C New York

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