The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet: Michael E. Mann
Vested interests profiting from our reliance on fossil fuels and their enablers in the policy and media arenas have for decades sought to undermine the scientific consensus behind human-caused climate change. The motive? Forestalling efforts to decarbonize our economy. As the impacts of climate change have now become too obvious to deny, the forces of inaction—the inactivists–have now instead engaged in a multi-pronged strategy of distraction, deflection, division, and despair-mongering. They have (a) pursued a divide-and-conquer strategy of sowing division among climate activists and advocates, (b) deflected attention from systemic change and regulatory policy solutions to personal behaviour, (c) promoted false solutions that enable the continued burning of fossil fuels at the very root of the problem and (d) fomented doomist framing that disempowers us by making catastrophic change now seem inevitable. I will discuss what we can do to fight back, emphasizing the importance of both urgency AND agency in the effort to save our planet from catastrophic warming.
Dr. Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State, with joint appointments in the Department of Geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI). He is also director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC).
Dr. Mann received his undergraduate degrees in Physics and Applied Math from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.S. degree in Physics from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Geology & Geophysics from Yale University. His research involves the use of theoretical models and observational data to better understand Earth’s climate system.
Dr. Mann was a Lead Author on the Observed Climate Variability and Change chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment Report in 2001 and was organizing committee chair for the National Academy of Sciences Frontiers of Science in 2003. He has received a number of honors and awards including NOAA’s outstanding publication award in 2002 and selection by Scientific American as one of the fifty leading visionaries in science and technology in 2002. He contributed, with other IPCC authors, to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He was awarded the Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Geosciences Union in 2012 and was awarded the National Conservation Achievement Award for science by the National Wildlife Federation in 2013. He made Bloomberg News’ list of fifty most influential people in 2013. In 2014, he was named Highly Cited Researcher by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) and received the Friend of the Planet Award from the National Center for Science Education. He received the Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication from Climate One in 2017, the Award for Public Engagement with Science from the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2018 and the Climate Communication Prize from the American Geophysical Union in 2018. In 2019 he received the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement and in 2020 he received the World Sustainability Award of the MDPI Sustainability Foundation. He was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2020. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, the Geological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He is also a co-founder of the award-winning science website RealClimate.org.
Dr. Mann is author of more than 200 peer-reviewed and edited publications, numerous op-eds and commentaries, and five books including Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines, The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy and The Tantrum that Saved the World. Forthcoming in early 2021 is The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet.
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