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on 9 July 2017
Close your eyes and listen to Michael Douglas impersonating Liberace and the person that comes to mind is Donald Trump. I find that weird. On that note, more absurd is when we open the window for humanity to view what we know about our very life source that creates the only environment for sustaining us, that gets lambasted, we again realise that there was and will always be a charismatic sinister element whom are different; who do not share a universe that replenishes and renews itself with the most brilliant of minds endeavouring for us to develop and employ creative innovations.
The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines outlines in detail dysfunctional features of humanity--whom I refer to those sabotaging deniers as outlined in this masterpiece presentation--as a Dark Triad; narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. On a personal note, in 2011, I also encountered similar repercussions, albeit I am not a climate scientist, but equal as a victim of harassing manipulative mischievous bullying plots and its resultant isolation, I know how difficult a maze it is to convey, relay and right the wrongs of misrepresentations and disinformation for the third person comprehension. Credit to the Michael Mann et al; who have set the record straight. In 500 years from now, as we evolve, humanity will hold his efforts with high esteem. I hope & pray with less hostility towards supporting humanity’s quest to be among our higher selves. Our political leaders need to be supported for their steps, but yet these steps do not go far enough nor fast enough. I expect they will with us shouldering the wheel. Ojala
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on 17 October 2014
This is a must read for anyone interested in Climate Change and the attacks on the science. It explains clearly how Dr Mann found himself in the middle of a political maelstrom by doing nothing more than basic scientific research and reporting his findings. It cites attacks on his finding and , more worryingly, personal attacks on his competence, his honesty and his integrity from a variety of sources such as fossil-fuel interests, right-wing politicians, dubiously-biased journalists and any number of astro-turf organisations.

If like most sentient beings, you follow the science and accept the principle of AGW, this will be a good eye-opener about those who are anti-science - or at least anti-inconvenient science. It brings back memories of the lobbying by the tobacco industry many of us will recall from a different time. If you are a sceptic/denier about AGW etc, this should provide plenty of good talking points for your next comments to your favourite blogs.

I'm glad that Dr Mann has come out of all this with good humour and his spirit and integrity intact. His book is a triumph. And a damn good read.
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on 28 April 2012
There are a lot of extreme people who don't like Mann. People like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Senator James Inhofe have all made intemperate and personal attacks on him for his opinions on Climate Change. Much of what they say is merely ad-hominem and not a reasoned and logical argument against his scientific conclusions. So it is interesting to see how Mann defends himself and science from this assault.

In short he defends himself in the same unreasonable way they attack him. I was with him on page 81 when he argues the following: "Legitimate scientific skepticism bears a certain hallmark. It does not, for example, focus on the character of the scientist or the policy implications of his or her findings. Instead, it follows a logical line of questioning. Do the results make sense? Do they contradict previous findings? Are the lines of evidence plausible? Do the data appear sound?" Just one page later he starts his attack on one critic (Ross McKitrick) by questioning his character and arguing his judgement is biased because of links with the fossil fuel lobby.

For most of the rest of the book Mann lumps all criticism into one group totally failing to make any distinction between legitimate criticism of his science and ad-hominem attacks on his character. Many of his critics talk nonsense and use abuse instead of argument. But many make legitimate scientific and skeptical arguments without engaging in character assignation. Mann lumps both groups together and assumes they are all motivated by undeclared links to the evil energy industry. This is both unconvincing (unless you never have read any of the criticism) and not a reasonable scientific response according to his own definition.

In defending himself from the Climategate affair he seems to believe that distraction is the best policy. The content of the leaked emails shows a certain habit of trying to bury criticism and strong-arm the peer review process to make sure as little criticism as possible gets published. Mann thinks that it is more important to focus on the fact that the email leak was a criminal act perpetrated by anti-climate change activists (he doesn't explain how he knows this when nobody else does).

I was prepared to give Mann a chance when i started the book. But his "I'm right, you're wrong" and one size fits all approach to critics has lowered his credibility. The slightest hint of humility about his work (he seems to think all his errors were minor and well intentioned) or any ability to assume that some of his critics might have had some legitimate scientific grounds for their criticism (where they are experts, their motivation is suspect; where they are not, they aren't qualified to engage in the debate) might have garnered some sympathy. The style and character of his arguments leave me trusting him less and thinking he wants to distract me from the substance of the debate.

I'm giving him three stars for the book as it is readable if stylistically uneven and it is an important if very one-sided account of a significant debate. But readers really need to read some of his critics before accepting his side of the story (its somewhat biased the other way, but The Hockey Stick Illusion;Climategate and the Corruption of Science (Independent Minds) is a good start and a good skeptic would buy both at the same time and see who make a better scientific case).
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on 1 March 2014
Michael Mann is the greatest exponent of 21-st century right-on politically correct science that there is! Forget the silly old Higgs. Michael Mann's brain is the true God Particle!

Michael Mann's opinions should not be regarded as true with a small 't'. That's outmoded capitalist oppressor science thinking. What Michael Mann says is True because it is Correct. In fact, Dr Mann himself shows just how Correct it is by showing how much he cares. He cares so much that he and his enforcers do all they can, every day, to make sure that the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change is one that we can all depend on as Correct. and ever-more Correct. Michael went to great lengths to run some numbers and the results were Correct. He's run some more numbers since then and the results were even more Correct. Those who still don't agree with the Message of Dr Mann's work, even though there's a picture and all, such people require an explanation. That's okay. Science has always been about explanation. The explanation is:"Shut Up".

Read This Book! This is how someone writes when he has done Science all Correct! Roll over Bert Einstein, give Dick Feynman the news! Read it and weep! All young boys and girls who might wonder if they might have a future in science, Dr Mann is showing you how Correct Science is gonna be. You'll do Correct Science too, if you know what's good for you.

('"Shut up," he explained' is a quote from Ring Lardner's story 'The Young Immigrants')
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on 5 March 2014
This is a good read for those interested in the war on science, specifically climate science, in the USA, Australia and UK. Mann is a veteran, his discoveries having threatened powerful vested interests as the flood of denailist reviews on here shows. An excellent work laying bare the desperate and obnoxious tactics of the fossil fuel lobby.
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on 14 January 2013
I found the description of the science behind climate change by a brilliant scientist compelling and well explained. And there is the fascinating and depressing account of how an honest (but initially politically naive) scientist trying to do science in the traditional way (peer reviewed papers in reputable journals with a time scale of years) gets ambushed in the instant media by unscrupulous vested interests employing rhetoric rather than rational argument. It is unfortunate that the scientific establishment did not recognise that in modern times its role explaining itself to the public is as vital as carrying out research in a rigorous manner and this has led to the current messy confusion.
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on 23 August 2013
I bought my copy second-hand since I could not stomach the thought of a penny of mine going to the author. Since the details of this appalling book have been criticised to good effect here and over at amazon.com, I will merely note that the book serves as an indicator of low intellectual quality and of a shockingly weak grasp of the importance and value of academic integrity. The author has helped degrade the fledgling subject of 'climate science', and it is for that that he will be noted when histories of these sorry decades are written once the dust has settled on the panic he and those not much better than him helped raise over climate.
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on 27 December 2012
For the past 15 years, a largely invisible struggle, critical to the future of the planet, is being fought between the global community of climate scientists on one hand and fossil fuel companies-funded think-tanks and politicians on the other. During this time, climate scientists have reached an overwhelming scientific consensus that the carbon dioxide emissions caused by our reliance on coal, oil and gas have already caused significant global warming, and will ultimately endanger our planet unless all fossil fuel usage is rapidly phased out. Simultaneously, the fossil fuel industry has run a huge misinformation campaign to keep the public in the dark about climate change. Ground-breaking scientist Michael Mann writes about in this struggle in his new book.

The critical study which solidified scientific opinion about the truth of global warming was the "hockey stick graph" discovered by author Michael Mann himself in 1998, and highlighted in Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" documentary on global warming. Mann's graph showed global average temperatures slowly decreasing towards a distant new ice age for most of the past 1000 years, only to spike sharply upwards in the last one, like the end of a hockey stick. The hockey stick graph was strong evidence that man-made global warming was real, and was already happening. The hockey stick graph was confirmed by many subsequent scientific studies; the handful of studies, which contradicted it, were found to have critical errors. Among climate scientists, there is no longer any doubt about the reality and seriousness of global warming.

The fossil-fuel industry, composed of multinational coal and oil companies, sought to protect their business interests by sowing public doubt in global warming, and was quick to strike back at climate scientists. They funded think-tanks and websites propagating reports by their own "experts" who cast doubts on the hockey stick. These experts were usually economists and meteorologists/TV weathermen who knew little of climate science, as well as an ever-shrinking minority of climate scientists. The misinformation campaign took advantage of a public and media largely ignorant of science, and unable to appreciate that the real scientific debate on climate change was over.

US congressmen in the thrall of oil and coal lobbyists undertook an official witch-hunt of climate scientists in 2005. Congress was unable to find any problems with the climate scientists' views; but the damage was done. Widespread media coverage of politicians like Senator James Inhofe saying that climate change was "the single greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American public" ensured that doubts about global warming continued in the public mind.

The anti-climate science campaign ultimately descended to criminal acts of hacking and baseless accusations of fraud directed at Mann and his fellow scientists. In the "Climate-gate" incident in 2009, unknown hackers stole thousands of e-mail messages from the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in the UK. One particular e-mail from another climate scientist to Mann was repeatedly used as evidence to claim that Mann had used a "trick" to falsify his hockey stick data and was thus able to "hide the decline" in global temperature.

Climate change deniers had a field day. In fact, the word "trick" is commonly used among mathematicians and scientists to describe a clever means of solving a difficult problem, seemingly by magic; it did not imply any wrongdoing. Likewise, the "decline" in that was being hidden was a series of temperature measurements from one particular study acknowledged by the original author to be doubtful due to pollution. A number of subsequent inquiries were conducted, and none found any wrongdoing on the part of climate scientists. Again, the damage was already done; public belief in global warming and political will to tackle it both fell dramatically.

The fog of public doubt created over global warming had long-term consequences; firstly, Barack Obama's attempts at regulating carbon emissions were rejected by the Congress. Secondly, the Climate-gate hacking had been timed to occur just before the Copenhagen summit on global warming in December 2009. Due to doubts raised by Climate-gate as well as Obama's failure to pass any carbon dioxide emissions legislation in the US, Copenhagen failed to produce any meaningful international agreement to prevent global warming.

This failure has left the planet in continued peril of global warming and consequent sea level rise, cyclones and drought. Hurricane Sandy, US/Russian crop failures and high food prices in 2012 are the beginnings of what is in store for us unless the public and politicians start taking real action to replace fossil fuels with nuclear, solar and wind power.
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on 10 February 2012
Although I was familar with many of the issues discussed such as the political witch hunt, I hadn't realised the tentacles had spread so wide nor started quite so long ago, the theft of the CRU e-mails being a more recent activity. I downloaded this to my kindle and read the whole thing in one evening/night, totally gripped by the nightmare that science and scientists face. Politicians funded by vested interests must not be allowed to distort science in the way that this book clearly shows that they have tried. The parallels to McCarthyism in the USA are readily apparent.
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on 1 February 2012
After years of enduring politically inspired attacks on his integrity and physical threats toward himself and his family, Michael Mann, one of the worlds leading climate scientists, finally tells his own side of the story.

As one of the scientists behind the iconic "Hockey Stick" graph of historical temperature that was popularised in the docu-movie "An Inconvenient Truth", he became a target for those wishing to maintain business as usual for the fossil fuel industry. This culminated in a blatant smear campaign waged against him and his colleagues by a motley band of (and I'm not making this up) chartered accountants, mining executives, IT consultants, economists, astroturfers, lobbyists, fossil fuel company shills, and Internet wingnuts.

The story details Mann's career from student to physicist and his journey to becoming the wunderkind of palaeoclimatology through applying the mathematical techniques from his early physics career to the analysis of tree-rings, ice-cores and ocean sediments to uncover clues to Earth's past history. The remarkable tale continues to National Academy of Sciences investigations, congressional inquiries, theft of computer data, witch hunts by politicians in the pocket of oil companies, and the occassional death threat thrown in for good measure.

Mann writes with an engaging style that is sprinkled with dry humour and eases the reader through this complex and sordid saga. This is a rare talent for a scientist and I hope that Mann continues writing for a lay audience to communicate some of the fascinating topics from the workings of our planet.

Mike Mann will surely earn his place in history as one of science's great heroes; not just for his pioneering work in the Earth sciences, but for withstanding the unrelenting personal attacks in a dignified manner and being a defender of the scientific process in the face of ignorance.

His detractors will not be treated by history so kindly.
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