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In its 2001 report on global climate, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the United Nations prominently featured the “Hockey Stick,” a chart showing global temperature data over the past one thousand years. The Hockey Stick demonstrated that temperature had risen with the increase in industrialization and use of fossil fuels. The inescapable conclusion was that worldwide human activity since the industrial age had raised CO2 levels, trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and warming the planet.

The Hockey Stick became a central icon in the “climate wars,” and well-funded science deniers immediately attacked the chart and the scientists responsible for it. Yet the controversy has had little to do with the depicted temperature rise and much more with the perceived threat the graph posed to those who oppose governmental regulation and other restraints to protect our environment and planet. Michael E. Mann, lead author of the original paper in which the Hockey Stick first appeared, shares the real story of the science and politics behind this controversy. He introduces key figures in the oil and energy industries, and the media front groups who do their bidding in sometimes slick, bare-knuckled ways to cast doubt on the science. Mann concludes with an account of the “Climategate” scandal, the 2009 hacking of climate scientists’ emails. Throughout, Mann reveals the role of science deniers, abetted by an uninformed media, in once again diverting attention away from one of the central scientific and policy issues of our time.

The Climate Crisis: An Introductory Guide to Climate Change. David Archer and Stefan Rahmstorf, Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Publisher’s description:

This book provides a concise and accessible overview of what we know about ongoing climate change and its impacts, and what we can do to confront the climate crisis. Highly illustrated in full colour, it lucidly presents information contained in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, making essential scientific information on this critical topic available to a broad audience.

David Archer and Stefan Rahmstorf – two outstanding scientists – bring us up-to-date on climate science in this remarkable and very readable book. This book deserves to be read by anyone interested in climate change.

–Paul Crutzen, Max Plank Institute for Chemistry, winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for explaining the ozone hole

The key findings of the IPCC, written in plain and simple terms. Great value in informing the public at large about the science underlying the growing challenge of climate change.

-Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC and Director-General of The Energy Resources Institute

They are excellent communicators of the science to the general reader… One hopes for a wide readership for this measured book which clearly and thoughtfully sets out the results of the work of a great many scientists.

- Bryan Walker, Hot Topic, 19 January 2010


Climate Change: Picturing the science. Gavin Schmidt and Joshua Wolfe, W. W. Norton, April 2009

“Climate Change: Picturing the Science is a tour de force of public education. It is simply the best available collection of essays by climate scientists on the nature of human-induced climate change, the ways scientists have come to understand and measure the risks that it poses, and the options that we face….The editors, climatologist Gavin Schmidt and photographer Joshua Wolfe, have produced a collection of essays of uniformly outstanding quality, supported by photographs of beauty and insight.” 

-Jeffrey D. Sachs

Director, Earth Institute at

Columbia University

Publisher’s description:

An unprecedented union of scientific analysis and stunning photography illustrating the effects of climate change on the global ecosystem.

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