"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was getting progressives to oppose carbon pricing."
-- Tweet from Dr. Mann, 4/11/20
Since the 1999 publication of the "Hockey Stick" graph showing rapid late 20th century warming, Dr. Mann has been mercilessly attacked by forces who still don't like his message despite the now obvious evidence. He has courageously fought back -- and won.
In his latest book, Dr. Mann explains how fossil fuel companies have waged a thirty-year campaign to deflect blame and delay action on climate change. He offers a battle plan for how we can save the planet. (See below for the PBS Frontline series on how the industry succeeded.)
Recycle. Fly less. Eat less meat. These are some of the ways that we've been told we can slow climate change. But the inordinate emphasis on individual behavior is the result of a marketing campaign that has succeeded in placing the responsibility for fixing climate change squarely on the shoulders of individuals.
Fossil fuel companies have followed the example of other industries, deflecting blame (think "guns don't kill people, people kill people") or greenwashing (think of the beverage industry's 1970's "Crying Indian" commercials.) Meanwhile, they've blocked efforts to regulate or price carbon emissions, run PR campaigns aimed at discrediting viable alternatives, and have abdicated their responsibility for fixing the problem they've created. The result has been disastrous for our planet.
In The New Climate War, Dr. Mann argues that all is not lost. Drawing the battle lines between people and the polluters -- fossil fuel companies, right-wing plutocrats and petrostates -- he outlines a plan to force our governments and corporations to wake up and make real change, including:
A common-sense, attainable approach to carbon pricing and a revision of the well-intentioned but flawed Green New Deal;
- Allowing renewable energy to compete fairly against fossil fuels;
Debunking the false narratives and arguments that have driven a wedge between even those who support climate change solutions; and
- Combatting climate doomism and despair
Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State University. He has received many honors and awards and in 2020 was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He is also the author of Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change; The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines, and The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy.
Jared Huffman has very ably represented our congressional district since 2013. A strong environmental leader, he's a member of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and chairs the subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife, among other committee assignments.