Michael E. Mann


On his book The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars

Cover Interview of March 14, 2012

A close-up

In the beginning of the prologue I draw upon a specific recent event: the theft of thousands of scientists’ emails, including many of mine.  This is the world in which I and many of my climate scientist colleagues now find ourselves.

I attempt to provide the reader with a sense of what it is like to be forced to battle against powerful vested interests looking to discredit scientific findings, question one’s integrity, and make an example for those whose research might challenge the safety of our current societal addiction to fossil fuel energy.

Moving on, I then provide a bit more historical context to help readers understand how it is that we got to this point, drawing once again on an event from earlier in my career. I explain the tactics developed in recent decades—what I call the “Serengeti Strategy”—that have been used to try to isolate individual scientists, malign and discredit them, and make an example of them for others.  They are all a cynical attempt to undermine scientific findings that their detractors perceive to pose a threat to them or to those they represent.

In short, it is here at the very beginning of the book where I attempt to give the reader a sense of how it could be that a scientist like myself, driven by curiosity and following the scientific evidence wherever it leads, now finds himself at the center of what may be the greatest assault on science in modern history.