The New Climate War by Michael E. Mann - our reviews

Since its publication in January 2021, several members from our team have read Michael E. Mann's latest book "The New Climate War". This blog post contains our reviews as well as the recording of a book reading from a side event at the Leipzig Book Fair.


Forewarned is forearmed - Bärbel Winkler

Michael Mann‘s book is essential reading for anybody who doesn‘t accidentally want to fall for the latest tricks utilized by the fossil fuel industry and other groups heavily invested in the status quo. He shines the spotlight on the various underhanded tactics with which these vested interests and inactivists try to drive a wedge into the climate movement or try to shift the blame for the climate crisis from them to us as consumers. Once you know what to be on the lookout for, you‘ll no longer fall prey to these methods and can also call them out when you see others falling for them, who haven‘t been made aware of the tactics yet. Forewarned is forearmed as the saying goes!

Michael Mann also offers hope as he sees outright climate science denial on the way out, basically fighting rearguard skirmishes as the evidence for human-caused global warming is more and more in front of everybodys eyes, making it ever harder to deny. Even though there‘s obviously urgency needed to tackle the climate crisis he‘s nonetheless hopeful that we can do it because we also have the agency to act, meaning that we already have most of the needed options in our toolbox with which we can set ourselves on a path to wean ourselves from fossil fuels.

What we have to make sure to not lose sight of that task however, is to all be aware of the tactics applied by the various breeds of inactivists like the downplayers, deflectors, delayers, dividers, and doomers. Michael Mann‘s book is a great help with that!

Review published on on May 22, 2021.

The book that is desperately needed in our times - Timo Lubitz

Mike Mann has done it again.

After having published splendid “The Madhouse Effect” in 2016, the renowned climate scientist again takes on the most pressing issue of our times: Climate Change!

“The New Climate War” draws a brutally honest picture of the state our planet is in. Wildfires, melting ice caps, heat waves, floods. This has been long foreseen by climate scientists, but politicians did rarely act on it in order to prevent the worsening situation.

Furthermore, the fossil fuel industry is fighting for its survival by leading attacks on climate science and scientists. They invest lots of money into think tanks, from where they spew misinformation on the topic. Leading politicians in turn try themselves in diversion: “What about the other countries? They should go first, before we have to act! And what about the consumers, they should consume less energy or emission producing goods. And what – in God's name - about the economy?”

These distraction tactics are versatile and effective. But if one knows how to spot and how to identify them, it becomes much easier to refute the attacks. Mike Mann's new book gives the reader a handy set of tools to identify misinformation and counter these attacks on climate science. And this is much needed... Because it’s not the time to give up. We are not doomed yet, as some people like to put it in order to not be required to act. There is still time to act against climate change, but we need to act now.

And reading this book can be a first step.

Review published on on January 12.

Recognize the new tactics from the old agenda - John Garrett

In the past few years, I fell under the impression that opposition to the message from climate science had waned. I was wrong. This book's greatest benefit to me was teaching me that climate inactivists had migrated rather than disappeared. As a result of reading the book, I now recognize in my own conversations the delay and distraction tactics Mann describes in The New Climate War. Here's an exercise I recommend: Read the book, and then make a thoughtful and respectful public comment on the merits of restraining our greenhouse gas emissions. Next, examine the backlash for tactics described in this book.

I made such a comment on my state senator's social media and got the gamut of accusations from wind-turbined bird killer to energy hypocrite. All of these hostile replies were textbook examples anticipated in Mann's book.

While The New Climate War is about organized tactics to delay action on regulating fossil fuel emissions, its lessons apply to other events. For example, I hadn't thought about deflection much till I read about it in The New Climate War. This tactic has been in use in public advertising for 60 years and is still in use today, especially after the incident at the US Capital on Jan. 6, 2021.

Much of this book's engaging quality comes from Mann's writing style, such as ending paragraphs with ironic one-liners. Admittedly, the irony appeals more to people who do follow main stream science on matters like climate change. Since I follow the science, I'm familiar with at least 2/3rds of the persons cited in the book. I wondered if others could benefit from a who's who glossary, to sort out all the names and affiliations, but as I kept reading, I realized the ideal target audience is someone like me who has followed climate science, is familiar with anti-science propaganda, and is willing to use the book's footnotes.

I read an online copy, and quickly bought the print version because I find print easier for examining the footnotes, which are excellent.

I had expected the book to return to one idea posed in the beginning, that the Russian support for Trump was all about protecting oil's value, but since this is speculative, I'm happy with that being left as an activity for the reader.

Review published on on May 29.

Book reading and discussion at "Leipzig liest extra"

On May 27, 2021 Michael Mann read from his book during a side event focused on climate topics of the Leipzig Book Fair which could only take place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After the reading the host Heike Wex from Scientists for Future discussed the book's contents with Michael Mann and then opened it up to the participants of the Zoom call. Here is the recording of the event:

Bottom line: we wholeheartedly recommend reading this book!

Have you read "The New Climate War"? Leave your review in the comments!

Posted by BaerbelW on Friday, 4 June, 2021

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