The New Climate Wars: How vested interests delay action
Book review: A punchy, provocative, but also deeply personal take on the crisis by a respected voice
Michael Mann reserves special scorn for defeatism: “Doomism today arguably poses a greater threat to climate action than outright denial.”
There are many standout moments in climatologist Michael Mann’s new book, but perhaps the most salient is a chart reproduced from a 1982 internal Exxon document. With uncanny accuracy, the oil company’s own scientists four decades ago were able to predict the likely levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a key greenhouse gas, by 2020, as well as its extremely dangerous impact on global temperatures.
What happened next is what the author describes, with some justification, as “the most immoral act in the history of human civilization”. Rather than raising the alarm, the fossil fuel industry sought instead to protect its profits by spreading disinformation, including funding vicious personalised attacks on individual scientists.