Excerpts from the review by Anne Jolis:
The book’s climax is a recounting of the 2009 leak or hack of emails and other documents written by Mr. Mann and his associates (and funneled through the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit). The correspondence, along with a second trove released in 2011, highlighted the patchwork behind IPCC science. The leading lights of publicly funded climatology appeared to be brainstorming to pressure journals and review boards to suppress work that challenged their theories, trading tips on how to avoid public-information requests and planning how to present their findings so as to best further “the cause.”
In his book, Mr. Mann dubs the unauthorized release of his emails a “crime” and claims that the ensuing “witch hunt” constituted “the most malicious” of “attack after vitriolic attack against us” by the “corporate-funded denial machine.”
Yet for all his caviling about “smear campaigns,” “conspiracy theorists” and “character assassination,” Mr. Mann is happy to employ similar tactics against his opponents. Patrick Michaels, former president of the American Association of State Climatologists and a past program chair of the American Meteorological Society’s Committee on Applied Climatology, is introduced as “a prominent climate change contrarian at the University of Virginia primarily known for his advocacy for the fossil fuel industry.” (Nowhere does Mr. Mann explain why a scientist might be more easily corrupted by a check from, say, a coal company than by one from a politically controlled institution.)
Just this February, Mr. Mann took to the Daily Kos to praise the theft of internal documents from the free-market Heartland Institute for offering “a peek behind the curtain of industry-funded climate change denial.” It was revelatory, but not in the way he thought. Hours after Mr. Mann posted his online musings, the much-decorated hydroclimatologist Peter Gleick (2003 MacArthur fellow, adviser to the EPA and, until recently, chairman of the American Geophysical Union’s task force on scientific ethics) confessed to the Heartland theft. Apologizing for his actions, he wrote that he had been “blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts—often anonymous, well-funded, and coordinated—to attack climate science and scientists.”
Mr. Mann closes “The Hockey Stick” with a passionate call for more scientists to join him “on the front lines of the climate wars.” “Scientific truth alone,” Mr. Mann writes, “is not enough to carry the day in the court of public opinion.” It would be “irresponsible,” he says, “for us to silently stand by while industry-funded climate change deniers succeed in confusing and distracting the public and dissuading our policy makers from taking appropriate actions.” These are unfortunate conclusions for a scientist-turned-climate-warrior whose greatest weakness has always been a low estimation of the public intellect.
Full review here