“I think you are now going to see the scientific community almost uniformly fighting back against this assault on science. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future but I do know that my fellow scientists and I are very ready to engage in this battle.”—Michael Mann
The recent leaks of documents from the libertarian think tank The Heartland Institute, revealed a systematic and well-funded, by the Koch brothers among others, campaign to challenge and discredit climate science and particularly the evidence that suggests global warming. One of the most prominent targets of climate change “skeptics” has been Michael E. Mann, a noted scientist and professor, and the author of the recently published The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines.
In light of the revelations in the wake of the Heartland documents, the Guardian interviewed Michael Mann about the campaign against him personally as well as climate science more broadly. (There is also an excellent video to accompany the article.)
Mann has been regularly vilified on Fox News, blogs, and by Republican members of congress. As Mann describes it his work in studying human-caused climate change has made him a target, he comments, “A day doesn’t go by when I don’t have to fend off some attack, some specious criticism or personal attack. Literally a day doesn’t go by where I don’t have to deal with some of the nastiness that comes out of a campaign that tries to discredit me, and thereby in the view of our detractors to discredit the entire science of climate change.”
Mann and his fellow scientists have slowly grown accustomed to the frequent attacks, “It took the scientific community some time I think to realize that the scientific community is in a street fight with climate change deniers and they are not playing by the rules of engagement of science. The scientific community needed some time to wake up to that.” Mann, continues “I think you are now going to see the scientific community almost uniformly fighting back against this assault on science. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future but I do know that my fellow scientists and I are very ready to engage in this battle.”