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The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars:The Battle Continues

Dr Michael Mann

Monday, 19 January 2015 | Edmund Burke Theatre, Arts Building | 18:00

A public lecture by Dr Michael Mann (Penn State University) who will be in Trinity College as part of the Andrew W. Mellon project European Observatory of the New Human Condition.  This project aims to explore human agency in relation to global climate and environmental change. 

Dr Mann’s recent publication The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars:  The Battle Continues (2012) will highlight the theme of the European Observatory workshop in January – Action.  The Action workshop will look at the need to address global climate change and what may be learned from the humanities. The agenda follows on from the previous workshop ‘Threat’ which looked at human awareness of global climate change, scale of challenges, and alarmism versus ignorance.  The European Observatory of Trinity College Dublin comprises an Executive Forum of leading private and public sector figures and academics.

Abstract: A central figure in the controversy over human-caused climate change has been “The Hockey Stick” – a simple, easy-to-understand graph which Dr Mann and his colleagues constructed to depict changes in Earth’s temperature back to 1000 AD. The graph was featured in the high-profile “Summary for Policy Makers” of the 2001 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and it quickly became an icon in the debate over human-caused (“anthropogenic”) climate change. This lecture will tell the ongoing story behind the Hockey Stick, using it as a vehicle for exploring broader issues regarding the role of scepticism in science, the uneasy relationship between science and politics, and the dangers that arise when special economic interests and those who do their bidding attempt to skew the discourse over policy-relevant areas of science.   The lecture will attempt to use the Hockey Stick to cut through the fog of disinformation that has been generated by the campaign to deny the reality of climate change. It is the intent, in so doing, to reveal the very real threat to our future that lies behind it.

Bio: Dr. Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University, with joint appointments in the Department of Geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI). He is also director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC). Dr. Mann received his undergraduate degrees in Physics and Applied Math from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.S. degree in Physics from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Geology & Geophysics from Yale University. His research involves the use of theoretical models and observational data to better understand Earth's climate system.

Admission is free and all are welcome.

European Observatory of the New Human Condition
This project, led by Professor Poul Holm, Trinity College Dublin, aims to understand why humans in the face of non-imminent, but incipient dangers choose to act as we do, and how we may be able to change our behaviors and direction. Observatory research questions are aimed at the individual, institutional, and social levels: how do individuals respond to calls for change in behavior; how can social innovation help redress institutionally ingrained patterns; and how do societies develop resilient responses to threats of crisis and collapse?

The European Observatory seeks new insights into the human condition as it relates to global climate change, to explore its root problems and possible solutions. The Observatory will bring together academics, senior executives and other stakeholders for dialogue, conceptualization and action on global climate change issues. The research undertaken in our forums and workshops will take us towards a broader understanding of
Perceptions of resources, technology, and risk in an age of scarcity and abundance.
Conceptualizations of time and differential discounting of future outcomes.
Strategies for arriving at “rational” decisions.
Pro-social behaviour in common-property resource dilemmas.

The results of the European Observatory will be published in international journals and a final edited publication.

Further information can be sourced here
Professor Poul Holm, holmp@tcd.ie. Contact phone: 087 618 8039

Missed this lecture? Listen to the podcast below:

Funding Bodies

Ireland EU Structural Funds Programmes 2007 – 2013, European Regional Development Fund, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, HEA, Trinity College Dublin, and


Last updated 8 March 2016 by Trinity Long Room Hub (Email) .