The Mad­house Ef­fect

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Michael E Mann and Tom Toles Columbia Univer­sity Press, May 2017

The award-win­ning cli­mate sci­en­tist Michael E. Mann and the Pulitzer Prize–win­ning po­lit­i­cal car­toon­ist Tom Toles have been on the front lines of the fight against cli­mate de­nial­ism for most of their ca­reers. They have wit­nessed the ma­nip­u­la­tion of the me­dia by busi­ness and po­lit­i­cal in­ter­ests and the un­con­scionable play to par­ti­san­ship on is­sues that af­fect the well-be­ing of bil­lions. The lessons they have learned have been in­valu­able, in­spir­ing this bril­liant, color­ful es­cape hatch from the mad­house of the cli­mate wars.

The Mad­house Ef­fect por­trays the in­tel­lec­tual pret­zels into which de­nial­ists must twist logic to ex­plain away the clear ev­i­dence that hu­man ac­tiv­ity has changed Earth’s cli­mate. Toles’s cartoons col­lapse counter-sci­en­tific strate­gies into their bi­ased com­po­nents, help­ing read­ers see how to best strike at these fal­la­cies. Mann’s ex­pert skills at science com­mu­ni­ca­tion aim to re­store san­ity to a de­bate that con­tin­ues to rage against widely ac­knowl­edged sci­en­tific con­sen­sus. The syn­ergy of these two cli­mate science cru­saders en­livens the gloom and doom of so many cli­mate-themed books—and may even con­vert die-hard doubters to the side of sound science.

About the Au­thor

Michael E. Mann is Dis­tin­guished Pro­fes­sor of At­mo­spheric Science and direc­tor of the Earth Sys­tems Science Cen­ter at Penn State Univer­sity. He is the au­thor of The Hockey Stick and the Cli­mate Wars: Dis­patches from the Front Lines (Columbia, 2012) and a fel­low of the Amer­i­can Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal So­ci­ety, the Amer­i­can Geo­phys­i­cal Union, and the Amer­i­can As­so­ci­a­tion for the Ad­vance­ment of Science.

Tom Toles is the Pulitzer Prize–win­ning car­toon­ist of the Wash­ing­ton Post. He has a par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est in cli­mate change science and has worked con­sis­tently to ad­vance un­der­stand­ing of this sub­ject, in­clud­ing its po­lit­i­cal con­text, since the 1980s.

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