So Michael Mann’s The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars is one of the best books that deals with both global warming/climate change and the politics surrounding it, especially the “despicable me” world of climate change deniers. I’ve read many books on the subject of climate change, some of them quite good—such as Tim Flannery’s The Weather Makers (2006) and, more recently, Here on Earth (2011)—and some of them rather tepid, such as Mark Hertsgaard’s Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years (2011). Much of Mann’s book describes his analysis of past climate events and how he and other scientists have tried to reconstruct past climate via climate models, the better to understand how we could be affecting the climate of the future. He explains how his use of the term “censored” in a technical way was used by the climate change deniers who hacked into his emails to make it look as if he were censoring data that did not fit his “agenda,” which was a complete distortion. He also explains much about climate science, and some of its theories and implications, that relate to our present predicament. For instance, some of his data about the past implies that a damaging La Nina-like pattern could emerge and recur over the Southwestern U.S. and lead to a persistent drought. In keeping with that, an article in ThinkProgress.org that notes most of Colorado is in a drought right now, with the effect of persistent, back-to-back La Nina events, here.
I care about this greatly because I live part-time in Colorado, and love it. I don’t want it to look like Arizona in a few decades (although I’m tempted to add a Seinfeldian “Not that there’s anything wrong with that!” as a shout-out to all those Arizonans who love their desert). Here’s one of my neighbors, who also doesn’t like the idea of drought: