The Hockey Stick and The Climate Wars: The Battle Continues - A Public Talk on Climate Scepticisim and Climate Change Action

Independent Event
Monday, January 19, 2015
Edmund Burke Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin (18:00 - 20:00)
Cost An Taisce Members: 
Free - This event is free but registration is required.
Cost Non Members: 
Free - This event is free but registration is required.

This event is free but registration is required. To register please click here

On Monday, 19th January, 2015, the Trinity Long Room Hub at Trinity College Dublin will host a public talk examining Climate Science and Climate Change Action by Dr Michael Mann, a leading international climate scientist and the Director of Earth System Science Center, Penn State University. The talk will be based on Dr Mann’s recent publication, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: The Battle Continues (2012). Dr Mann will tell the story of the ‘Hockey Stick’ which has become an icon in the debate over human-caused (‘anthropogenic’) climate change and use his experience of the controversy surrounding this visual presentation of scientific data to explore the implications of climate scepticism on climate change action. The Hockey Stick is a simple, easy to understand graph Dr Mann and his colleagues constructed to depict the changes in Earth’s temperature since 1000AD. It also quickly became the central icon in the so-called ‘climate wars’ and the attacks on a body of science and the researchers whose work formed its scientific basis. The event is the second of three climate change talks presented by the Andrew W. Mellon funded EU Observatory of the New Human Conditions all of which are free, however registration is required.

The first talk in the series by Dr Kari Norgaard, last October, looked at the issue of threats to public responses and awareness of global climate change. Now as world attention focusses on Climate Change with hopes of negotiating a legally binding international agreement on climate action at Paris in 2015, Dr Mann’s talk entitled ‘The Hockey Stick and The Climate Wars: The Battle Continues’ will take a look at the controversies and disagreements associated with climate science which influence public opinion and action on climate change. Focussing on climate science and climate action, Dr Mann’s talk will investigate 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.

According to Dr Mann, the talk will attempt to ‘cut through the fog of disinformation that has been generated by the campaign to deny the reality of climate change’ and in doing so, to reveal how this creates real a threat to our future. Dr Mann is visiting Trinity College as part of The EU Observatory of the New Human Condition. This project aims to explore human agency in relation to global climate and environmental change. The Action workshop will look at the need to address global climate change and what may be learned from the humanities. The European Observatory of Trinity College Dublin comprises an Executive Forum of leading private and public sector figures and academics.

For media queries contact: Brenda McNally, Press Officer for the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Trinity College Dublin | | + 353 1 8964337

About Dr Michal Mann

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. He is also author of more than 160 peer-reviewed and edited publications, and has published books include Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming (2008) and The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines (2012). He is also a co-founder and avid contributor to the award-winning science website

About EU 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.