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Host: Scott LaMar

The Hockey Stick and Climate Change Wars

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | May 30, 2012 7:48 PM

Radio Smart Talk for Thursday, May 31:

There may be no more polarizing issue today than that of whether temperatures on Earth are rising and whether man is the reason why.

The debate is passionate, often personal, has a secular vs. religion aspect to it, and sometimes gets down right ugly.  Radio Smart Talk has hosted pro-con debates of climate change on several occasions in the past.  Quite honestly, the heat is so high that it is difficult to have a civil conversation.

One of Thursday's guest on Radio Smart Talk should know.  That's because Dr. Michael Mann may be the world's most outspoken scientist in support of climate change and as a result, probably the biggest target on the face of the Earth for those he refers to as deniers.  Dr. Mann is on the faculty at Penn State, the lead author on the Observed Variability and Change Chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Third Scientific Assessment Report.  He also shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

Mann's second book was published earlier this year and it's title may say it all -- The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars.  In the late 1990s, Mann and his colleagues devised a graph of the Earth's temperatures from the year 1000 A.D. to the present that showed an upward movement in the 20th Century, as more greenhouse gases were sent into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels and industrialization.

Mann was on the front lines of the climate wars in 2009 when computer hackers released emails, that included Mann, from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit that were edited to look like Mann and his colleagues had doubts about climate change and lied to the public about their evidence.  Several investigations of "Climategate" have absolved Mann.

A survey of climate researchers two years ago by the National Academy of Sciences found that 97% of scientists agree that the climate is changing and that it is being caused by man.  At the same time, most public opinion polls consistently indicate that only about half of Americans believe in climate change.  Why is there a disconnect?

Also appearing on the program will be Dr. Donald Brown, an Associate Professor of Environmental Ethics, Science and Law at Penn State.  Dr. Brown has written that industrialized nations have an ethical duty to smaller countries to reduce greenhouse gases to head off the threat of climate change.

Listen to the program:

 

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