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Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for the FT/McKinsey Business Book of the Year award

A renowned climate scientist shows how fossil fuel companies have waged a thirty-year campaign to deflect blame and responsibility and delay action on climate change, and offers a battle plan for how we can save the planet.

Recycle. Fly less. Eat less meat. These are some of the ways that we've been told can slow climate change. But the inordinate emphasis on individual behavior is the result of a marketing campaign that has succeeded in placing the responsibility for fixing climate change squarely on the shoulders of individuals.

Fossil fuel companies have followed the example of other industries deflecting blame (think "guns don't kill people, people kill people") or greenwashing (think of the beverage industry's "Crying Indian" commercials of the 1970s). Meanwhile, they've blocked efforts to regulate or price carbon emissions, run PR campaigns aimed at discrediting viable alternatives, and have abdicated their responsibility in fixing the problem they've created. The result has been disastrous for our planet.

In The New Climate War, Mann argues that all is not lost. He draws the battle lines between the people and the polluters-fossil fuel companies, right-wing plutocrats, and petrostates. And he outlines a plan for forcing our governments and corporations to wake up and make real change, including: 

  • A common-sense, attainable approach to carbon pricing- and a revision of the well-intentioned but flawed currently proposed version of the Green New Deal;
  • Allowing renewable energy to compete fairly against fossil fuels
  • Debunking the false narratives and arguments that have worked their way into the climate debate and driven a wedge between even those who support climate change solutions
  • Combatting climate doomism and despair-mongering

With immensely powerful vested interests aligned in defense of the fossil fuel status quo, the societal tipping point won't happen without the active participation of citizens everywhere aiding in the collective push forward. This book will reach, inform, and enable citizens everywhere to join this battle for our planet.

©2021 Michael E. Mann (P)2021 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Fossil fuel companies have, for decades longer than I have been alive, been the largest contributors to the climate crisis that affects my generation today - all in pursuit of profits and growth. In The New Climate War, Michael Mann holds them to account, and shows us how we can take the bold steps we must all take together to win the battle to save this planet." (Greta Thunberg, climate activist)

"This book takes the reader behind the front lines into the decades long information war waged by the fossil fuel industry and those that share their interests. From his perspective as a leader in the battle for scientific reason, Michael Mann provides hope and a roadmap for all of us to address the systemic issues fueling climate change, and shows how we can come together to wage a new war in the fight for our future." (Leonardo DiCaprio, actor and environmental activist)

"Few people bear more scars from the climate wars than Michael Mann - and few have fought longer and harder for a basic, rational approach to dealing with this greatest of crises. Because of his persistence - and that of so many others - we are finally making progress!" (Bill McKibben, author of Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?)

What listeners say about The New Climate War

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Skip chapter 4

Good book, good narration. However, the author couldn’t help but spend most of chapter 4 apologizing for Hillary Clinton and complaining complaining about her 2016 loss. He undermines the philosophical divide of the left by explicitly blaming Bernie support on Russia. Otherwise the book is a salient one if you can handle the neoliberal drivel in chapter 4.

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A good overview of the status of Climate Politics

There is not a great deal of new information for those who have been following the issue closely but it is a great explanatory book for those who have not and might be wondering why more has not been done to address climate change. I found that the often sarcastic tone of the narrator took away from the power of the text. That level of snark might put off those who have not fully embraced the severity of the problem and the need for aggressive action to combat it.

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Oddly Simplistic Thinking

Mann, quite unexpectedly, winds up sounding like a kind of one-trick pony, loudly and repetitively proclaiming the superiority of collective behaviors and policy change, while inexplicably going out of his way to minimize the importance of individual behavior and providing his own deflection campaign for individual irresponsibility. At times he sounds like a paid lobbyist for the beef industry or airline industries.

Very disappointing coming from one of the most distinguished scientists in the field of climate change.

Perhaps the smell of his backyard barbecues and the taste of well-cooked livestock overwhelms his critical thinking.

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Name-calling and disparaging at its finest.

If you like "Hurray for my side, and if you don't agree with me then you are a science-denying tool of the evil fossile fuel industry . . . and probably a white male too (you jerk)!" then you will enjoy this book.

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A Masterclass in How We Are All Played

The reader sounds a bit stuffy and off-putting. With the language of some of the text, it comes off as very hoity toity and know-it-all. With that said, I think there is a lot of good information within that makes me angry that so many people couldn't see through it initially.

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The fossil fuel inaction propaganda

It's mainly an account of the propaganda that the fossil fuel industry does against Climate Change, up to these days, as it was lived by the author himself. Then the author, a climatologist, convincingly explains to take action and how to face this seemingly impossible... challenge for our creativity, our courage, our resilience and our love towards this planet.

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Exposing climate denial 2.0

Michael Mann is undoubtedly one of the leading climate scientists in the world. If you've read any of his others works, you know he's arguably the leading expert in how climate change denial and inaction stem from massively funded misinformation campaigns. But the rules are changing. Contrarians realize they are fighting a losing battle with climate denial, as denial is no longer an attainable position, and even THE GOP/right wing is beginning to acknowledge the reality of human caused climate change.

Instead of denial, the contrarians have shifted their focus to turn the climate activists against each other by overstating the role of personal responsibility in creating change (policy is going to do much more than people changing habits), and additionally by reinforcing the "new narrative" myth as follows: sure climate change is happening, but it's so bad and overwhelming that fighting it is a futile effort. As Mann explains, this couldn't be further from the truth. Far from not being able to do anything, we have it in capacity to resolve almost everything. According to Mann, we have many- perhaps even most- of the tools to make the required changes recommended by the IPCC guidelines. Now it's all about getting the right policies in place, and staying active in policy, while making sure we never become complacent on this matter again.

The main thing I did not like and wish Mann would have done differently was using fairly hostile or belittling language to describe others he disagreed with that are in the fight, and on his same side nonetheless! He seemed rather ruthless in pulling his punches against fellow activists of differing opinions; treating them with the same disgust at times that he has justifiably had for the Koch Brothers. It seemed like by the end, Mann may have offended just about every fellow activist and scientist involved in the movement!

For only one example, he went after Bill Gates extremely hard; focusing on how Gates was not a climate scientist, and belittled Gates for contributing to research in geoengineering. It almost seemed personal? I think Mann had a great point about avoiding words like "catastrophe" and "disaster" (Gates new book is How to Avoid a Climate Disaster) to mitigate driving the public into fear and helplessness with this language. But Mann went way too hard on Gates IMO. Ironically the 1st thing Gates had written in aforementioned new book is that he's just a billionaire with an opinion, and Gates also emphasizes that geoengineering would ONLY ever be considered as the last ditch "break glass in case of emergency" type solution.

I don't know why Mann is so opposed to even studying geoengineering. There's a lot of other great scientists like David Deutsch, who as a formal member of the Royal Society has promoted the exploration of geoengineering, and his opinion within the last decade was that we were going to require some form of geoengineering.

This is by far the longest review I've ever written, because I was somewhat suprised to see Mann so hostile at times and wanted to point it out. But with that said, this is absolutely crucial information on arguably the most important dilemma of our time. Mann steps in to his mentor Carl Sagan's proverbial Demon Haunted World of the New Climate War, and lights a flame. Mann does an excellent job as always using Science as a Candle in the Dark; marrying skepticism and wonder in this must read book.

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Interesting and important

While it’s hard to feel as optimistic as Dr Mann in this fight, doomism is of no use to anyone. It’s important that books like this are here to highlight why everything is not going to hell all the time. There’s always something we can do. We here is the governments and peoples of the world. Individual action, while vital, is not as important as decarbonisation of the electricity grid or transport sector.
My biggest problem with this audiobook was the narrator’s constant mispronunciation of Greta Thunberg’s name. Why!?

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Non energizing

While passionate about the topic, the script and narration just didn’t land well with me. It took me so long to get through it because I could only take so much at a time. If there was a different narrator, maybe it would be a bit better…

I also didn’t walk away feeling like I learned anything profound, or inspired to frame my approach to addressing climate change any differently

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A self-defeating approach

Co-opting progressive movements and icons for a message which sacrifices both to appeal to reactionary centrists is a mistake common to neoliberals. It is historically a losing strategy, but Michael Mann leans into it heavily in The New Climate War. Not worth much if you've read Naomi Klein's work already, unless you want to see the ways in which reaction co-opts climate movements.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-02-22

Essential reading on climate communications

This book has been a revelation. Fascinating and inspiring - it's reframed how I think about climate change and how I talk about it with others

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  • Laura
  • 12-08-21

Climate change in context

loved this book! I've learnt so much from it. If you're interested in Climate change it is a must listen/read.

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  • JPA
  • 10-26-21

Informative and to the point.

Having studied climate change and its effects in parts at Uni and in my own time, I found confirmation and new info regarding the subject.

Very easy to follow and very hopeful where a lot of other things I have read had left me with mixed emotions.

Highly recommended!

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  • I. Elliott
  • 09-12-21

I can't praise this book enough

Michael E. Mann provides an excellent assessment of where we find ourselves and the route we must take to safeguard our future.

"The surest way to lose a war is to refuse to recognize you’re in one in the first place"

The book has given me a renewed sense of how personally to fight in this war.

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  • Lorna Kelly
  • 09-01-21

An important read.

This was a quick book- informative, layman delivery, just enough repetition to enforce the message. A book that I think reaffirms what most of its readers know, it won’t be read by those who should.

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  • Anon
  • 08-21-21

Reason for hope

"And now on to the liars." Michael E. Mann has written a fine book updating a confused public about pressing issues. This, however, is not an adequate reason for the constant references to relatively petty twitter spats he has been involved in. Tell me the pattern, dude, not every example.

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  • Joe Garde
  • 08-20-21

You must listen.

Deception, deflection and denial by the fossil fuel industries explained clearly and concisely. Thank you.

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  • Neil Green
  • 08-15-21

Excellent book, should be read by everybody.

An optimistic view by a very distinguished climate scientist. A breath of fresh air in difficult times. Well narrated too.

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  • Daniel Staples
  • 07-12-21

Inspiring and hopeful

Excellent book. Well written and performed. Full of good and useful information. It made me feel more hopeful about our future and want to take action. A good counter to doom and gloom.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-30-21

Very insightful and encouraging

Sets out with great clarity (and always backed by specific examples) the many nefarious tactics employed by the fossil fuel industry to maintain its business as usual despite the terrible consequences.
Equally clear views set out about what needs to be done and by whom. An antidote to the doom-mongers. Highly recommended.

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  • Bruce MacDonald
  • 09-08-21

There is both Urgency and Agency

Of course, saying that Michael E. Mann can provide deep insight should hardly be a revelation. The man has spent decades accumulating knowledge. But this book is not about the mechanisms of climate change; it is about what we can do, who we are fighting, and the tactics that the Inactivists employ.
If I could be sure that would read it, I would but a copy for every politician in the country.
Read it, and share what you learn with others.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-02-21

Courageous

Michael E. Mann’s book was very well balanced and in my opinion, empowering. It provides evidence on the global state with regard to our climate in a manner which is needed in so many other media forms. It brings attention to the crisis, but instead of crushing any hope has logical answers and evidence which is encouraging for the future. As the book states, “Agency” to change the future, giving a rebuttal to apathy and the just do nothing approach because we’re screwed either way. Inaction is the biggest threat.

I myself am an ecologist in Australia, it’s a role which wears heavy on the sole, doom and gloom at times have crippled me. This book has done one of the best jobs in allowing me to regain some composure and keep doing the work that I do.

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  • Allan Wood
  • 02-24-21

Very measured and sensible message

Well researched and factual book covering the scientific reality of climate change and the political and misguided attempts to derail necessary action to combat it. Thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone interested in the future of our planet.

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  • Adam
  • 02-19-21

Your 2021 book on climate

Mann provides an in depth and detailed position on his climate advocacy awareness and also hope to the climate crisis, from a global and even Australian context.

An important book for those wanting to learn more on the climate crisis, the science behind the challenges, the role of media, corporations and community.

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  • Chris B
  • 01-17-21

Gripping and Inspiring

Love this audiobook. Educational, entertaining, inspiring. Fascinating insights into the tactics of climate change denial, delay and doomism. But also a call to action and a message of hope and optimism. Brilliantly narrated by Tim Campbell this is essential and enjoyable listening.

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  • Mary
  • 05-08-21

Review

This is an important book! It clearly communicates the case for optimism and agency in addressing the climate crisis. However, I do wish a narrator with some understanding of the issues had been chosen. This one does not know how to pronounce Greta Thunberg.

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  • Steven Frew
  • 02-26-21

made me think

a very interesting look at the history of the climate wars, disinformation and where we are not. I fell prey to the movie "planet of the humans" and feel bad I didn't fact check what was said( however I haven't fact checked this book either).