Why is public debate on climate change so infected?

Michael E. Mann, climate scientist and geophysicist

Climatologist Michael Mann is nearly as well known for his pushback against fossil fuel industry-funded distortions of climate science as for his iconic “hockey stick” graph showing the dramatic rise in global temperatures during the 20th century, which first appeared in a 1999 scientific study published by Mann, Bradley & Hughes in Nature that presented global reconstructions of annual surface temperature patterns over the previous six centuries. Mann discusses how the fossil fuel industry has promoted distortions of science in public discourse and debate to protect their own economic interests, following the playbook of other industries (Big Tobacco and Big Pharma) that have previously attacked science and scientists when their studies and knowledge advancements challenge industry products and profits.

Global-scale temperature patterns over six centuries
Science and the Public: Debate, Denial, and Skepticism

Bifrost gratefully acknowledges Prof. Guðni Elísson of University of Iceland and the leadership of the research network NIES for all their support behind the scenes that helped make the interview excerpted in this video possible. Grateful acknowledgment is also made to Earth 101 and University of Iceland, where the interview was filmed.