Dr Michael Mann: “This is a make-or-break election for the climate”

  • Published on September 1st, 2020

(Our regular contributor Dr. Michael Mann had a column up at Newsweek last week on the GOP’s willful blocking of meaningful action on the climate crisis, which makes Election 2020 a critical turning point. We’re excerpting a few paragraphs below)

Tom Toles - climate denial election

By Dr Michael Mann

The willful ignorance of the climate crisis exhibited by one of our two major political parties is jarring, and it was on full display this week. It might almost seem like a joke. But it’s not funny. It’s a tragedy. And it’s not an accident. It’s a deliberate strategy.

The strategy was perhaps best exemplified by the acceptance speeches of the Vice Presidential and Presidential nominees. On Wednesday, the third night of the convention, Mike Pence became the first speaker to actually mention climate change at the RNC. Alas, it was only to downplay the urgency of climate action and falsely claim that efforts to decarbonize our civilization would hurt the economy. (In reality, the cost of climate inaction greatly exceeds the cost of action.)

… This is a make-or-break election for the climate, and voters have only one choice. One party—the Republican party—has clearly established they have no interest in acting on the climate crisis (nor the coronavirus crisis for that matter), while the other—the Democratic party—has put forward bold plans that, if implemented, could lead us down the road toward tackling the climate crisis.

But that can only happen if we turn out and support them at the ballot box this Fall. Nothing less than the future viability of our civilization is at stake.

Read the whole thing at Newsweek.

Want to learn more about climate change from an expert in the field? Sign up for Dr Michael Mann’s course, “Climate Change: The Science and Global Impact”

(Cartoon by Tom Toles from the Washington Post – get his book on climate change co-written with Dr Michael Mann, The Madhouse Effect.)


About the Author

Dr. Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State, 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 was a Lead Author on the Observed Climate Variability and Change chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment Report in 2001 and was organizing committee chair for the National Academy of Sciences Frontiers of Science in 2003. He has received a number of honors and awards including NOAA's outstanding publication award in 2002 and selection by Scientific American as one of the fifty leading visionaries in science and technology in 2002.

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