Mann is a veteran of the climate wars of the 1990s and early 2000s, when evidence was criticized that the climate is changing due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. “Now that the effects of climate change are felt all around us (SN: 12/21/20), we are in a new phase of these wars,”- he says, “open denial turned into deception, distraction and procrastination.”
The tactic, he said, is a direct heir to previous PR battles over whether producers or consumers should ultimately be held responsible, such as smoking-related deaths.
According to him, everything distracts from what we can do here and now: regulate emissions and invest in renewable energy. But he does not strike, calling the sources of “friendly fire” from the protective climate, which share the climate and act in favor of the “enemy.”
The focus of The New Climate War is on combating psychological warfare, and in that sense, the book is fascinating and often engaging. It’s a gripping mix of storytelling with footnotes, poignant political commentary and anecdotes from the author’s life.
As for what readers can do to aid in battle, Mann suggests four strategies:
▫ Ignore doom-fortune tellers;
▫ Be inspired by youth activists like Greta Thunberg;
▫ Pay attention to educating people who will listen;
▫ Don’t be fooled that it is too late to act to change the political system.
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