Dr. Michael Mann
Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science, Penn State
Director, Earth System Science Center
Rector Ca’ Foscari University of Venice
Carlo Barbante, President Italian Society for Climate Sciences, CNR – IDPA Institute for the Dynamics of Environmental Processes, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice
Jaroslav Mysiak , Director of the Division “Risk Assessment and Adaptation Strategies”, Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change Foundation, CMCC@Ca’Foscari.
In fall 2016, I co-authored the book “The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening our Planet, Destroying our Politics, and Driving us Crazy” with Washington Post editorial cartoonist Tom Toles. At that time, many felt that climate change denial had been rendered irrelevant–that we were past it, and ready to tackle the problem head on. With the election as President of Donald J. Trump— an individual who rejects the overwhelming consensus of the world’s scientists that climate change is real and human-caused — denialism however has now officially infected the very highest level of our government. The official policy of the U.S. government is distraction, denial and delay, and doubling down on our headlong exploitation of dirty fossil fuel energy. I update the story told by The Madhouse Effect using humor, satire and where appropriate, ridicule, built around Tom Toles’ famously insightful, edgy, and provocative climate-themed cartoons in the Washington Post. I will review the scientific evidence of climate change, the reasons we should care, and the often absurd efforts by special interests and partisan political figures to confuse the public, attack the science and scientists, and deny that a problem even exists. Despite the monumental nature of the challenge we face, particularly in the era of Trump, I will explain why I’m cautiously optimistic we will prevail in the greatest battle human civilization has ever faced—the battle to avert catastrophic and irreversible climate change impacts.
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This event has been organized by Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, CMCC@Ca’Foscari and SISC – Società Italiana per le Scienze del Clima
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 received his undergraduate degrees in Physics and Applied Math from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.S. degree in Physics from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Geology & Geophysics from Yale University. His research involves the use of theoretical models and observational data to better understand Earth’s climate system. 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. He contributed, with other IPCC authors, to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He was awarded the Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Geosciences Union in 2012 and was awarded the National Conservation Achievement Award for science by the National Wildlife Federation in 2013. He made Bloomberg News’ list of fifty most influential people in 2013. In 2014, he was named Highly Cited Researcher by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) and received the Friend of the Planet Award from the National Center for Science Education. He received the Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication from Climate One in 2017 and the Award for Public Engagement with Science from the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2018. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, the Geological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He is also a co-founder of the award-winning science website RealClimate.org. Dr. Mann is author of more than 200 peer-reviewed and edited publications, numerous op-eds and commentaries, and four books including Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines, The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy and The Tantrum that Saved the World.