Climate expert discusses global warming
Published: Thursday, March 29, 2012
Updated: Thursday, March 29, 2012 22:03
Michael E. Mann, one of the world’s leaders in climate science, came to speak at UConn’s Thomas J. Dodd Center about climate change and the controversial subject of global warming.
As the final speaker in the Edwin Way Teale Lecture series this year, Mann gave the lecture “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches From The Front Lines”. The presentation was titled after his recent book: “hockey stick” refers to the spike in global temperature during the twentieth century due to human interference.
Mann broke down his presentation into three parts: explaining climate change, dealing with the political controversies surrounding global warming and considering steps to fix the problem.
“The scientific case is straightforward,” Mann said about global warming. “We know that temperatures are increasing, as to be expected with the greenhouse effect.” He explained that global warming was no hoax, describing the phenomenon as “basic physics and chemistry.”
After giving an overview of the science, Mann explained how his findings made him a target for criticisms from politicians.“ I got a letter from congressman Joe Barton,” Mann said. “Actually, it was a subpoena.” Many politicians called the credibility of Mann’s research into question. Other politicians defended him – Mann cited Sherwood Boehlert, a Republican from New York, as a major ally.
“I wish we could have this worthy debate about the solution to the problem instead of this groundhog’s day debate about whether the problem even exists,” Mann said.
Mann’s appearance drew in a large crowd, with a diverse audience spanning from older viewers to high school students. Both the Konover Auditorium and the overflow viewing room filled to capacity, and the fire marshal had to remove audience members standing in the aisles.
“I’ve been accused of many things,” Mann joked. “But this is the first time I’ve been accused of being a fire hazard.”
Overall, Mann was well received by his audience. “Mann’s lecture was just some reassuring evidence that climate change is indisputable, and he backed up all his points,” said Mark Tropochaud, a sixteen-year-old student at E.O. Smith High School. “He was very competent in what he said and he had proof. It was inspiring how he could fight through the political difficulties.”
“I think he really did a good job talking to a mixed audience and presenting basic history of the science and the history of the controversy,” said geography professor Jeanne Thibeault. “He gave us a good idea on how we need to work towards solutions and get onto the debate that’s really important.”
For more information about climate change, visit realclimate.org.