The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy, by climate scientist Michael Mann and cartoonist Tom Toles is now available for pre-order. I’ve not gotten my review copy of it yet, but it looks fantastic.

From the publisher:

The award winning climate scientist Michael E. Mann and the Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Tom Toles have fought at the frontlines of climate denialism for most of their careers. They have witnessed the manipulation of the media by business and political interests and the unconscionable play to partisanship on issues that affect the well-being of millions. The lessons they have learned have been invaluable, inspiring this brilliant, colorful escape hatch from the madhouse of the climate wars.

Through satire, “The Madhouse Effect” portrays the intellectual pretzels into which denialists must twist logic to explain away the clear evidence that man-made activity has changed our climate. Toles’s cartoons collapse counter-scientific strategies into their biased components, helping readers see how to best strike at these fallacies. Mann’s expert skills at science communication aim to restore sanity to a debate that continues to rage against widely acknowledged scientific consensus. The synergy of these two commonsense crusaders enlivens the gloom and doom of so many climate-themed books–and may even convert a few of the faithful to the right side of science.

Comments

  1. #1 Desertphile
    May 6, 2016

    Denialism freaks the shit outta me. Insisting Earth is flat; Young Earth Creationism; climate change isn’t happening; Lunar landings a hoax…. many scientists have said that all humans behave this way to varying degrees, and that none of us are immune from believing that which is obviously not true.

  2. #2 Brainstorms
    May 6, 2016

    “Belief trumps reality” — every time.

    Scientists are disciplined in taking care to determine reality first, then form beliefs based on that evidence.

    Laymen skip the most important part and just “cut to the chase” and form beliefs. As did our ancestors thousands of years ago. (They, however, had a good excuse…)

    Funny how a large segment of the population have never “grown up” since paleolithic times…

  3. #3 cosmicomics
    Danmark
    May 6, 2016

    #1
    Yes, the moon landing really did take place, but what you weren’t told was that the moon really is made of cheese. The Clinton-Republican establishment alliance (see Donal
    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2016/05/05/a-bunch-of-people-you-shouldnt-ever-trust-finally-telling-the-truth/#comment-632935)
    wants to keep all that delicious cheese for themselves. Typical.

  4. #4 Brainstorms
    May 6, 2016

    I learned from Wallace & Grommet that the moon is made of cheese.

  5. #5 Nicholas Schroeder, BSME, PE
    Colorado Springs, CO
    May 6, 2016

    The Great Climate Change Bamboozle
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
    H. L. Mencken

    Earth’s carbon cycle contains 45,000 Gt (E15 gr) +/- 850 GT of stores and reservoirs with a couple hundred Gt/y +/- ?? ebbing and flowing between those reservoirs. Mankind’s gross contribution over 260 years was 555 Gt or 1.2%. (IPCC AR5 Fig 6.1) Mankind’s net contribution, 240 Gt or 0.53%, (dry labbed by IPCC to make the numbers work) to this bubbling, churning caldron of carbon/carbon dioxide is 4 Gt/y +/- 96%. (IPCC AR5 Table 6.1) Seems relatively trivial to me. IPCC et. al. says natural variations can’t explain the increase in CO2. With these tiny percentages and high levels of uncertainty how would anybody even know?

    Mankind’s alleged atmospheric CO2 power flux (watt is power, energy over time) increase between 1750 and 2011, 260 years, was 2 W/m^2 of radiative forcing. (IPCC AR5 Fig SPM.5) Incoming solar RF is 340 W/m^2, albedo RF reflects 100 W/m^2 +/- 30 (can’t be part of the 333), 160 W/m^2 reaches the surface (can’t be part of the 333), latent heat RF from the water cycle’s evaporation is 88 W/m2 +/- 8. Mankind’s 2 W/m^2 contribution is obviously trivial, lost in the natural fluctuations.

    One popular GHE theory power flux balance (“Atmospheric Moisture…. Trenberth et. al. 2011 Figure 10) has a spontaneous perpetual loop (333 W/m^2) flowing from cold to hot violating three fundamental thermodynamic laws. (1. Spontaneous energy out of nowhere, 2) perpetual loop w/o work, 3) cold to hot w/o work, 4) doesn’t matter because what’s in the system stays in the system) Physics must be optional for “climate” science. What really counts is the net RF balance at ToA which 7 out of 8 re-analyses considered by the above cited paper concluded the atmosphere was cooling, not warming. Of course Trenberth says they are wrong because their results are not confirmed by the predicted warming, which hasn’t happened for twenty years.

    Every year the pause/hiatus/lull/stasis continues (IPCC AR5 Box TS.3) IPCC’s atmospheric and ocean general circulation models diverge further from reality.

    As Carl Sagan observed, we have been bamboozled, hustled, conned by those wishing to steal our money and rob us of our liberties. Hardly a new agenda.

    BTW I have a BSME same as Bill Nye so I’m as much a scientist as he is.

  6. #6 Chris O'Neill
    May 6, 2016

    Climate Change Denial

    I just wish people wouldn’t use the term that leaves them wide open to the obvious strawman: “I accept that climate has always changed..yadda yadda yadda”.

  7. #7 Tadaaa
    May 7, 2016

    Agree

    I simply use “science denial”

    That seems to really get them hot and bothered, especially the retired engineers (which it seems most are)

  8. #8 Chris O'Neill
    May 7, 2016

    ns:

    violating three fundamental thermodynamic laws

    Let us know when you get the Nobel prize for physics for pointing this out.

    By the way, the pause/hiatus/lull/stasis was only temporary as expected and ended in 2013. Saying “Every year the pause/hiatus/lull/stasis continues” is just plain silly, whether it comes from a “scientist” or anyone else.

  9. #9 StevoR
    Adelaide hills, South Australia
    May 7, 2016

    @Nicholas Schroeder, BSME, PE

    Seems relatively trivial to me. IPCC et. al. says natural variations can’t explain the increase in CO2. With these tiny percentages and high levels of uncertainty how would anybody even know?

    We know by looking at all the observed evidence and listening to science and the expert climatologists – see for instance, the evidence presented by NASA here :

    http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

    Oh & it seems you don’t know the IPCC are – they include thousands of scientists from around the world producing reports based on peer reviewed scientific papers. So yeah, that’s how we know.

    Mankind’s 2 W/m^2 contribution is obviously trivial, lost in the natural fluctuations.

    Nonsense. Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide were 280 ppm pre-Industrial revolution and are now 400 pm whilst ice age levels of Co2 were 180 ppm. CO2 being a key Greenhouse gas that is with known properties such as trapping heat. Spectral analysis shows that yes, we’re responsible for the added Co2 among other GHGs. Our Human impact is clear and well established by actual scientists.

    ..violating three fundamental thermodynamic laws. (1. Spontaneous energy out of nowhere,

    The energy is coming from our system’s star and is being trapped in additional quantities by increased levels of GHGs. Its not coming from “nowhere” and you really should know that if you understand what you are talking about here. Which your claim there reveals you don’t.

    2) perpetual loop w/o work, 3) cold to hot w/o work,

    Ditto – nobodies saying there’s not “work” in the physics sense of the interactions between molecules of GHGs and incoming solar radiation. Your three points here basically seem to boil down to one whopping error and incorrect understanding on your part, Mr Schroeder.

    Of course Trenberth says they are wrong because their results are not confirmed by the predicted warming, which hasn’t happened for twenty years. Every year the pause/hiatus/lull/stasis continues ..

    Bzzzt. Wrong.

    The actual scientific evidence says there actually was no pause and of course the last two years have seen record-breaking temperatures with 2015 being the hottest year ever recorded :

    http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-noaa-analyses-reveal-record-shattering-global-warm-temperatures-in-2015

    Breaking the record set last year and with virtually every month in the past year and a half breaking global temperature records. Knowing this for fact – which we do -how delusional do you have to be to claim there’s still a “pause” at all especially as science shows us it was actually never a real thing anyhow?

    As Carl Sagan observed, we have been bamboozled, hustled, conned by those wishing to steal our money and rob us of our liberties.

    Oh I don’t think so. Citation please?

    OTOH, if you actually listen to or read Sagan’s works you’ll find Carl Sagan saying *this* on Global Overheating :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ5u-l9Je0s

    Carl Sagan accepted the science here and strongly urged action against Global Overheating. It offends me and would have Carl Sagan metaphorically rolling in his grave when you try to use his name to support anti-science climate & reality Denialism.

  10. #10 Desertphile
    May 7, 2016

    “The Great Climate Change Bamboozle”

    Everyone here is already aware of your climate bamboozle. Sheeeish. Didn’t you read the comments?

  11. #11 Desertphile
    May 7, 2016

    Tadaaa: I simply use “science denial”

    That seems to really get them hot and bothered, especially the retired engineers (which it seems most are)

    “Denier of observed reality” is also correct. One must make the distinction between denial and disavowal. A shit load (the correct metric) of USA politicians to not deny human-caused climate change has happened and is happening: they disavow it.

  12. #12 Desertphile
    May 7, 2016

    [….] violating three fundamental thermodynamic laws [….]

    ROTFL! Gosh, how very Young Earth Creationism of him.

    Chris O’Neill: “Let us know when you get the Nobel prize for physics for pointing this out.”

    Indeed: it is amazing how all of the world’s climatologists, a huge number of which (whom) are physicists.

  13. #13 brainstorms
    May 7, 2016

    … we have been bamboozled, hustled, conned by those wishing to steal our money and rob us of our liberties.

    He is referring, of course, to the Fossil Fuel industry lobbyists, corporatists, and apologists, who have a long history of bamboozling us, hustling us, and conning us in an effort to steal our money and rob us of our liberties by keeping us dependent on fossil fuels in the manner of a drug addiction, then attempting to deny us the liberty of FF-independence through the development and deployment of renewable energy sources.

    So, okay, anyone who is denying climate science is patently anti-American and should be fined, jailed, and/or deported. Thanks for pointing that out, Nick.

  14. #14 metzomagic
    Dublin
    May 7, 2016

    Nicholas Schroeder sez:

    Earth’s carbon cycle contains 45,000 Gt (E15 gr) +/- 850 GT of stores and reservoirs with a couple hundred Gt/y +/- ?? ebbing and flowing between those reservoirs. Mankind’s gross contribution over 260 years was 555 Gt or 1.2%. (IPCC AR5 Fig 6.1) Mankind’s net contribution, 240 Gt or 0.53%, (dry labbed by IPCC to make the numbers work) to this bubbling, churning caldron of carbon/carbon dioxide is 4 Gt/y +/- 96%. (IPCC AR5 Table 6.1) Seems relatively trivial to me. IPCC et. al. says natural variations can’t explain the increase in CO2. With these tiny percentages and high levels of uncertainty how would anybody even know?

    You can’t post on a science-oriented site where a majority of the readers are numerate and expect to get away with obscuring the main issue by throwing around a lot of big numbers. StevoR kind of already made the point I’m going to make, but it bears repeating.

    The 45,000Gt of C involved in the total carbon cycle isn’t the important thing here, but rather how much C resides in the atmosphere. Before mankind arrived, it was a relatively stable 280ppm (switching to units for CO₂, hope you don’t mind), at least in inter-glacial periods. But just since the start of the industrial revolution, we have pushed that amount to 400ppm. So, being such an accomplished person as yourself, what with all those impressive titles after your name, I’m sure you can do the maths:

    (400 – 280) / 400 = .30

    Or, expressed as a percentage increase:

    120 / 280 = ~43%

    So, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels and land use changes, mankind is responsible for a 43% increase in the total CO₂ currently residing in the atmosphere. The fact that it is only 0.53% of the total carbon involved in the cycle is irrelevant. But you already knew that when you posted your misleading little rant, of course.

  15. #15 Tadaaa
    May 7, 2016

    Lol, as soon as someone invokes “laws of thermodynamics”

    I immediately assume “crank”

    I am rarely disappointed

  16. #16 R Myers
    May 7, 2016

    Nicholas Schroeder, BSME, PE also posted his rant here: http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2016/05/05/shawn-ottos-new-book-the-war-on-science/#comment-633044

    And to make sure that he doesn’t miss the reply that I posted there, I’m reposting it here:
    #############################

    From above:

    Mankind’s gross contribution over 260 years was 555 Gt…

    Here’s a fun exercise that any professional engineer should be able to do without breaking a sweat.

    Take that 555 Gt carbon and convert it to PPM CO2 in the atmosphere. 260 years ago, the atmospheric CO2 concentration was approximately 280 PPM. It is now just a bit over 400 PPM. How does the number you compute compare with the observed ~120 PPM increase?

    Show your work. This is a problem that a bright high-school science student should be able to tackle. So it should be a slam-dunk for a professional engineer such as yourself.

  17. #17 R Myers
    May 7, 2016

    A quick Google search for “Nicholas Schroeder” shows that he’s capable of doing the above calculations, the results of which will clearly demonstrate that humans are responsible for the entire ~120 PPM increase in the atmospheric CO2 concentration.

  18. #18 R myers
    May 8, 2016

    It turns out that “Nicholas Schroeder, BSME, PE” is a drive-by copy/paste spammer. He’s been spamming other discussion fora with the same nonsense, word-for-word, that he posted here.

    See this link for an example:
    http://blog.nature.org/science/2016/04/22/climate-change-gamble-get-real-science-sea-level-rise-solutions/

  19. #19 SteveP
    May 8, 2016

    Dear Nicholas Schroeder, BSME, PE;

    In reading your rant, I was reminded of all the PE’s I’ve known who didn’t seem to be able to understand that concentrated sodium hydroxide or sulfuric acid solutions were quite a bit denser than water. And of how rarely the typical PE even understood that pH was a logarithmic function. I’m reminded of a PE piloting a research boat who couldn’t read a marine chart, nearly resulting in tragedy. I’m reminded of all the PE designed systems I’ve known that have failed. So thanks for bringing back all those fond memories of my youth!

    In the mean time, you haven’t mentioned a thing about infrared radiation, showing that you are perhaps more than a little deficient in the science that you need to know to understand this issue. Your description of an atmospheric trace gas with a long term record of stability as a “bubbling, churning caldron” is theatrical, misleading, and, it seems to me,basically wrong. And since you don’t have much respect for other disciplines, so you ought not to be surprised if you discover that you have managed to hang a “Kick Me” sign on your own dumb butt in this forum. Just sayin…

  20. #20 Mal Adapted
    running for higher ground...
    May 9, 2016

    Should we assume climate change denial is what made Nicholas Schroeder, BSME, PE crazy?

  21. #21 Desertphile
    May 9, 2016

    Mal Adapted: “Should we assume climate change denial is what made Nicholas Schroeder, BSME, PE crazy?

    Because I am the expert when it comes to crazy (I live in that ‘hood), I’ll answer that question.

    In the past 30 years, sociologists have discovered that all humans deny observed reality at times; since it is the norm, denial is not itself pathological (i.e., crazy). Pathology comes with the extent and degree of denial.

    The clown calling himself “Nicholas Schroeder” has posted his exact same falsehoods an astonishing number of times (over 700) in a hell of a lot of Internet forums (mostly in pro-reality forums, but also in anti-science “free market” cult forums). But he is doing it to flog (promote) one specific anti-science, pro-free market movie. This suggests he is not a denier: he is a disavower, for venal reasons (i.e., greed). He may indeed accept what all of the world’s experts say about human-caused climate change; he is just saying he does not, to sell movie tickets.

  22. #22 Susan Anderson
    May 10, 2016

    Why you all waste time once you’ve pointed out the crazy is beyond me. Waste of time.

    Preordered the book, love Tom Toles. Sadly, not out until October.

  23. […] explain how science – and scientific thinking – really work. For instance, Dr. Mann is publishing a book with an editorial cartoonist satirizing politicized distortions of climate science. Additionally, […]