A second Trump term would be ‘game over’ for the climate, says top scientist
Michael Mann, one of the world’s most eminent climate experts, says Earth’s future ‘is in the hands of American citizens’
By Mark Hertsgaard
Michael Mann, one of the most eminent climate scientists in the world, believes averting climate catastrophe on a global scale would be “essentially impossible” if Donald Trump is re-elected.
A professor at Penn State University, Mann, 54, has published hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific papers, testified numerous times before Congress and appeared frequently in the news media. He is also active on Twitter, where earlier this year he declared: “A second Trump term is game over for the climate – really!”, a statement he reaffirmed in an interview with the Guardian and Covering Climate Now.
“If we are going to avert ever more catastrophic climate change impacts, we need to limit warming below a degree and a half Celsius, a little less than three degrees Fahrenheit,” Mann said. “Another four years of what we’ve seen under Trump, which is to outsource environmental and energy policy to the polluters and dismantle protections put in place by the previous administration … would make that essentially impossible.”
None of Mann’s 200-plus scientific papers is more famous than the so-called “hockey stick study”, which Nature published on Earth Day of 1998. With two co-authors, Mann demonstrated that global temperature had been trending downward for the previous one thousand years. Graphed, this line was the long handle of the hockey stick, which surged abruptly upwards in about 1950 – represented by the blade of the stick – to make the 1990s the warmest decade in “at least the last millennium”.