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A Global Warming Tipping Point In Cleveland

Author Michael Mann speaking at the City Club of Cleveland

Cleveland could play a role in our nation’s thinking on environmental protection again. That’s the hope of a leading climate scientist who spoke at the City Club of Cleveland today.   

Penn State Professor Michael Mann and his partners published in 1999 a now famous graph of global temperatures over the last one thousand years. The so-called hockey stick graph was a stark illustration that the earth was suddenly getting warmer. He says that’s proven to be a bad thing. 

“Not unless you think unprecedented super-storms and floods and droughts and heat-waves are a good thing,” Mann said. “If you think that’s a good thing then I suppose climate change is a good thing.”

Mann says the fire on the Cuyahoga River in 1969 became a tipping point in changing American minds about pollution, and he’d like to see that anniversary next year spark a discussion on global warming.

Now he would like to see Americans reach a tipping point to recognize global warming.

“I think there’s an amazing narrative story that surrounds what happened back in the 1970’s here and it would be a huge lost opportunity to not try to make it a teaching moment for, not just the rest of the country, but the rest of the world,” said Mann.

He’s concerned that members of the Trump Administration, including EPA director Scott Pruitt, are climate change deniers.

“And indeed with Scott Pruitt’s policies it might actually catch on fire again, on its 50 th anniversary.”  

Mann has a new book out called “ The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy.”

But he told the City Club he is hoping a bipartisan group of moderates in Congress may be able to pass meaningful environmental laws.