A Talk with Climatologist Michael Mann

PennEnvironment interviewed scientist Michael Mann to learn more about how Pennsylvania can tackle global warming.

What do you see as your role in the fight against climate change?

I see my role as insuring that discussions of climate change and energy policy are informed by a sober assessment of what the science has to say—that we risk committing to increasingly dangerous and potentially irreversible changes in our climate if we continue with “business as usual” fossil fuel burning. There is a worthy debate to be had about the specific policy prescriptions to get us there. But we can no longer continue the absurd debate about whether the problem exists.

How do you see your research feeding into the fight on the ground, and how do science and grassroots engagement best support each other on this issue?

The science that my collaborators and I do, whether it be basic climate science research, the analysis of climate model projections, or assessment of climate change impacts, helps inform my assessment of the risks posed by climate change. In that sense, it makes me a more effective communicator of not only the scientific evidence, but its implications as well.

What do you see as PennEnvironment’s role in addressing the obstacle of global warming?

PennEnvironment has been, and I’m confident will continue to be, a leading voice in this state, calling for an informed, rational discussion of energy policy in this state, which takes full account of the environmental impacts of our energy choices.