Dr. Michael Mann's Dire Predictions

On Tuesday, March 5, in University Hall at 3:30 p.m., renowned climate scientist and geophysicist, Dr. Michael Mann, spoke to a room of about 30 to 40 people about his new book: "Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change" and about the issue of climate change and its current effects on the environment. Mann is a Massachusetts native from Amherst who is a post-doc from the University of Massachusetts Boston and is currently a professor at Penn State University. He has conducted data and written many articles on the topic of climate change and the effects of climate change on the environment. Mann has been seen on television, like on Fox News, discussing the issue and has been in documentaries such as Leonardo DiCaprio’s climate change documentary, "Before the Flood," that was released in Oct. 2016.

Mann talked about the issue of climate change, its effects on the environment, the solutions available, and what’s next for the future of the planet. His talk started with a powerpoint highlighting key points of climate change, such as the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide since the Industrial Revolution and rising sea levels in the past decades. Mann mainly focused on how the issue of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels is becoming more and more prevalent, especially in more recent decades and how there are alternatives out there that work. Rising carbon dioxide levels was not the only point that Mann talked about, he also talked about rising sea levels and how the effects of climate change have already been seen through natural phenomena. He used examples of extreme storms, such as Hurricane Sandy, wildfires in California, and extensive rainfall in Florida that has caused extreme flooding, to showcase the reality behind the science. Mann explained that because of rising sea levels there is more and more moisture in the air that is causing storms to carry more precipitation and that was with one foot of sea level. Mann wrapped up his talk with the audience explaining how there is hope for the future and that there are solutions happening to work towards a sustainable future, such as carbon taxing like in California and using incentives to turn to renewable energy like solar or wind energy. He used a quote by Neil Degrasse Tyson to reiterate how the science conducted about climate change works that stated, “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”

After Mann’s talk he answered questions from the audience for about an hour that ranged from effects of sea level rise at six to eight feet in the city of Boston and what solutions are being put in place currently to help places move towards renewable energies. He then stayed for a little while afterwards to talk to people in the audience more about climate change and other environmental issues, and to sign two of his books that were being sold: "The Madhouse Effect" and "The Hockey Stick Effect and the Climate Wars."

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