The Podcast: Dr. Michael Mann reveals the tricks of the ‘inactivists’

The Podcast

The Podcast: Dr. Michael Mann reveals the tricks of the ‘inactivists’

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Dr. Michael Mann helped create the famous “hockey stick” graph in 1999, and it has earned him and his research two decades of vicious attacks from the “inactivists,” i.e. those who work to delay climate action to further their own ends. Host Jared Downing discusses their tactics and how they can be stopped. Also: Climate Justice editor Howard Manly discusses the debate, and Jared waxes philosophical about the apocalypse. Debate debrief at minute 0:40. Interview at 5:27. Commentary at 28:50.

In this episode:

  • To start off, Climate Justice editor Howard Manly briefly discusses second presidential debate. Manly explains that Trump’s go-to strategy is to demonize Biden’s platform, but his attacks are made for radicals, not a moderate pragmatist.
  • Jared then speaks with Dr. Michael Mann about the propaganda tactics of the enemies of climate action. These include spreading hopelessness through “Doomism,” deflecting away from the fossil fuel industry, and shifting the responsibility to individuals rather than industries and institutions.
  • Finally, Jared dives deeper into Doomist rhetoric, linking it to our millennia-old fascination with apocalypse narratives. People have been predicting the world since the dawn of history, and using “the end is nigh” rhetoric for climate change can make it seem less real. (Warning: Pretentious literary references. Reader discretion advised.)

Written by

Jared Downing

Jared Downing is managing editor of Climate & Capital Media. Before Climate&Capital, he spent five years in Yangon, Myanmar, producing the human rights podcast Doh Athan and producing features, columns, and cartoons for Frontier Myanmar, that country's leading English language magazine. Prior to that, he was a freelance writer in Birmingham Alabama, focusing on city culture and social justice.