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60 Minutes, The Guardian, and Game-Changing New Climate Science

On Sunday night, America met Michael Mann on 60 Minutes, one of the country’s most watched and influential television news programs for nearly 50 years now. A professor at Penn State University, Mann is one of the world’s most eminent climate scientists, and also one of the most outspoken. The 60 Minutes segment, titled “Cause And Effect,” focused on climate change and California’s ongoing record wildfires, which have burned more than 4 million acres to date. After showing the viral clip of Donald Trump telling state officials that the Earth will “start getting cooler,” correspondent Scott Pelley asked Mann about the president’s additional assertion that “science doesn’t know.”

“The president doesn’t know,” Mann retorted. “And he should know better.”

The geophysicist explained to 60 Minutes’ roughly 10 million viewers that all of the world’s leading scientific institutions, including the US National Academy of Sciences, had reached a consensus. In a sound bite that journalists across the United States should quote in their own climate reporting, Mann kept it simple enough for an eight-year-old: “There’s about as much scientific consensus about human-caused climate change as there is about gravity.”

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