The Madhouse Effect

Publisher's Book Description

The award winning climate scientist Michael E. Mann and the Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Tom Toles have fought at the frontlines of climate denialism for most of their careers. They have witnessed the manipulation of the media by business and political interests and the unconscionable play to partisanship on issues that affect the well-being of millions. The lessons they have learned have been invaluable, inspiring this brilliant, colorful escape hatch from the madhouse of the climate wars.

Through satire, “The Madhouse Effect” portrays the intellectual pretzels into which denialists must twist logic to explain away the clear evidence that man-made activity has changed our climate. Toles’s cartoons collapse counter-scientific strategies into their biased components, helping readers see how to best strike at these fallacies. Mann’s expert skills at science communication aim to restore sanity to a debate that continues to rage against widely acknowledged scientific consensus. The synergy of these two commonsense crusaders enlivens the gloom and doom of so many climate-themed books–and may even convert a few of the faithful to the right side of science.

The Madhouse Effect makes list of outstanding titles from the AAUP's University Press Books Committee! (8/21/17)

The Madhouse Effect paperback with new chapter on Trump. Get it via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Columbia University Press.

Buy now from Amazon

Now Available in Italian

Now Available in German (see also pertinent blog post)

Buy from Barnes and Noble

Buy from Indie Bound

Sneak Peak Chapters:

Sneak Peak of the Madhouse Effect Audiobook:


“For centuries, powerful forces of greed have tried to hide the truth, but that doesn't change reality - the earth is round and climate change is real. The Madhouse Effect brilliantly dissects the climate denial industry, empowering all of us to see the facts and take action before it's too late.”

Leonardo DiCaprio, Actor and environmental activist


"Michael E. Mann is one of the planet's great climate scientists, and Tom Toles may be the great climate communicator―together, they are a category 5 storm of information and indignation, wreaking humorous havoc on those who would deny the greatest challenge humans have ever faced."

Bill McKibben, founder of


"If you are not concerned about climate change yet, please read this book. If you are unaware of the hard-core deniers among us, read this book. If you are a climate change denier, doubter, techno-fixer, or luke-warmer, read this book. Mann and Toles have written some words and drawn some pictures for you, so maybe you'll get it this time."

Bill Nye, "the Science Guy"


"When giving public talks, I am often asked, 'What do I do about my Uncle Joe, who doesn't believe in climate change?' Now I finally have an answer: Buy him a copy of The Madhouse Effect, and tell him you won't talk to him until he has read it. Even if he doesn't read it, he'll look at the pictures, and that might just be enough."

Naomi Oreskes, coauthor of The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future


“Brilliant, insightful, and fresh! Two gifted experts - one a scientist, the other an editorial cartoonist- invite you to be entertained and outraged, inspired and motivated to escape the madhouse that characterizes climate dialogue and politics today. \new and hilarious insigts into climate change. I loved it!"

Jane Lubchenko, former administrator of NOAA and undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere


"A lively book that even "I-don't-read-science-books" members will like"

Ann Connery Frantz, Worcester Telegram


"Read this book and share it far and wide!"

NR Mallery, Green Energy Times


"The Madhouse Effect should be mandatory reading for the next president-assuming that the next President doesn't want to turn the White House into a madhouse."

DR Tucker, Washington Monthly


"The engaging and often funny volume aims not only to clearly explain the science behind climate change but also to satirize the skeptics and deniers that have worked hard to delay political action for the past few decades"

John R. Platt, Take Part


"Noted climate researcher, Michael Mann, takes us on a tour of the world that climate deniers have helped create, sowing the seeds of confusion and harvesting a crop full of climate inaction in the process"

Rob Moore, Natural Resources Defense Council


"What makes [Madhouse Effect] unique is the way it combines Mann's science communication skills and Toles' illustrations, which provide a biting and amusing perspective"

— Andrew Seifter, Media Matters for America


"The writing is brilliantly clear and concise. The science is unfailingly accurate. And the cartoons add an immediacy, accessibility, and passion to the book that "normal" books about the climate problem usually lack".

— Jonathan Koomey


"If you're wondering why so many politicians and news sources deny that dangerous human-caused climate change is real, and you want a relatively short and easy-to-read summary of the issue, look no further than The Madhouse Effect"

— Jeff Masters and Bob Henson, The Weather Underground


"My friends Michael Mann and Tom Toles combined their considerable talents and wrote The Madhouse Effect"

— Al Gore


"The Madhouse Effect uses science, reason, and political cartoons to explain this polarized, hot world we live in, and to collapse the pseudo-science arguments agaisnt climate change."

Charlotte Ahlin, Bustle

Media Reviews

  • "“The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy” takes a satiric look at the attempts of climate-deniers and corporate interests to bury protest and further pollute the planet. Together, they expose the fallacies being argued. For a lively book that even “I-don’t-read-science-books” members will like, try this one."
    Ann Connery, Worcester Telegram

  • "Mann, the climate scientist widely respected in his field but despised by climate deniers, and Toles, the Washington Post’Pulitzer-winning editorial cartoonist, have turned in a solid, accessible explanation for those who haven’t yet gotten the memo on climate change."
    Peter Dykstra, The Daily Climate

  • "The Madhouse Effect recounts the basic science of human-caused climate change, analyzes the multiple risks posed to humanity by unrestrained carbon pollution, debunks the tired and dishonest arguments forever trotted out by opponents of climate action, and reviews the long and sordid history of industry-funded attacks on inconvenient scientific findings."
    D.R. Tucker, Washington Monthly

  • "The engaging and often funny volume aims not only to clearly explain the science behind climate change but also to satirize the skeptics and deniers who have worked hard to delay political action for the past few decades"
    John R. Platt, Take Part

  • "A new book by Michael Mann and Tom Toles takes a fresh look on the effects humans are having on our climate and the additional impacts on our politics. While there have been countless books about climate change over the past two decades, this one – entitled The Madhouse Effect - distinguishes itself by its clear and straightforward science mixed with clever and sometimes comedic presentation."
    John Abraham, The Guardian

  • "The Madhouse Effect is a breezy, engaging read, interspersed with wry illustrations courtesy of cartoonist Tom Toles of The Washington Post. It offers many excellent insights into life on the front line battling US climate-science obfuscation."
    Dave Reay, Nature

  • "The book aims to help the public see through th emaddening lies, distortions, scoffing, and needless contentiousness of climate-change deniers and climate-policy delayers. It nicely balances Mann’s explanations of why the deniers are wrong about climate science, and why national climate policy is urgently needed, with Toles’ darkly comical cartoons. The combination of serious text with funny drawings works."
    Judy Weiss, Jewish Currents

  • "This is a powerful team: atmospheric scientist Michael Mann and political cartoonist Tom Toles. Both are standouts in their fields. Both have been trying to alert the world to the threat of climate change even as they are attacked by political and business leaders. And both recently realized that if they combined their talents they might find a way to break what they see as a concerted effort to fool the public. So they created a concise and fiercely illustrated new book"
    Mark Fischetti, Scientific American
  • In "The Madhouse Effect," Mann and Toles use basic science - and comedy - to dismantle common climate denial perspectives and give evidence for action"
    Julia Franz, Public Radio International "Living On Earth"

  • "A breakdown of how political language can corrupt the original intent of concepts such as scientific theories, how the media plays up the debate and what the planet has to look forward to if the current administration refuses to acknowledge climate change as the problem that it is. And Toles provides plenty of funny cartoons throughout “The Madhouse Effect” — like a spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down."
    Kristofer Collins, Pittsburgh Magazine

  • "The Madhouse Effect uses science, reason, and political cartoons to explain this polarized, hot world we live in, and to collapse the pseudoscience arguments against climate change"
    Charlotte Ahlin, Bustle

  • "Convincing, accessible chapters on why the problem is urgent...creating a neatly packaged tool for those willing to take on the naysayers."
    Henrietta Verma, AAUP

  • "The best recent book I’ve read on all this is "The Madhouse Effect" by Michael E. Mann, a leading climate scientist, with cartoons by Tom Toles. As Mann explains, climate denial actually follows in the footsteps of earlier science denial, beginning with the long campaign by tobacco companies to confuse the public about the dangers of smoking"
    Paul Krugman, The New York Times


Blog Reviews

Science Blogs — Greg Laden

Science League of America — Ann Reid

Critical Angle — Andy Skuce

Climate Denial Crock of the Week — Peter Sinclair

Daily Kos — DarkSyde

Daily Kos — Climate Denier Roundup

Cartoons for Science — Stefan Rahmstorf

A Satirical Exit from the Madhouse — Magnús Örn Sigurðsson

LitRant — Kel Munger

Yale Climate Connections — Michael Svoboda

Weather Underground — Jeff Masters

Huffington Post — Ann Reid

Media Matters — Andrew Seifter

Digerati & Technology Reports — Mike Hubbartt

​Geological Survey of Norway - Olam M Saether

​The Madhouse Effect - A CleanTechnica Book Report - Steve Hanley

The Madhouse Effect - Kilmaatverandering

​Die Entlarvung - Vdi Nachrichten

​Im Tollhaus - RiffReporter

It's too darn hot - HE German Specialist Translations


Feature in Scientific American 

Author interview (Public Radio International’s “Living On Earth”) 

Chapter 1: Science How it Works Follow the link and select excerpt to read this chapter

Chapter 7: Geoengineering, or "What could Possibly Go Wrong" Available via NCSE

Author interview

Madhouse Effect Lecture (University of Sydney)

Sneak Peak Chapters

Selected High-Res Cartoons from Book