I have been a climate scientist for over two decades. I helped find the tell-tale fingerprints of human influence on climate, played leading roles in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and had some interesting scrapes with climate deniers over the years. I also count myself a writer since I first walked through the door of one of the Arvon Foundation’s houses in 2009. In 2016 I took part in a marvellous course on popular science writing tutored by Aarathi Prasad and Michael Brooks. That unforgettable week encouraged me to write a book about my experiences as a scientist, both conducting my research and in defending my science against attack.