By TJ Thompson, excerpted from Gather.com.
As the French mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot wrote, "In pure science, fads come and go." The perceived climate change crisis is no exception. The 1970s were plagued with reports of "global cooling" and predictions of the "New Ice Age." The media ran with the story and induced theatrics on the level of a Broadway musical, and the public suspected nothing corrupt or scientifically inadequate about the claims. Rather, the masses acted quite similarly to those who now caution the public about "global warming." In spite of this episode of social deja vu, the debate over the cause and potential effects of global warming continues to drive the public and the legislature, each side claiming that empirical data supports their own theories, but the notion that human negligence has caused widespread climatic change is melodramatic and appeals centrally to human arrogance and emotion.
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