Climate science is certainly not too young to be reliable. Eunice Foot’s discoveries in the 1850s (Schwartz, p. 1) and John Tyndall’s discoveries in 1861 (Reidy, p. 13) prove that climate science studies have been around for over 100 years. Therefore, one cannot argue that this is a new topic. Tyndall explicitly said “…that any changes to the constitution of the atmosphere ‘would produce great effects on the terrestrial rays and produce corresponding changes of climate…’” (Reidy, p. 13). Additionally, Foote “…[made] the direct link between the variability of… atmospheric constituents and climate change” (Schwartz, p. 2). These discoveries occurred in the latter half of the 1800s, allowing humanity plenty of time to be warry of its climatic impacts. According to Hall’s article on Exxon, private industry scientists, such as those for Exxon, understood the impacts burning fossil fuels had on global warming in 1977 (p. 1). According to Garvey’s article on the Coal Industry, there was an awareness in 1965 on the implications of fossil fuels and climate change. The fact that Exxon fueled misinformation and aggressively continued promoting fossil fuel use, despite their awareness of the effects their products had, puts humanity in a very dangerous position today (Hall, p. 3).
I don’t think much has been done politically because it is a reality that politicians don’t want to confront. It’s an area that they cannot see significant change in during their terms. Additionally, it is viewed as messy and controversial, despite it being one topic that should be anything but controversial due to the science backing up all of the claims. All of this leads to politicians focusing on other issues. However, this is an issue that will impact generations to come and should be dealt with as much seriousness as politicians deal with war. Acting on climate change should be a top subject among politicians, yet so many shy away or flat out deny the reality of global warming.