– You can sell far more books, movies and speaking engagements with a crisis than you ever could with naturally occuring phenomena. As always, follow the money!
– As mentioned by James and others, people have short memories. We tend to see things in our own limited little area of time and space. Weathercasters perpetuate things when they say, “The high today will be 90, and that’s ten degrees above average for this date.” “Average” is determined by taking the high temperatures for this day all the way back to when recordkeeping began, adding them together, and dividing by the number of days we are considering. Not only does that ignore millions of years of history, but it is a math exercise that smooths out a lot of temperature extremes!
– People want simple answers to complex problems. Just like they expect murders to be solved and wars to be won in sixty minutes–less commercials–they want to be able to solve any perceived crisis in a simplistic way. If we stop driving cars and using electricity, the polar bears will survive and New Yorkers won’t be paddling rowboats down Broadway.