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"All the adults seemed to know what was happening, even if we didn't yet know all the causes."

I want to amend my answer.

We all knew global warming was happening. What we didn't know yet was why it wasn't happening faster. Given the rate the carbon was being added to the atmosphere, the temperature should have been rising faster than observed. And the skeptics (of the time) used the missing carbon to fuel their FUD.

The ocean had not yet been identified as the carbon sink. Once that penny dropped, everything since has been details.

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