An interesting paper compares the 19th century work of John Wesley Powell in measuring the climate of the West, and suggesting policy responses, with 21st century efforts to assess and advise with respect to climate change. Powell argued for constraints on development while the science needed to better understand the region was carried out. It did not go well:
The language of this early debate is familiar in the context of the current debate. Powell and the irrigation survey were accused of producing scientific information that “… is consistent only the practice of public fraud….” Further, opponents claimed that the ends for the work of Powell was not the improvement of public welfare but the development of a larger political-scientific monopoly run with machine politics methods.