By this time each academic year, I find myself on the edge of being defensive with regards to the societal relevance of deep-time paleoclimate research. This is no doubt more a reflection of my attitude after weeks of interaction with an auditorium full of Nexters (post-date Generation X, if you haven’t kept up) in my course ‘Global Environmental Change: Modern and Ancient Perspectives’ rather than a function of the scientific issue as a whole. Most of these students appreciate processes in real-time but are taxed by the concept that projected future climatic conditions could affect them. Thus, it isn’t surprising...

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