This is kind of interesting, and comes via Odd Citizen. The author links this Australian study looking retrospectively at the Y2K scare, trying to understand why an irrational collective hysteria developed that allowed for no skepticism (seem familiar). The whole thing is interesting, but here is the money quote:
From the perspective of public administration, the two most compelling observations relate to conformity and collective amnesia. The response to Y2K shows how relatively subtle characteristics of a policy problem may produce a conformist response in which no policy actors have any incentive to oppose, or even to critically assess, the dominant view. Moreover, in a situation where a policy has been adopted and implemented with unanimous support, or at least without any opposition, there is likely to be little interest in critical evaluation when it appears that the costs of the policy have outweighed the benefits.
The article is written without any reference to current climate issues, but wow, does this sound familiar?