There's been a lot of talk about the People's Climate March taking place on Sept. 21 this week. In anticipation of the UN's summit on climate change kicking off on Sept. 23, the march aims to inspire the entire world to support the end of global warming pollution.

Although this event has been making the news recently, people aren't talking about global warming and climate change as much as they once were. Well, in pop culture at least.

A recent analysis shows that mentions of the phrases "global warming" and "climate change" in movies and TV shows have dramatically declined since 2007. The data tracks mentions of the phrases from 87,000 movies and TV shows starting in 1980.

As you can see in the above graph, there's a huge upswing in the number of mentions of the phrases beginning around 2004. That was the year the issue of global warming made the covers of National Geographic and Businessweek. Additionally, the blockbuster movie The Day After Tomorrow hit theaters and was a major part of Michael Crichton's State of Fear novel. Al Gore's fight against global warming also began to pick up steam. So much so, that his 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth helped continue increasing conversation about global warming and climate change in pop culture.

Ben Schmidt, an assistant professor of history at Northeastern University, conducted the analysis on his blog Sapping Attention using his Bookworm browser tool. The tool combs through movie and TV dialogue found on the website Open Subtitles.

Schmidt doesn't offer any reason why the decline occurred, but I would guess that other concerns, such as a struggling economy, natural disasters and the increasing rate of introduction of new technology in society, have had a profound affect on our culture, and thus, on our pop culture. Though the consequences of climate change haven't really gotten any better, just as most "hot topics" in our culture, they eventually lose their cache as society moves on to the next big thing. Movies and TV always mimic that, and it can also be the case for newspapers and TV news, Schmidt notes on his blog.

You can also use Schmidt's Bookworm tool to find how much or how little movies and TV shows talked about any other topic you can think of. Hopefully, your own analyses won't turn out as depressing as this one. 

[H/T Popular Science]

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