I think it is scare-tactics used for marketing. Think about it. The technological advances keep coming, new wonderful ideas keep coming to these engineers and inventors and business owners. No harm in that. Many of the ideas are wonderful. To get a piece of the pie, at this point, you'll need to take a little from someone else, though. Scientific study has proven to be so useful, (polio vaccines, pastuerization, etc.) that very few are willing to doubt any longer that a scientist must be out for the altruistic good of the people. People LOVE science.
I remember in grade school, they would show us videos of the little Japanese children, and how they went to school 6 days a week, studied 10 hours a day (there was footage of children doing homework on the train or subway in Tokyo), and were SO FAR ahead of us technology wise, how would us Americans ever compete if we didn't wake up and hit the math and science books? Just the other day, here on Yahoo I believe, I saw yet another article bemoaning the fact that students in the U.S. only ranked like 28 in the whole world in math, 33 in science, and how alarming that was. The need to compete is more than just testosterone, it's business, MONEY.
So anyway, science is an effective motivational tool now. Any company can do a "scientific study" on their product to show how wonderful it is, and people will buy the product, am I right?
A company can also do a "scientific study" on their product to find that we are in great danger without it! It was true about iodine, remember? Well now if you don't spend $20,000 on solar panels, we could all drown in melted glaciers! If you don't build your house with these specialized insulated panels, millions of animals will die from overheating! If you don't drive a hybrid today, and junk your trusty old 64 chevy that you can stupidly fix yourself (no money in that!) the ozone layer will spread a cancerous hole!
And hurry! It's an emergency!
Politicians waited a good safe period of time to get in on the deal. I've been fearing the oil-less crowded and mythic year 2000 since a teacher warned me about it in the eighties. But Al Gore nearly became president over it, and boy did he discover a hot hot ticket.
I don't think everyone who promotes it is in on it. I think there are some honest to goodness folks out there who heard there was a problem, and would like to help out just in case. How are they supposed to know.
And then there are activists. They don't want money or a seat in office! They just like an adrenaline rush, I think. My husband jumps off 30 foot cliffs into the river. I wouldn't do it if a million dollars were waiting for me at the bottom, but he likes it because of the intense rush. People sometimes rally behind a cause because all the evidence seems so clear, seems to make the rest of society look like evil meanies, and who's gonna stand up for what's right? People rally behind a cause even if there is no longer any reason to do so, like my brother who continues to root for the Giants.
On the other hand, I don't really LIKE to be wasteful. It actually isn't right to just trash things around us like pigs. I get that, and I'm into it.
And I'm sure the planet is changing. But whatever. The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs must have been pretty wild, but things went on.