Just got back from a screening of Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth." And of all the compelling information presented, this one fact stood out: in 2004, Science Magazine did a study of 928 peer-reviewed articles on climate change published from 1993-2003. They also studied news articles on climate change from that same period.
Percent of peer-reviewed articles that concluded global warming was naturally occurring (not caused by human activity): 0 percent
Percent of news articles which presented global warming as disputed theory: 53 percent
Human beings have an extraordinary capacity to deny reality, if that reality conflicts with their deeply-held beliefs. (See: HIV denialists, who so desperately want to believe that AIDS is caused by drug use and icky gay sex, not a virus that anyone can get.) And the mass media has extraordinary power to shape reactions to that reality. Add to that the anti-intellectualism gripping American society today, and you have a recipe for disaster.
See this movie.