I believe there are short-sighted businesspeople who are indifferent to anything outside of their company's profits. Given the choice between those people and scientists, I tend to trust the latter more. However, sometimes it seems to be glossed over that scientists are also people, with their own politics and biases, who need to get funding for their work. They can make predictions as far as what kind of effects certain chemicals will have, but they can't actually predict the future. The technology that produces pollution today was developed by scientists in the past, and evidently they thought it was a good idea at the time.
The other problem is that the news media has gotten ahold of it, and with a 24-hour news cycle, they constantly need something to scare people with in order to sell more media. The topic of catastrophic climate change has become a well they can dip into whenever it's a slow news day, much like the (insert-animal-here) flu pandemic or the "Big One" earthquake I've been hearing about since I was a child.
It turns out that when my facebook friend (mentioned in my earlier post) claimed travel is bad for the environment, she was mostly talking about air travel. Someone commented, "it's a lot of carbon to have on your conscience." Okay, first of all, that plane is leaving whether you're on it or not. I don't see how you being in the seat instead of someone else causes any more carbon to be released into the atmosphere. Second, the problem here is not people's natural inclination to travel. The problem is that the fastest form of travel available releases a lot of carbon. That's what scientists should be tackling (and for all I know, are) - how do we make planes emit less carbon, or how do we come up with a form of travel that's just as fast but emits less carbon? Posting on facebook that everyone just needs to stay home because it's some kind of carbon sin to travel helps nothing. Around the turn of the 20th century, my Italian great-grandmother got on a boat to America and never saw her parents again. At that time, the idea that people would one day fly to Europe in a matter of hours was probably inconceivable. Yet today, it's an everyday occurrence. And the Wright Brothers didn't need every random citizen in America to care about airplanes in order to figure out how to make one work. They just did it. So, can't scientists do the same with figuring out how to make them more eco-friendly? It can't be more impossible than the idea of creating an airplane in the first place.