Stage 1.Climate change isn't real, temperatures aren't actually increasing, El Nino!, etc.
Stage 2. OK, the data can't be denied any longer, temperatures are in fact increasing, but it's not because of the activities of man or increased greenhouse gas emissions.
Stage 3. OK, OK, temperatures are increasing, and it is the result of man-made causes, but doing something to arrest the progress of climate change would simply be too expensive.
My prediction: When the likely catastrophic costs of inaction are fully revealed, we'll see some variation of the following:
Stage 4. We would have agreed to address global warming earlier, but the liberals and scientists were so smug, condescending, etc., and they failed to reach out and create an environment conducive to bipartisan cooperation.
What I can't get my head around is that the stakes here are epic and final--what sane person would want to take the chance that we're well on the way towards passing the so-called tipping point, beyond which we cannot recover? What sane person would do that to their children and grandchildren?
I guess it depends upon your definition of "sane." Apparently its saner to take the short term view and not be inconvenienced now; after all, some technological wizardry will come along to bail the progeny out of this fix we've put them into. Right?