Look at tetraethyl lead, the lead industry, and the scientists who discovered in the 1940s the horrible things TEL does to children, then read on why it wasn't banned until 1973.
Look at smoking, the scientists who started figuring out all the awful shit it does to the body, and the tobacco industry that spent 25 years fighting a systematic FUD campaign (and personal character attacks against them).
Now scientists have spent decades fleshing out the basic idea that Arrhenius articulated about 120 years ago and it's becoming increasingly a sign of lunacy to claim he wasn't right...
What was Arrhenius' estimated value for transient climate sensitivity to CO2 again?
There are many informed skeptics who understand the science, but don't believe we have enough information yet for drastic measures.
Yet just as smoking-causes-cancer denialism was the unbelievably stupid meme that Just Wouldn't Fucking Die because the tobacco industry kept funding it, and the leaded-gasoline-is-harmless denialism that was funded directly by the lead industry before that, now certain interests that want to burn and/or strip mine the word in the name of the Holy Lord's Next Quarterly Profit Report are funding a massive, systematic attack against any coherent action on climate change. And you people are falling for it. AGAIN.
What "coherent action on climate change" do you recommend, exactly? Not a single suggested mitigation will make a significant difference in the estimated (guesstimated) temperature by 2100. The one thing that would make a significant difference, if in fact there's a problem worth the effort, is a mass transition from coal to nuclear power worldwide (ESPECIALLY in China and India). However, apparently nuclear is anathema to the vast majority of climate alarmists and environmentalists, despite it being the safest power generation method in use by far.
Are we seriously expected to believe that 97% of the world's scientists are involved in some sort of massive scheme to... uh... steal grant money?
I think the majority of scientists involved are honest, if not doing a great job with the science. You should read Judith Curry's site for some rational discussion of the issue from a highly qualified climate scientist. As far as the way the science is being used to advocate social change, remember that the most effective lies contain a grain of truth...
Or that maybe damn near everyone who looks into what's going on realizes we really gotta do something about this crap?
Actually, that's not obvious at all. It is clear that more research is needed before taking drastic measures that will harm the poor around the world more than any other group. In the meantime, we should embark on win/win efforts such as a mass conversion from coal to nuclear energy. Coal power is bad from many perspectives, such as killing tens of thousands of people every year, increasing ocean acidification, and providing a rich source of organic mercury. Solar and wind are fine as long as they're cost-effective, but they aren't a good fit for base load power.