I think it would, too.
Entrenched scientific bueaucracy thinks that the grave threat to the planet is global warming, and they advocate massive, "protective" cuts into civil liberties and rights; forcing people to recycle more (and pay major fines if they don't seperate out their garbage), cut back on their driving and taxed gasoline more, nearly crippled any buisness that didn't have a eight-figure savings and lawyers for new enviromental regulations, and other measures to help us "save the planet".
Politicans, especially of a authoritarian outlook, run with this because they can claim it is "for the children", and that "the rest of the world believe in it and is doing it" (namely Tranzi Europe). Meanwhile, it's critics note that some of the worst polluters (namely China and India) would never adopt these regulations-they're trying to get their countries out of the 19th Century, they want to become the regional superpower, and/or they like the idea of seeing their children grow up and eat three times a day (take your pick, or add your own). Media starlets, whom a generation ago would have been laughed off-stage and lost work because they were being "political", act as-if their beauty means that their minds know everything that is possible, a sort of Zen paradox and advocate "saving the world". This coincides with a generation of Americans having some of the worse possible education in science and engineering, requiring them to import people from overseas to do those jobs.
Meanwhile...the fecklessness of polticians and diplomats that think that they can negotiate their way out of anything means that a regime lead by those that believe the end of the world is coming in the form of the Tenth Iman gains nuclear weapons. Tensions in the area ratchet up, with American troops in the area and Israel decides that they need to set their house in order before fears of a nuclear-armed Islamic country decides to drop bombs on them, and the Palestinians suffer as always.
Major nuclear war breaks out in the Middle East. Maybe America gets involved, maybe it doesn't. Still, it does damage and politicans use this as yet another reason why science is bad, nuclear power is bad, and why there have to be more controls on the enviroment. Especially as storms get worse, it's blamed on global warming-despite the fact that ethical scientists note that there are a lot of holes in their theory.
Meanwhile...the global cooling trend, one that everybody missed because human industrial efforts kept global temperatures up, takes off like a rocket. By the middle of the century, Canada has a year-long winter, never rising above freezing. Ice moves from the poles, and famine, war, and massive relocation of people follow in the wake of it. And, of course, the polticians claim that we are still doing damage...and need to have more political controls in an effort to stop the future spectre of global warming.
Of course, somebody already wrote that book...and a lot of the details are beginning to come true. I hate this-science took over from blind faith because its results could be proven and demonstrated by anyone with the tools. Could the search for deeper structures in the atom be the modern version of the angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin solopolism in the faith? And, if science and the scientific method fail, if people believe that it will be nothing more than a tool of the Faithful against the Ignorant, what's left?
Something is going off in the world, we need to pull whatever bad milk is in the fridge and get it out. Now.