A lot of this really just boils down to 60s ideas of environmentalism and reducing pollution. It's just that the modern spin ads an extra level of extreme hysterics to the situation that are likely to alienate people and trigger skepticism.
Although you are probably right. If you ask all of the apathetic types just going along or even the true blue tree huggers to really sacrifice, you will probably get a much different answer.
That's probably why you have this whole subject wrapped in hysteria to begin with. Someone thinks they need to generate a sense of urgency by any means necessary.