Indeed. I once met an environmentalist who worked advising on carbon credits. I asked, what if CO2 isn't a real problem and meanwhile other pollutants are worse? The person replied, "it doesn't matter if CO2 isn't a problem, because by forcing a reduction in CO2, you're forcing a reduction in production, and a reduction in consumption," and then they added with emphasis, "it's about reducing greed."
The whole climate change movement has unfortunately mixed together ethics and science. And used "science" as the "reason" to accept the ethics. You "MUST" cut CO2 and do it in the societal-changing ways we believe in.
So I really am of the opinion that, by using science to push forward a particular ethics, they are damaging science's credibility as a source of OBJECTIVE truths.
Ethics ARE indeed essential, and essential in a different domain: ethics are INTERSUBJECTIVE values. People get together and think about how they want to treat each other. It is subjective (you cannot "prove" that survival of the fittest is a better way to live than trying to help everyone be equal.) Ethical questions are things we reason out as a group, as a society, and so on. So it is inter-subjective whilst science focusses on objective truths.
But the moment you wrap your particular ethical beliefs inside science hypothesis, models, and observations, then anyone who ends up disagreeing with that set of science hypotheses, models, and observations, ends up on the wrong side of the ETHICS, which is why "denialist" is used to mean that that person is NASTY horrible uncaring and funded by some evil interest group.
I personally am all for a progressive humanity and humanism and more ethical living. It is morally ghastly that a human being born today might die in a war zone starving to death, or live a prosperous life, simply by accident of where they happened to be born on this rock. It is morally wrong also, that we don't seem to be able to organise around developing good abundant cleaner sources of energy (not windfarms, I said abundant) and instead are mired in decade-long politics and market crazy games. And, crucially, these are questions about ETHICS. They are not science.
Kennedy even said in his Moon speech that technology has no ethics. We should be able to debate ETHICAL questions as a society and lay them clearly on the table as ETHICAL problems. We should not be trying to wrap ethical questions into "science" and claim the science theory happens to DEMAND the particular ethical view which you or some interest group holds. This whole "we HAVE to act" mantra and that you're a "denialist" if you happen to question their view, is absolute rubbish. And it is damaging the public's view of science.
Separate ethics from science, and allow each to do their own job, by their own methods.