In my view, jshell, you are wrong about this. Let's forget the reality (or lack of) of AGW for a second. I don't think we'll get anywhere trying to convince one another on the issue, and personally I think it's fast becoming irrelevant anyway as we are clearly not going to "fix" it (whatever that may entail).
You say that "If you keep a population scared of >anything< they become controllable." There's a truth in that, but if people were genuinely "scared" of global warming they would alter their behaviour. If fear makes us controllable, it also makes us act to minimise our exposure to it. But we are not acting in that manner. If people were genuinely scared of AGW (enough to make us controllable) then they would also be making genuine efforts to reduce their "carbon footprint" (if you'll excuse the buzzwords). But they're not. Yes, a few hardcore activists are doing so, and some others are jumping on the "carbon offsetting" bandwagon because it's fashionable (offsetting, after all, doesn't actually work in the vast majority of cases). And only so long as it doesn't impact their standard of living significantly. When reducing our emissions also saves money with minimal effort or impact on our lives, then we'll do it. But the population is not acting in a manner that suggests they are scared of AGW. Because in truth they don't really believe in it.
Sure, sure, intellectually they "know" it's happening, but it doesn't affect their behaviour in the way that a deeply held belief would. Personally this doesn't surprise me. You only need to spend a little while reading psychodynamic theory to find a pretty convincing reason for why this is the case.
I guess you could argue that AGW is being used as a distraction from other things, but even that is not borne out by the evidence. Over the last couple of years in Ireland, our economic collapse has resulted in a drop in carbon emissions. Outside the minority of ineffectual academics like myself and green activists, how many people consider this a good thing would you think? Or to put it another way; what percentage of the Irish population do you think would genuinely oppose a government plan that would bring back the economic growth of the boom years even at the expense of a return to emissions increases?
If you think it's a high percentage, then let me suggest you really are in complete denial of reality.
You claim that governments have not become socially aware all of a sudden (with respect to biodiversity). And I couldn't agree more. Our governments are currently in the process of facillitating one of the largest transfers of wealth in history -- from the public sector to private hands. Of course they haven't grown a social conscience. And this lack of awareness isn't restricted to biodiversity. It also includes AGW. They don't give a rats arse about global warming... like the populace you claim is scared of the issue; they don't really believe, deep down, that it's happening. Despite paying it lip-service. If they did, they'd be doing something about it.
And they're not. You mention the investment in wind-power as though it was about subsidies to private business. It isn't (or at least, that's a minor part of it). If it was, then the government would simply subsidise existing local companies (with whom they already have a relationship) to build more gas-powered generators, or oxymoronic clean coal plants. They wouldn't be pumping cash into new Swedish start-ups to build wind farms.
No, the reason for the investment in renewables isn't because they're scared of AGW (if it was, they'd be pursuing other courses of action as well). It's because they are terrified of energy insecurity. AGW, if real, will not be pinned on any individual government. It's not a party political issue in that sense, and these people only respond to financial and party political issues... social justice, biodiversity, ecological sustainability -- these are irrelevant until there are votes or money to be won or lost. Besides which, the worst affected by AGW, if real, will be those in poorer nations thousands of miles away.
What is a party political issue is keeping the lights on. A government that has to introduce rolling brown-outs because they can't feed the national grid enough power, is a government soon out of office. And while our governments may be secretly sceptical about global warming, they are very clued up indeed about resource depletion. They wouldn't be fighting wars half a world away unless they were. Nor would they be subsidising wind farms.
Those of use who feel AGW is an issue should -- in my view -- be campaigning loudly not about the climate, but about natural resources. That's the real danger. And it's the real reason governments are playing the AGW card. They don't care about floods in Bangladesh. They care about pressure dropping in the gas pipelines, and supertankers arriving half-empty at the refineries.