Imagine a society -- technically advanced, but spiritually impoverished -- that has been taken over by a fire-worshipping cult. Most people are members, though sometimes reluctant ones. Many cult members recognize that the cult is dangerous -- creating violent storms, rising seas, stripped forests, dead oceans -- but feel powerless to escape.
Scientists in this society have issued strong warnings about the cult, painstakingly documenting the many negative consequences of its uncontrolled use of fire. But the society's rulers have banished these scientists from positions of influence and forbidden them to speak in public.