One of my favorite science fiction writers, Kim Stanley Robinson, just got called the "anti-Crichton" for his views on global warming (a believer).
I've read Robinson's Mars and Antarctiva books, and i like the way they balance awesome nature, interesting scientists, some sci-fi optimism and spirit, with pragmatism that I can respect. Even the Mars books have their fair share of committee meetings and compromises to get things done!
I've nly read one of his new trilogy about climate change - Fifty Degrees Below - but I thought it had a good story, even if it was a little didactic. But bureacracy isn't what I normally think of when I think about science fiction! I wonder if the very current setting of the books is bringing in new audiences, while the looming tediousness of grant proposals is driving out the old ones?
Well, any way to get more people thinking!