One part of a long interview with Al Gore in the Washington Post's Wonkblog:
Well, I think the most important part of it is winning the conversation. I remember as a boy when the conversation on civil rights was won in the South. I remember a time when one of my friends made a racist joke and another said, hey man, we don’t go for that anymore. The same thing happened on apartheid.... on the nuclear arms race.... in an earlier era with abolition. A few months ago, I saw an article about two gay men standing in line for pizza and some homophobe made an ugly comment about them holding hands and everyone else in line told them to shut up. We’re winning that conversation.
The conversation on global warming has been stalled because a shrinking group of denialists fly into a rage when it’s mentioned .... But the political climate is changing. Something like Chris Hayes’s excellent documentary on climate change wouldn’t have made it on TV a few years ago.... The deniers are being hit politically. They’re being subjected to ridicule, which stings. The polling is going back up in favor of doing something on this issue. The ability of the raging deniers to stop progress is waning every single day.
When that conversation is won, you’ll see more measures at the local and state level and less resistance to what the EPA is doing. And slowly it will become popular to propose steps that go further and politicians ... get rewarded. I remember when the tide turned on smoking.... People thought the late Frank Lautenburg was crazy for proposing a ban on smoking in airplanes, but he was rewarded politically.... That’s the optimistic scenario. And it’s not just a scenario! It’s happening now!
Don’t get me wrong. We’ve got a long way to go. We’re still increasing emissions. But we’re approaching this tipping point. Businesses are driving it. Grass roots are driving it. Policies and changes in law in places like india and China and Mexico and California and Ireland will proliferate and increase, and soon we’ll get to the point where national laws will evolve into global cooperation.
(emphases and ellipses mine)
This is the kind of news that doesn't seem to get a lot of coverage in the major media (at least not that I've seen), and I could really do with seeing more of it. I think if the climate change proponents could be seen publicly as winning this debate and that the deniers taking it on the chin, it would go a long way toward reaching that above-mentioned "tipping point."