Here's cause for optimism.... Well not, really.
You don't expect accuracy, or much in the way of truth, from a newspaper, least of all a conservative one. But you'd at least hope that the science correspondent actually knew something about science. Clearly this wasn't considered necessary for the Daily Telegraph. As this headline on their web site, 2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved, shows. I mean, that's not only wrong, it's deliberately perverse.
If there's a planet earth created by public perception, by the distorted information and misinformation fed to people by various media, by history, by opinion - a sort of semiosphere of smoke and mirrors... then honesty compels us not to write about that world. Science fiction writers are not journalists, true; but if journalists no longer document reality, someone has to. Science fiction may be the best tool for the job.