David Harsanyi

The day Waxman delivered his statement, the National Weather Service issued a warning for Chicago about the wind chill index being somewhere in the vicinity of 25 to 40 below zero. In Maine, citizens expected temperatures to be about 40 below zero. And Iowans were warned that it could drop to 27 degrees below zero. In many places across the nation, there was record-setting cold.

So in other words, Waxman expects these unfortunate glacial souls to pay higher energy prices to shield themselves from Arctic chills in the name of global warming?

That's quite a trick.

Still, politically, the time is right for progressives to pass any legislation they please. But Democrats also may be setting themselves up for failure. This kind of central planning, after all, has a winning record envied only by the Detroit Lions.

Conserving energy, acting responsibly and cultivating technological advances are positive, whether global warming is as dangerous as the alarmists claim or not. But implementing ideas conjured up in environmentalists' imaginations could bring massive economic consequences.

You've told me the debate over climate change is over. But even if I concede it is, the debate over the worthiness, practicality, feasibility and trade-offs necessary to live in a vibrant and free economy should not be over.

Is warming by 0.74 degrees Celsius over the past 100 years really enough to make us panic? I mean, we probably could make that up by canceling the inauguration.