David Harsanyi

The crusade to convince us that global warming can only be dealt with by wealth destruction and higher energy prices began with an effort to "raise awareness," which turned into some delicate nanny-state prodding before efforts to artificially inflate prices. You might remember that cap-and-trade legislation was a top priority for the president. The administration employed a number of extremists--from science czar Dr. John Holdren, who once advocated for mass sterilizations, to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who once advocated raising gas prices to match those in Europe -- to press the case.

What's next? Shame. Those who don't buy the apocalyptic plot line are, at worst, deniers -- with all the immorality that signifies -- or, at best, quacks. Take a recent survey from lefty pollsters at Public Policy Polling of 20 "widespread and/or infamous conspiracy theories." It found that 6 percent of voters believe Osama bin Laden is still alive, 7 percent of voters think the moon landing was faked, 5 percent of voters believe that Paul McCartney actually died in 1966, and so on.

The survey also found that 37 percent of voters believe global warming is a hoax and 51 percent do not, as if ridiculous conspiracies, easily disprovable, were the same as a theory that has been overhyped and manipulated for political ends. Americans may be "evolving" on so many fronts, but the issue of energy is less open to emotional appeals and pandering. Progressives, then, still have their work cut out for them.

David Harsanyi

David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist and the author of "The People Have Spoken (and They Are Wrong): The Case Against Democracy." Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi.