If ever there was a window through which to view the modern liberal soul, it is the issue of climate change. Notice, did you, that it's not global warming we debate anymore, because, after all, it still gets cold in the winter. For years, liberals warned those less enlightened of us about the dangers of global warming, without much evidence, so they just changed tactics -- no longer are people to be terrified of the Earth's temperature rising, but its falling as well!
It's the ultimate liberal "heads-I-win-tails-you-lose" argument. Summer hot? Climate change! Winter cold? Climate change!
But, like most things Democrats say, it's mostly nonsense. Climate change, like global warming, greenhouse gases, the ozone hole and the population bomb before it, is simply a variable. To the liberal mind, no matter what the problem is, the solution is more government.
Tell me, has any Democratic politician ever -- ever -- proposed something innovative, original or even clever to solve the hot environmental issue of the moment? No matter whether it's the ozone, the ocean or anything in between, the response is always the same: more government, more regulation, higher taxes, more spending, less freedom. I don't doubt that liberals care about the environment, for the simple reason that everyone cares about the environment, but their environment agenda is just their labor agenda, their education agenda, their fiscal agenda, their trade agenda, their social agenda and their health care agenda packaged under a different name.
Whatever the problem -- real or perceived -- their answer is always to raise taxes, regulate free enterprise, infantilize the American people and seize control of another little piece of our everyday lives.
Now, what role will all this play in the 2008 election? Almost none. The fact of the matter is that, even assuming the most hysterical climate change fetishists are right, we have two options. First of all, we can stop. Everything. In order to make a real change, a revolutionary change, in our "carbon footprint" or whatever idiotic standard Al Gore is using to scold the American people this week, we would have to shut down every combustion engine in the country. No cars. No trucks. No planes.
We'd also have to shut down every factory, though liberal regulations are doing a good job of that as it is, I suppose. We'd have no earth-moving vehicles and no excavation equipment, so that would mean no construction projects. But that's OK, because we wouldn't have any building materials, because we'd have to shut down the timber industry, too.
Tom DeLay is the former House Majority Leader, the second ranking leader in the United States House of Representatives, and co-author of No Retreat, No Surrender: One American's Fight.