Many of those radical environmentalists and liberal politicans who have managed to scare us to death over global warming are too young to remember the bugaboo of just a few decades ago.
Without drastic action to curb industrial emissions, it was going to kill tens of millions of people, eliminate hundreds of species of plants and animals and render much of the planet unrecognizable, we were assured.
It was, of course, global cooling.
When, despite the dire warnings, nothing much happened, the Luddites and liberals took a few years off to regroup. Now they're back, with a much-improved public relations machine.
Both their strategy and their success were on display the other day during a hearing conducted by the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee. Gina McCarthy, who heads the Environmental Protection Agency, was being questioned by Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va.
McKinley was criticizing President Barack Obama for slashing a half-billion dollars out of funding for water and sewer projects, while planning to increase spending on so-called "climate change" initiatives. He lectured McCarthy on the challenges faced by small communities that need help with water and sewer projects.
Sit down for this: McCarthy's reply was that, "Part of our consideration, sir, is how climate actually exacerbates the challenges ..." An amazed McKinley could only shake his head and tell McCarthy, "Oh, come on. You know better than that."
Of course she does. But that's the climate change alarmists' strategy - to blame every evil they can think of on global warming. McCarthy's gall in her statement to the committee merely demonstrates how successful the plan has been. It works.
Remember claims climate change was causing more hurricanes of greater severity? It just isn't true. Yet tons of people believe it.
So why not claim climate change makes it tougher for small towns in West Virginia to pay for sewer projects? Hey, if people will believe droughts in Western states are something new, what falsehood won't they swallow?
That's the name of the game in politics today: the big lie.
Remember Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's comment about those who dare to discuss what's wrong with Obamacare? Reid called such comments "tales, stories made up from whole cloth, lies ..."
He knows better, of course.
Step two in the big lie strategy is to demonize those who disagree with you.
Could it be that the millions of people who argue against abortion on demand believe sincerely it amounts to murder? Nah. To hear the liberals, they're just engaging in a "war on women."
Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas, whose work appears in this newspaper, mentioned the strategy during his recent speech in Wheeling. Thomas noted he often appears in person and on television with a liberal personality, Bob Beckel. Some people assume he and Beckel must despise each other - but it's not true, Thomas said. He and Beckel are good friends.
But that won't do for some in both the liberal and conservative camps. To disagree with them, even occasionally, is to be labeled as evil.
As Thomas - who is as conservative as the day is long - emphasized trusting and compromising with someone you hate is impossible.
Here's the thing: I doubt liberal leaders really hate their opponents. Using the big lie and claims conservatives are just bad people is no more than a political strategy for them. Most of them don't take politics personally.
It's the same with some conservatives. Why not trade tit for tat, they conclude.
But on both sides, millions of their followers have drunk the Kool-Aid. They believe the propaganda.
What happens when we reach the point those people, again, on both sides, are a majority?
EDITOR'S NOTE: Mike Myer is executive editor of The Intelligencer and the Wheeling News-Register. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com