Time flies. Mount Olympus has become hideaway retirement home for retired Greek gods. It’s not that they got old. They are, after all, immortal.

Nah. They got hooked on Saturday Night Live, then realized the show was getting boring. The “real” world is much more laughable. More tragi-comedic, really. But the Greeks always liked a few laughs along with their tragedies.

The godly retirees laugh at the climate crowd. They, after all, watched the fall of Pompeii.

Think of Pompeii as the Hamptons – lavish homes, luxurious public buildings, gorgeous beaches – the hangout for the rich and famous. Gone in 15 minutes. Curiously, rumor has it, just an hour after some of the city’s “preeniest” had finished a lavish dinner following a day-long conference focused on preserving the waterfront from encroachment by unwashed deplorables.

The gods did not order the eruption of Vesuvius. But they did have a good laugh. Well, all but the two immortals who saw their own Pompeii palaces literally go down in smoke.

Speaking of the climate crowd, and the selling of failure as success, consider the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. It was started in response to closed-door meetings between the Bush administration and coal industry executives in 2002. The Sierra Club Foundation takes credit for retiring over 300 (aging) U.S. coal plants just in the last decade.

Whoop. Tee. Sure, U.S. coal production has dwindled from 1.04 billion tons in 2007 to just 485 million tons in 2020, but those reductions were more than offset by mammoth increases in coal use in India, Indonesia, and even Australia (which exports most of its coal). China’s production in 2007 was “only” 2.5 billion tons, but by 2020 production was at 3.9 billion tons. Overall, world coal production levels are nearly level over the past decade, far higher than in 2007.

Wanna read something funnier? How about this 2012 blog published in the Huffington Post. Blogger Justin Guay lauded the “brave activists” across the globe standing up to the wealth and power of the coal industry – and winning. Except they weren’t. Not in India or Indonesia. And certainly not in China. Coal has long been the foundation fuel for industrialization of societies.

Where are those anti-coal activists? Enjoying piña coladas in Florida? Well, why not? The Sierra Club boasts total assets of nearly $245 million, with 2020 revenues of $117 million.

Or maybe they are all in isolated solitude, meditating and mourning over the recent resignation of longtime executive director Michael Brune. Two years earlier the nonprofit jettisoned their long-esteemed founder, John Muir, revered as the “father of the national parks.” [Planned Parenthood in 2020 outed their founder, Margaret Sanger, for her eugenicist activities, and Muir was a Sanger ally – turns out eugenics is a form of racism. Who knew?]

Brune’s crime was being of the pre-woke generation that had allowed staff behaviors now considered offensive. An internal Sierra Club report, commissioned after a volunteer leader was publicly accused of rape, concluded that the nonprofit’s internal culture lacked accountability for abuse and misconduct. Several of the Club’s 4,000 volunteers, some of whom who had management responsibilities, were singled out.

Brune’s resignation came 11 years after he succeeded 17-year executive director Carl Pope. Pope was fired shortly afterward from his position as chairman over complaints over declining membership, internal dissent, well-organized opponents, a weak economy, and an anti-Green Congress.

But what really cost Pope his job was his own leadership style. “I’m a big-tent guy. We’re not going to save the world if we rely only on those who agree with the Sierra Club…. I can’t get anything accomplished if people think, ‘This guy is not an honest broker’.”

And Sierra under Brune, who formerly headed up the Rainforest Action Network, became more confrontational and less civil. And more cutthroat. “The climate can’t wait for civility.”

This loss of civility long predates the politics of POTUS 45. The Green facade only outwardly disguises the revolutionary zeal that drives a “wokeness” born out of envy of the Sixties (when real change occurred) and a passion for a life with meaning (amplified by the meaninglessness of their over-regimented lives).

The great sadness is that these cannon fodder for the billionaire “visionaries” may actually believe the outcome of their cultlike sacrifices (and loss of lifelong friends) will be world peace and a pristine planet. That the pathway to that peace is the condemnation and torment of the entire culture on which their own foundations were laid.

They are not prepared for the Jim Jones moment – suicide bombers face that moment – when they are confronted by the truth from others who describe the sufferings their policies have caused (sufferings never mentioned by their esteemed leaders). So they shut their ears, close their eyes, and open their mouths with curses and threats and blind, nonspecific, meaningless accusations. Because they have no other response than rage.

The long-retired superstars up on Mount Olympus have ordered extra popcorn for this upcoming tragi-comedy. Like ordinary humans, they have no real idea how this scenario plays out.

Will the “woke” awaken?

Will those controlling the lockdown dehumanized Zombies succeed with campaigns of fear?

Will nations debating on how soon they will achieve net zero carbon dioxide really subject their citizens to cold nights, travel restrictions, and the loss of industry?

Hermes is surely taking bets: Tragedy or comedy, slavery or freedom, who wins, who dies?

Zeus commands, Lights. Cameras. Action. Let the movie begin.


  • Duggan Flanakin

    Duggan Flanakin is the Director of Policy Research at the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow. A former Senior Fellow with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Mr. Flanakin authored definitive works on the creation of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and on environmental education in Texas. A brief history of his multifaceted career appears in his book, "Infinite Galaxies: Poems from the Dugout."