Napolean's Children Attack Natural Gas Bonanza

There are some interesting parallels between a TV episode of Bonanza and many natural gas opponents. The latter often represent superb examples of “Napolean’s Children,” a group of spoiled youths with no cause other than self-glorification and no commitment to anything but outlandish behavior that costs them nothing.

Relaxing during the Holidays, I turned on the television to see if something might be worth watching. One of those upper channels was playing old Bonanza shows so I tuned in to watch a 1967 episode entitled “Napolean’s Children.” Like most of those programs, it was a simple story with a moral theme. Ben, Hoss and Little Joe Cartwright saved the day, yet again, by bringing to bear a combination of common sense and good will to expose the real character of a self-important gang leader who had targeted the Ponderosa and Virginia City.

A little later I was perusing some of my favorite blogs and came across this story about the activities of Earth First, the extremist group that sets itself above the law in defense of what it perceives are threats to the environment. It turns out some of the kids at Earth First have set out on a campaign of “prank assassinations” to let certain people know “they are vulnerable, and well hated—even that we wish they were dead.” They provide the names, addresses and phone numbers of the assassination targets, the top ranked target on the hit list being Chesapeake Energy’s CEO, Aubrey McClendon.

Reading the antics of Earth First and, in particular, the childish language employed by its adherents, it all became crystal clear; many of the natural gas opponents we deal with every day are modern day versions of “Napolean’s Children.”

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