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GREEDY LYING BASTARDS


This documentary with the unfortunate title (because it is a turn-off for so many folks) presents a cold, hard look at the forces that not only deny there is such a thing as global warming/climate change, but actively oppose it with millions of dollars and “hired hands” to repeat the same message over and over in the news media, give speeches to politically conservative groups, and lobby at international conferences.  The forces opposed to the overwhelming scientific evidence have a clear-cut economic interest in maintaining usage of fossil fuels, de-regulating energy industries, and retaining their government subsidies.  


The film, produced and directed by Craig Scott Rosebraugh and written by Patrick Gambuti, Jr. and Rosebraugh has the support of actress Daryl Hannah as executive producer and environmental activist.  It opens with fiery scenes of environmental disasters in Colorado and interviews with some of the people affected, as well as the devastation from other storms around the country and environmental changes in Alaska that have occurred as a result of melting ice and rising seas.  But most of the film deals with the scientific evidence of climate change (awareness of it began in the 1950’s) and the corporations and politicians who have forcefully campaigned against airing the evidence of human-produced climate changes and opposing policies and regulations that would curb their polluting activities.  Interestingly, some of the same people who defended tobacco are currently against instituting planet-saving measures.


Foremost among the debunkers are Koch Industries and ExxonMobile, and unfortunately they have been more effective than climate scientists in getting their message across.  This is primarily because they are two of the richest companies that have vested interests in perpetuating the status quo.  They hire consultants and pay politicians handsomely to thwart efforts to educate the public and enact environmental policy improvements.  They have taken advantage of the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of Citizens United in their suit advocating that corporations not be restricted nor named in their gifts to lobbyists, “think tanks”, and PACs.  Americans for Prosperity, Competitive Enterprise Institute, The Heartland Institute, and The Cato Institute are just a few of such groups formed specifically to convey their propaganda.  One strategy is to contribute grandly to politicians’ campaigns, with the understanding that they will protect these companies’ interests in their voting.


 The arguments presented in Greedy Lying Bastards are quite sound, and although I agree that those opposing climate change efforts are greedy and willing to lie, I think the name-calling title may keep many people from ever watching the film.


Grade:  A- By Donna R. Copeland