Greedy Lying Bastards: review and trailer

582458_10151488088859684_1351752486_nGreedy Lying Bastards: Exposing The Fossil Fools Who Put Profit Before Human Lives

One of the few-and-far-between perks of being a climate blogger is that occasionally I get access to books and movies before the general public does.

This past weekend I got to watch “Greedy Lying Bastards” before it hit movie screens across the U.S. on Monday. Sunday night I, along with some fellow Citizens Climate Lobby volunteers, got together to watch this 90 minute documentary.
This movie exposes the American fossil fuel interests that have been blocking action on climate change for decades, taking a page – and some of the same PR firms and lobbyists – right out of the tobacco companies’ playbook.
Like the tobacco lobby, these fossil fools have opposed government action on the science showing their product is harmful and have actively disseminated lies about the science.

After the movie, I surveyed group members for their responses; we all gave it 10 out of 10 for its topic, but for actual delivery the movie was rated between 6 to 8 out of 10.

Some of the comments were:

“I really appreciated the whistle-blowing, the naming of names. I also really appreciated first-hand accounts of people in the U.S. who are already suffering the consequences of climate change.”

“I haven’t watched a documentary about this topic before, and really appreciated the great graphics. They made the connections for me.”

Two viewers had recently watched “The Age of Stupid” and felt that it spelled out the greed and petro-corruption as well as the consequences of inaction on climate change more clearly than did GLB.stop climate chaos

I enjoyed the movie. Of course as a climate hawk I’m thrilled that this corruption and interference in democracy is receiving more attention at this critical juncture in the planet’s history, and for that I want to give a big shout-out to writer and director Scott Rosebraugh and producer Darryl Hannah.

Compared to “Age of Stupid” which totally overwhelmed and depressed me and my companion, GLB left me riled up and ready to fight back at these soulless corporate monsters. One critique I have is that the movie ended with a whimper. Rosebraugh offers – in 60 seconds – four actions for people to take in response to the information they’ve just heard (possibly for the first time).

It’s not that the actions mentioned (boycotting Exxon & Koch products, asking your Congressional representatives to take action to curb greenhouse gases, “joining the campaign” to stop fossil fuel subsidies and campaigning to overturn Citizens United) aren’t important, they are but to spend 89 minutes of the movie focused on the fossil fools who are destroying U.S. democracy as well as our children’s future without giving viewers more information on taking action may well foster more futility and despair.

And, frankly, just signing a petition or writing a letter to your congressperson isn’t going to cut it at this point.

The movie doesn’t give enough specifics on responses; the shocking amount of fossil fuel subsidies companies are given every year ($4 Billion in the United States, $775 Billion globally) isn’t even mentioned even while people are encouraged to get 350active on this issue. To move people from outrage to action, more information and empowerment is necessary. For example, viewers should know that there are governments (Australia, and the Canadian province of British Columbia) who have enacted a tax on carbon pollution, one of the first actions that governments can take to counter the fossil fuel stranglehold on our democracies and our economies.

There are groups like 350.org and Citizens Climate Lobby (to name the ones I’m most familiar with) who are working to mobilize people at the grassroots; these important resources are not mentioned in the movie or on the movie’s “take action” website. This silo mentality is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to climate action, so I would beg the fine people involved in GLB and its website to expand their resources and “take action” focus. For that reason I would give the movie a ranking of 7.5 out of 10. Having said that, get out and watch the movie if it’s showing in a theatre near you, and take some friends with you.

More links:

Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog: Greedy Lying Bastards: A Movie Review

Washington Post: Greedy Lying Bastards: Movie Review

GreedyLyingBastards.com

ExposeTheBastards.com: Take Action

 

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