Last weekend I had the opportunity to preview a new documentary from director and documentarian Craig Rosebraugh called Greedy Lying Bastards. The film takes an in depth look at the labyrinthian reach of Big Oil and Big Money into the halls of power and commerce. The aim of these shadow interests is to sow doubt in the reality of climate change and attempt to characterize climate scientists as a cabal of power and money-hungry ne'er-do-wells out to fool everyone about global warming.
The film shows how the success of the campaign (to the extent that it is a success for sowing doubt and disparaging climate scientists) was modeled and largely run by the same folks that created the Big Tobacco propaganda offensive that for years suggested there was no evidence that smoking was bad for you.
The film does a good job of following the money trail into the "shadow world" of corporate interests, exposing the most prominent mouthpieces for climate change denial and showing how the Citizens United decision has brought a flood of Big Money "we're people too" into political decision-making, thus poisoning the democratic process.
Following is the film's trailer and a statement from Rosebraugh about the film and his mission in telling this important story:
Concerned about the future of the planet and our ability to exist on it, I wanted to undertake a project that would uncover the hidden agenda of the oil industry and provide answers as to why as a nation we fail to implement clean energy policies and take effective action on important problems such as climate change.
“Greedy Lying Bastards” documents the impact of an industry that has continually put profits before people, waged a campaign of lies designed to thwart measures to combat climate change, used its clout to minimize infringing regulations and undermined the political process in the U.S. and abroad.
This in-depth investigation into the industry spanned five continents and nine countries. “Greedy Lying Bastards” is the disturbing and revealing portrait of what was uncovered on this journey, a tale of devastating consequences. By interweaving the stories of the victims of the 2012 Colorado Wildfires and U.S. drought with a look at the practices of fossil fuel companies and the climate change deniers they support, this film lays bare the industry’s deliberate pattern of irresponsibility. And, while oil companies worldwide exert undue influence over policies that will protect their revenues, climate change continues to pose an increasing threat.
The film addresses one of the crucial issues of our time, one so important it is connected with our ability to sustain ourselves and for future generations to continue to live on this planet.