Monday, 19 October 2015

Greedy Lying Bastards.

“Melting sea ice, glacier loss and rising sea levels. Severe droughts, wildfires, increasingly severe tornadoes, hurricanes, and flooding, record heat waves. Climate change is no longer a prediction for the future, but a startling reality of today. Yet, as evidence of our changing climate mounts and the scientific consensus proves human causation, there continues to be little political action to thwart the warming of our planet. “Greedy Lying Bastards” investigates the reason behind stalled efforts to tackle climate change despite consensus in the scientific community that it is not only a reality but also a growing problem placing us on the brink of disaster. The film details the people and organizations casting doubt on climate science and claims that greenhouse gases are not affected by human behaviour. From the Koch Brothers to ExxonMobil, to oil industry front groups, to prominent politicians and Justices, this provocative exposé unravels the layers of deceit threatening democracy and the ability for future generations to survive on planet earth”[1].

In conjunction with the Dumfries branch of Friends of the Earth, the Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre was showing this important American documentary as part of their Film Club season. Introduced by Ian Gasse who was joined by Debbie Hamilton contact person for FOTE Dumfries for a discussion following the screening. Directed, written and narrated by Craig Rosebaugh who is an activist for political and social justice, and environmental and animal protection and who has written or contributed to various books on those subjects.
The Villains.
As you can tell from the films synopsis this feature length documentary explores the phenomenon of climate change denial. Made over a period of three years Rosebaugh describes this personnel project as an undertaking that would uncover the hidden agenda of the oil industry and to provide answers as to why the richest nation on earth fails to implement clean energy policies? The movie also questions why effective action has not been taken on one of the most important and serious matters affecting the 21st century. Although to be fair the answers pretty obvious in the title of the film, greedy lying bastards, or as they are known in society ‘capitalist’. People who run the industries and the astroturf front groups that are financed by them to promote the lie don’t give a dam about people or their quality of life only greed and profit.  
The problem. 
How anybody can argue the case for climate change denial is beyond me? But they do and during the discussion that followed the film there was a consensus that people are genuinely worried about how the facts tend to be ignored and how information is given out so the public have the correct information to make up our own minds. It was agreed that low budget films like Greedy Lying Bastards are essential to form opinions through the medium of cinema. But unfortunately they are not normally shown on a wider release.  The only criticism of the documentary was that the UK was not highlighted more, allowing for a Dumfries audience to relate more to the problem.  Make no mistake that this is a very big problem because of our dependability on oil and the profit involved for the big corporations. Although there is a conference on climate change at the end of November 2015 in Paris I would not hold your breath on any substantial changes coming from it.

[1] Film Synopsis from official website.

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