Friday, March 08, 2013

"Greedy Lying" oil companies and lobbyists, and the denial of climate change and any inconvenient truths

Craig Scott Rosebraugh could lose his upper arm tattoos, but he’s produced a compelling, if heavy-handed attack on the one-sided nature of the energy lobby in denying climate change, for short term profits for a few more years.  That’s the gist of “Greedy Lying Bastards”  (remember another film whose title started with “Inglorius”?)  Is this real documentary, or propaganda?
The film particularly indicts Koch Industries and ExxonMobil  as the guilty companies, and Citizens United as the conservative lobby that even bullied the Supreme Court into overturning limits on corporate campaign contributions.  (Remember the film, “Hillary, the Movie”?)  He also blasts some respectable libertarian-oriented think tanks like the Cato Institute, which I have often supported.

The film also explains the psychology of arguing denial, by making overcoming doubt take energy (just as it takes with religious faith).  It also shows how the energy industry built up "argo-fake" lobbying organizations with other interests (like tobacco) to leverage the psychology of "doubt" with the public.  
Imagine your life if your career is to lobby for these companies or PAC’s.  You wouldn’t dare have blogs, Facebook profiles, twitter postings like mine, and you wouldn’t dare author books like mine, or make movies like this one.  You have to be one-sided to make enough money to provide for your family, to spread your genes.  I can’t bring myself to compete that way.
The other aspect of the film is very graphic footage of the effects of climate change (apparently) on families now.  Much of the film concerns the wildfires near Colorado Springs in the summer of 2012, and traces the losses of several families, and their odyssey through evacuation.  There is some footage near the end of “Hurricane” Sandy.  There are plenty of close-up shots of terrifying tornadoes, and a haboob in Phoenix. (He left out the 2012 derecho.)  And there is coverage of the failure of international negotiations (as in Copenhagen), and of the fate of island countries like Tuvalu.
The official site is here
I do think there is something lacking in just blaming corporate greed for climate change denial and the increasingly violent storms that seem to be happening.  There is also individual lifestyles, that seem not to need others as much as they used to.  Is that an argument for Amish values?  You wonder if everyone should be expected to be prepared to shelter others, because it could happen to anyone.  Will this become a new social requirement?   

There’s great quote from Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, where he talks about helping families rather than saving an abstract planet.  The film moves right back to the Colorado Springs fires.

A good question is how the insurance industry is responding to all these problems.

I saw this film at the Angelika Mosaic in Merrifield VA at 8 PM, and there were only three people in the audience.  I thought it would do well.  I guess I should feel guilty because I own some ExxonMobil.  In fact, natural gas holdings paid for all of my aunt's eldercare until she passed away. 

See related film about Koch energy reviewed here Sept. 20, 2012.  

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