Apparently, the title of Al Gore’s climate-change documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, was far too polite. Craig Scott Rosebraugh’s version, Greedy Lying Bastards, is a call to shut down the fossil-fuel industry’s propaganda campaign and do something about the climate before things get even worse. Mixing apocalyptic contemporary images of storms, fires and floods with testimony from sober-minded climate scientists, Rosebraugh’s film asserts that climate disaster has already started while the fossil-fuel industries are encouraging us to ignore the obvious.
While it may be a case of shrieking to the converted, Greedy Lying Bastards scores solid points in outlining the damage-control strategies of Exxon Mobil, the billionaire Koch brothers – who have financed climate-change denial campaigns – and the clownish English climate-change denier Lord Christopher Monckton. Unable to refute the science, they rely on an all-too-familiar set of talking points: Environmentalists have turned climate change into a “religion,” they’re really just interested in their own profit or they’re essentially against capitalism.
On the downside, Rosebraugh’s own film is too self-righteous and his attempts to play a humour-challenged, lightweight version of Michael Moore in front of the camera is a misfire. The climate-change deniers are comforting, though obviously wrong. Greedy Lying Bastards is grating, even if it’s right.