And so it should. Unequivocally titled to convey its message, this American documentary film focuses on what its director argues is the “climate change denial campaign”. (1)
Produced and directed by filmmaker, writer and political activist Craig Rosebraugh, Dirty Lying Bastards investigates the reasons why, despite there being scientific consensus that climate change is placing the planet on the brink of disaster, efforts to tackle the impending catastrophe were deliberately stalled.
Self-proclaimed as being a “searing indictment of the influence, deceit and corruption that defines the fossil fuel industry”, the movie has been filmed over the past two years and across nine countries.
In fact, the no bars film went to great lengths to include a wide range of voices in the documentary, with Rosebraugh traveling to 14 different countries on five different continents.
These countries included some of the worst hit by climate change, such as:
–> Uganda, which is now plagued by floods and droughts
–> Tavula, which is feared will soon disappear because of rising sea levels
–> Peru, where melting glaciers are threatening the water that is the only supply for millions of people
–> Niger Delta, where children swim alongside glop from oil pollution and where a prominent Nigerian oil activist, Ken Niweigha was killed by police
And, the Research Shows…
The extensive research for the film included interviews with industry experts, scientists, political delegates, including the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, leading U.S. climate change scientists Dr. Pieter Tans and Dr. Mark Serreze, and former President of the Copenhagen Climate Summit COP15, Connie Hedegaard.
The film also focuses heavily on the victims of climate change, including a poignant spotlight on the residents of Kivalina, a small Alaskan island above the Arctic Circle.
According to the website, over the last 50 years or so, temperatures in the winter in Kivalina have risen by almost seven degrees. As a consequence of the rising temperatures, the once protective ice is not forming properly which is leading to erosion. As the tribal leader told the filmmakers:
“The debate is over; we are dealing with the realities of climate change.” (2)
The nucleus of Dirty Lying Bastard’s antipathy is Koch Industries and Exxon Mobil Corporation, two of the world’s biggest oil companies. On the official film website, Greedy Lying Bastard’s reports that between 1998 and 2012 ExxonMobil spent more than $27 million to dispel claims of global warming. While the Koch brothers, who run Koch Industries, spent more than $67 million quashing climate change claims between 1997 and 2012. (2)
This documentary film is blatantly out to shock people and highlight the corruption within oil corporations and politics. The film presents a shocking analysis of the controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision, Citizens United in 2010, which enabled massive amounts of corporate cash to flood the electoral process, and in doing so demonstrated barefaced corruption of the U.S.’s highest court and its “cosy relationship with top corporate interests”. (2)
In order to gain a deeper understanding of the inspirations and objectives of the controversial film, Top Secret Writers got an exclusive interview with Greedy Lying Bastard’s director Craig Rosebraugh.
Gabrielle Pickard : Why did you wait until 2013 until you released the film?
Craig Rosebraugh: We decided to release the film in 2013 after working on the project for nearly four years. As we moved into post production, the severity of weather patterns and storm surges were on the increase around the world – climatic changes scientists have linked to humans’ release of greenhouse gas emissions.
This climaxed with Hurricane Sandy and the record heat and wildfires in Australia. With the public’s belief in climate change on the rise again and the science on the issue settled, we believed it would be a proper time to release this film exploring the reasons why, as an international community, we have failed to act to address climate change.
Gabrielle Pickard: Were you in any doubt over the title of the film?
Craig Rosebraugh: When we first began working on the film, we had a different, much milder title. As the production progressed, we felt it necessary to ensure it had a name that would maximize interest to increase viewership.
We feel that in an age such as this, when reality television and short attention spans appear to dominate, we needed that extra provocative spark to appeal to the general public – not only as a documentary, but as a prominent feature film covering a timely issue.
Gabrielle Pickard: Do you think Greedy Lying Bastards will be positive in spurring the fossil fuel industry to up its game and become less reckless?
Craig Rosebraugh: I don’t believe any one film, person, organization, or action alone will succeed in convincing the fossil fuel industry to become less reckless. This must be a joint effort and lawmakers must get on board to protect the interests of the people and future generations by passing legislation to better regulate this out of control industry.
Gabrielle Pickard: What is the evidence that the stalled efforts to tackle climate change were financially motivated instead of merely being due to a lack of responsibility within the fuel industry?
Craig Rosebraugh: I don’t believe there is a random lack of responsibility persistent in the fossil fuel industry that is disassociated with financial motives. Koch Industries and ExxonMobil – the two largest drivers of the climate change denial campaign – aren’t denying the science simply because they are irresponsible. They are doing so because they believe that admittance on their part of the reality of climate change would translate into significant losses in profits. It is the very profit motive of fossil fuel companies that is directly threatening our ability to sustain ourselves on this planet.
Gabrielle Pickard: Do you think it is too late to lift our planet from inevitable demise or is there a chance mankind could adapt to make the world survive?
Craig Rosebraugh: Current scientific analysis of the issue is that we are dangerously close to a tipping point in our atmospheric emissions, when the planet suffers irreversible harm. Some believe we have surpassed this already.
Whichever the case, this should be taken as an immediate wake up call. As a global community, we need to find a way to work together to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I do not believe we are too late to act, but our action must be immediate, dedicated, and thorough if we are to prevent catastrophic changes.
Gabrielle Pickard: When will Greedy Lying Bastards be released in the UK?
Craig Rosebraugh: The film is being distributed theatrically in the UK by Kaleidoscope Distribution and it is currently scheduled for a UK release date in late spring or early summer 2013.
The Relationship Between Oil and Corruption
Oil and corruption has, of course, been closely linked for some time. The Transparency International’s Corruptions Perceptions Index 2010 explicitly revealed the connection, highlighting that Russia, the world’s largest producer of oil and second largest exporter of oil, ranked 154 out of 178 countries for corruption.
In August 2010, ExxonMobil signed a £1.9 billion deal with Rosneft, an oil company that is owned by the Russian government, to drill for 40 billion barrels of oil under the South Kara Sea.
Russia’s oil-based corruption is vividly shown through the antics of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former head of the Russian oil giants, Yukos, who was charged for fraud and is now part of the Rosneft Corporation. (3)
The UK has been experiencing some bitterly cold winds recently and scientists assert that the cold weather that has been sweeping across the UK and Europe is linked to the dramatic loss of sea ice covering the Kara Sea above northern Russia. The cold weather in Europe has been so severe that hundreds have lost their lives, particularly in the Ukraine, Romania and Poland. (4)
The fact that the American corporation, ExxonMobil, is willing to sign deals and collaborate with a company whose members have been charged with corruption and whose antics are causing sea ice above Russia to melt, which is having a direct effect on the weather in Europe, surely proves what Greedy Lying Bastards unambiguously reveals – that corruption within the oil industry is an inexplicable contributor to climate change.