When I was first asked to help with the launch of the movie Greedy Lying Bastards, I really wasn't too sure of the title.
Would people be turned off by the aggressive tone of calling people like David and Charles Koch and other individuals behind the attack on the science of climate change “bastards” “liars” and “greedy”?
Are the people featured in the film, like Fred Singer, who pretend to be experts on everything from the links between cigarettes and cancer, near-earth asteroid disasters and climate change, actually bastards? Are they greedy liars?
Is it a fair claim?
So I looked up the formal definitions of the words to see if they fit.
THE climate science denial industry doesn't like Penn State University's Professor Michael Mann very much.
Mann is the scientist behind the famous “hockey stick” graph that first appeared in the journal Nature in 1998. Mann and two other scientists Professor Raymond Bradley and Professor Malcolm Hughes had reconstructed temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere from the year 1400 to present day using data mainly from tree rings, ice cores and modern temperature readings.
The following year, the same three scientists extended their study to reconstruct 1000 years of temperatures and published this in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Each time the team plotted their data on graphs and each time the plots showed what is the now famous “hockey stick” shape with a sharp uptick in temperatures towards the end of the century.
The film, produced by actress Daryl Hannah and directed by Craig Rosebraugh, essentially tells the DeSmogBlog story. Greedy Lying Bastards chronicles the dirty money trail from tobacco companies paying for fake experts to attack the science linking cigarettes and cancer, through to the modern day equivalent of oil companies paying fake experts and think tanks to attack climate science and fight against any government attempts to regulate pollution to protect public health.
Michael O'Sullivan's review in the Washington Post today describes Greedy Lying Bastards best:
“There actually is plenty of sober — and sobering — evidence presented to support the film’s thesis that (a) climate change is real, (b) it’s our fault and (c) a bunch of bad guys have prevented us from getting a handle on it. It’s that last part, alluded to in the film’s title, that is the film’s bread and butter.”