GREEDY LYING BASTARDS (Craig Scott Rosebraugh). 90 minutes. Opens Friday (March 15) at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. See listings. Rating: NNN
As agitprop goes, Greedy Lying Bastards is awfully specific. You have to respect its single-mindedness in calling out the corporate actors who make their living defending the activities of petroleum conglomerates - specifically those who've spent the last decade or so muddying the waters on climate change.
At the beginning, Craig Scott Rosebraugh explains the situation simply: the oil industry has a vested interest in keeping any action to address climate change in the realm of theory, so it finds shills to go out and cast doubt on the overwhelming scientific evidence that the phenomenon is real. (The fact that I'll get letters to that effect is an indication of how successful they've been so far.)
And once he's established the problem, Rosebraugh shows us the stooges at work, focusing with particular glee on pop-eyed twit Christopher Monckton, a British lord whose sole purpose is to appear on television to tut-tut at his opponents. We also get clips of the Koch brothers, oil-industry tycoons who backed Mitt Romney's presidential run last year.
I'm not sure this material merits a 90-minute feature, though. There's a lot of repetition, with Rosebraugh using different clips of the same faces to make sure their consistent mendacity hits home. There also seem to be a great deal of CG-animated charts and graphs that make the same point, which led me to wonder whether the limits of a 50-minute TV slot might have forced a more concise argument.
Still, you can't argue with the righteousness of the mission, can you?