Greedy Lying Bastards: US filmmaker attacks oil industry
Craig Rosebraugh's new documentary highlights the 'influence, deceit and corruption' of fossil fuel industry
Provocative, frank and impossible to ignore. And that's just the title.
Craig Rosebraugh, a US filmmaker and political activist, has produced a feature-length documentary that demands to be seen. Greedy Lying Bastards is still awaiting a firm release date – sometime in 2012 is the current promise – but, if the trailer and impressive roster of interviewees are anything to go by, it's likely to cause quite a stir.
Filmed over the past two years and across nine countries, Greedy Lying Bastards claims to be a "searing indictment of the influence, deceit and corruption that defines the fossil fuel industry":
Rosebraugh documents the impact of an industry that puts profits before people, wages a campaign of lies to thwart measures to combat climate change, uses its clout to minimize infringing regulations and undermined the political process in the U.S. and abroad…By interweaving the stories of the victims of the Gulf oil spill and the global climate crisis, he lays bare the industry's deliberate pattern of irresponsibility. And, while oil companies worldwide exert influence over policies that will protect their revenues, those who speak out against the industry's reckless practices risk their livelihoods, and in some instances, their lives.
Rosebraugh's position is abundantly clear: he is aiming hard and fast at the oil industry and the network of influence that does its bidding. But, despite all the polemic and editorialising, it would appear that he has gone to some lengths to include a wide range of voices in the documentary:
"Greedy Lying Bastards" details the people and organizations casting doubt on climate science and claiming that greenhouse gases are not affected by human behavior and includes interviews with scientists, industry experts, international political delegates, climate change victims as well as deniers, and people affected by the practices of the fossil fuel industry. Among them: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon; Rep. Henry Waxman; former EPA head Christine Todd Whitman; leading climate science skeptics Myron Ebell, Christopher Lord Monckton, and Jay Lehr; Ken Wiwa, the son of the slain Nigerian environmentalist; farmers in Peru and Uganda; and Mike Robichaux, one of the few doctors willing to treat Gulf residents sick with chemical poisoning from the BP spill, Republican Presidential candidates, Texas governor Rick Perry and Minnesota representative Michele Bachman, as well as other prominent politicians like Senator James Inhofe, from oil-rich Oklahoma.
As yet, there are no video extracts on the YouTube page from any of the climate sceptics interviewed for the film, but the film's Twitter account shows that Ian Plimer and Lord Monckton, as well as representatives from US thinktanks which routinely disseminate doubts about climate science, are among those who have been interviewed.
It will be interesting to see what they were asked, how they responded and how the interviews have been edited and incorporated into the film, not to mention how the oil industry responds to being labelled "greedy lying bastards".
Sir, – Minister for Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte’s response to Fintan O’Toole’s article (August 16th) on our offshore licensing terms and his intention to issue new licences under the current licensing terms is disingenuous in the extreme (Opinion, August 18th).
Madam, - Terry Nolan of Shell's call for "real dialogue" on the Erris pipeline/refinery stand-off does not convince. He says, for example, that "the project has been through a rigorous planning and consents process". This is disingenuous: did he not notice Lorna Siggins's report in your edition of October 19th which referred to omissions from the original environmental impact statement regarding cold venting (the release of contaminated gas into the atmosphere), and explained how the Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Marine and Natural Resources refused to allow North Mayo residents to address it on this issue?
A portent of all that was to follow on the discovery of gas off the Mayo coast must surely have been that all of the local SIPTU and other workers who had been involved in the exploration were immediately dropped. Foreign workers from the Phillippines and elsewhere were flown in and out from that point onwards - without ever touching Irish soil.
A Co Mayo businessman told a protest rally this morning that an employee of Shell Ireland had offered him €15,000, with no strings attached, in 2005 for a sports centre he was developing.
Ciarán Ó Murchú, who runs an Irish language school and adventure centre at Elly Bay, said it sounded alarm bells for him because as a large employer he would be effectively intimidating his employees to support Shell if he accepted the money.
He said he would have felt like a traitor to the local community - although an offer of €15,000 was very tempting.
A marine biologist has warned that the increased incidence of strandings of a rare whale species may be due to underwater noise pollution caused by exploration companies.
Dr Simon Berrow, chairman of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, said increased seismic activity of exploration companies off the west coast could have contributed to the deaths of four Cuviers beaked whales over the past two months.
THE 1980 government was worried about scaring off potential oil company investors if it placed too much emphasis on the finding of the Whiddy oil terminal disaster tribunal that the two firms involved were seriously at fault.
On the 16th April 2009, a young man from County Tipperary was shot dead by Bolivian special forces in Santa Cruz, along with a Hungarian, Arpad Maygarosi and a Bolivian-Hungarian Eduardo Rosza Flores. The story flashed around the world with graphic images of the dead mens bodies sprawled on the floor of the Hotel Las Americas and covered in blood. The Bolivian authorities claimed that they were right wing terrorists, attempting to assasinate Bolivias first indigenous President, Evo Morales.
“Gardai said Mr Corduff had complained of head and chest pains necessitating an ambulance and two paramedics to travel out from Castlebar. They examined and found no injuries, according to gardai. There is no CCTV footage of an assault and no assault is being investigated by gardai. Mr Corduff had also made no complaint to gardai by yesterday. He spent much of Wednesday under the trailer and was eventually removed at around 4am.” (Jim Cusack, Security Correspondent, Sunday Independent, 26/4/09)
“He had been kicked all over the body and had LOC (Loss Of Consciousness). He had headaches, nausea and vomiting.” (Discharge report for Willie Corduff, Castlebar Hospital, 24/4/09)
1. Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his meeting with the president of a company (details supplied) as confirmed by him in Dáil Éireann on 1 October 2003; when and the location in which it took place; the purpose of the meeting; the names of the persons who were in attendance; and the follow-up meetings or other contacts with the company that have taken place with him or officials of his Department. [23280/03]
"One more thing is worth remembering: there is no more contemptible company on earth than Shell Oil. .... They watched the Arctic melt and then they decided that would make it easier for them to drill for more oil. People will remember Shell as a watchword for greed the way we remember, all these millennia later, Pharaoh as a watchword for cruelty."
Bill McKibben - TheNation
"From a strategic planning perspective, this is the wrong site; from the perspective of Government policy which seeks to foster balanced regional development, this is the wrong site; from the perspective of minimising environmental impact, this is the wrong site; and consequently, from the perspective of sustainable development, this is the wrong site"
Kevin Moore, Senior Planning Inspector with An Bord Pleanala
"That was the first time Ireland tested out the state – corporate nexus. What they were doing was very simple. They were sorting out their template here in Rossport. The line is: 'go in hard',"
Shell to Sea campaigner Maura Harrington
“We declare that the Nation’s sovereignty extends not only to all men and women of the Nation, but to all its material possessions, the Nation’s soil and all its resources."
from the Democratic Programme of the First Dáil, 1919
“We’re justified in resorting to civil disobedience when our cause is valid, we’re motivated by that cause to disobey, we’ve made reasonable efforts to use legal channels first, and we’re sensitive to the likely impact on other people. Civil disobedience is not just justified, but praiseworthy, when it helps to remedy grave injustices in our society.”
Kimberley Brownlee, associate professor in legal and moral philosophy at the Warwick University Law School
“The overall impression given by the internal Garda investigative process was that complaints or matters of concern were put through a process of filtration or distillation so that, by the end of the process, any matter of concern had been removed as a form of impurity, and only what was good was found to remain.”
Senior counsel Seán Guerin's report into Sgt McCabe’s allegations of Garda wrongdoing
“It would be most unjust to jail these two men when I feel that a State agency had led the two men into error and illegality,”
Judge Martin Nolan on his decision not to jail 2 ex-Anglo directors. However at least 20 campaigners have spent time in jail for protesting against of the various bad and illogical decisions that State agencies have made over Corrib. One law for the rich, One for the poor.
"This is one of the most important stories of it's kind in Europe."
Ed Vulliamy speaking on Corrib and the campaign against it
"A former Producer and Editor at RTE, Betty Purcell, revealed that in 2009, she proposed and scheduled 21 documentaries and only one, ‘Living on the Edge’, a Would You Believe programme about Willie and Mary Corduff’s life on their farm in remote Rossport, was questioned and challenged by management. It was even suggested, she said, that because TV3 were about to do a documentary on Corrib ‘maybe we should leave it to them’.
She claimed the pressure on her team was ‘sustained’ and stated her belief that Shell personnel appeared to have ‘automatic access’ to senior management in RTE."
Áine Ryan - Mayo News
"In a State that has completely lost its moral core it’s almost inevitable that those who tenaciously pursue their principles and speaks out against the hypocrisy of power will find themselves silenced."
Robert Ballagh on the jailing of Margaretta D’Arcy