Tag Archives: climate deniers

Greedy Lying Bastards

This film has a very apt title – Greedy Lying Bastards. It’s being released for theatres this week in the US. Wonder if we will get to see it here. Below is some information on its content.

(By the way – one of the greedy lying bastards in the poster is coming to New Zealand on a speaking tour next month. Guess who?)


Climate change is no longer a prediction for the future, but a startling reality of today. The U.S. Pentagon believes it to be a matter of national and international security. Yet, as the evidence of our changing climate mounts and the scientific consensus proves a human causation, there continues to be no political action to thwart the warming of our planet.

“Greedy Lying Bastards” investigates the reason behind stalled efforts to tackle climate change despite consensus in the scientific community that it is not only a reality but also a growing problem that is placing us on the brink of disaster. The film details the people and organizations casting doubt on climate science and claims that greenhouse gases are not affected by human behavior. Filmmaker and political activist Craig Rosebraugh, in association with Executive Producer Daryl Hannah, documents the impact of an industry that has continually put profits before people, waged a campaign of lies designed to thwart measures to combat climate change, used its clout to minimize infringing regulations and undermined the political process in the U.S. and abroad.

Millions are spent each year by oil and related interests to fund the think tanks, groups, scientists and politicians waging what the film deems a campaign of deceit regarding the science of climate change and its dire impact on the planet. Between 1998 and 2012, “Greedy Lying Bastards” reports ExxonMobil spent over $27 million to dispel claims of global warming. The Koch brothers, who run the conglomerate Koch Industries, also provide significant funding. From 1997 through 2012, they spent over $67 million.

A far different story about climate change is told by the residents of Kivalina, a small Alaskan island above the Arctic Circle. Over the last fifty years, winter temperatures have risen nearly seven degrees and the ice that once protected the land is not forming properly leading to increasing erosion. As one tribal administrator notes: “The debate is over, we are dealing with the realities of climate change.”

“Greedy Lying Bastards” also presents a shocking analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Citizens United. According to the film, not only did this 2010 ruling pave the way for unlimited corporate contributions to political campaigns, but additionally it highlighted the blatant corruption of the country’s highest Court and its cozy relationship with top corporate interests.

Filmed in the US, Tuvalu, Peru, England, Uganda, Kenya, Belgium, Denmark and Germany, “Greedy Lying Bastards” includes interviews with scientists, industry experts, international political delegates, and people impacted by the changing climate as well as deniers. Among them: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon; Rep. Henry Waxman (CA); former EPA head Christine Todd Whitman; top U.S. climate scientists Dr. Pieter Tans (NOAA), Dr. Mark Serreze (NOAA), Dr. Kevin Trenberth (NCAR), former President of Copenhagen Climate Summit COP15 Connie Hedegaard, UN Environmental Program Executive Director Achim Steiner, leading climate science skeptics Myron Ebell, Christopher Monckton, and Jay Lehr, and victims of the 2012 wildfires and drought in the U.S.

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Yes, please try this at home!

It’s amazing the confusion that accompanies climate change questions. That’s partly because it is a complex subject. So it’s not surprising that people can make glaring mistakes.

Here’s one, though, that’s easy to get your head around by a simple experiment you can do at home. It relates to the question of melting of the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. David Attenborough covered this in the last episode of “The Frozen Planet” screened here recently. His point – that global warming could cause loss of this land ice into the sea leading to dramatic increases in sea level.

Of course, this gets denied by the climate change deniers.  I came across one recently who suggested an experiment to prove Attenborough wrong:

” I can only suggest that every one do the following experiment. Take one half glass of water. Add two or three ice cubes. On the outside of the glass mark the level of the water. Leave for a few hours until the ice has melted entirely. Note the water level compared with the mark.”

Well, yes. Think about it – look at the image. Melting those ice cubes is not going to make much difference to the water level is it? Most of their volume is already under water and there already contributing to the water level.

This is why melting of floating icebergs due to global warming will have a relatively small effect.

But that’s not what Attenborough was talking about.

His comments related to movement of ice from the ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica into the sea. Partly from melting. But also from sliding of the ice sheet in Greenland as the water melt lubricates the ice/rock junction. And in Antarctica the fear is that warmer sea temperatures will diminish the effect of pack ice restraining glacier ice from moving into the sea. In both cases the problem arises from addition of land ice to the sea.

So here’s the proper experiment:

Take one half glass of water. On the outside of the glass mark the level of the water. Now add your three ice cubes. Leave for a few hours until the ice has melted entirely. Note the water level compared with the mark.”

Or even quicker.

Note the water level immediately after addition of the ice cubes!

Think about it! Try it at home.

Footnote: Much of the research on mechanisms of movement of these land ice sheets into the sea is relatively new. many of the current findings were jsut not available during preparation of the 1987 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.  Consequently the concern is that the effects of climate warming may be greater than estimated by that review.