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Review: A timely debate on global warming

Although Craig Rosebraugh takes no prisoners in his cogent look at the climate change debate, 'Greedy Lying Bastards,' longtime followers of the topic may not find much new or revealing here.

March 07, 2013|By Gary Goldstein
  • A scene from "Greedy Lying Bastards."
A scene from "Greedy Lying Bastards." (Handout )

Having given his film a title like "Greedy Lying Bastards," director Craig Rosebraugh is clearly out to take no prisoners in his timely documentary tracking the politics, inconvenient truths and alternative "realities" of the endless global warming debate.

Yet, despite his cogent finger-pointing, nifty graphs and succinct highlighting of recent climate change history, longtime followers of the hyper-partisan topic may not find much terribly new or revealing here.

Rosebraugh, doing his Michael Moore thing both in front of and behind the camera (though he's hardly as commanding a presence), pinpoints the ostensibly cozy alliance among U.S. lawmakers, the fossil fuel industry, lobbying groups and deep-pocketed donors such as the billionaire Koch brothers.

PHOTOS: Hollywood backlot moments

En route there are views of the fallout from Superstorm Sandy, Colorado wildfires and the Dust Bowl drought — disasters that some link to global warming — plus visits to Kivalina, Alaska, and the South Pacific's Tuvalu, two spots particularly imperiled by rising seas.

An eclectic host of climate change experts and advocates soberly weigh in as well. Fox News, the George W. Bush administration and the U.S. Supreme Court (by way of its Citizens United ruling) are provocatively taken to task. But archival footage and interview bits from a brazen bunch of climate-change deniers, reportedly paid by oil-business interests to sell doubt by distorting science and confusing the public, provide the film's most vexing red meat.

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'Greedy Lying Bastards.' Rated PG-13 for brief strong language. Running time: 1 hour, 29 minutes. In select theaters.

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