Last week a new climate change documentary came out in the US. It aims to investigate why action to halt climate change has got nowhere, despite the increasingly strong science supporting the need for it. I have hesitated to write about the film, largely because it is called Greedy Lying Bastards.
I don’t have a great deal of respect for those who take fossil fuel money to deny the reality of climate change, but I’m not sure that insulting them in the very title of your movie gets you very far. It takes the worst possible interpretation of climate deniers, shamelessly accusing them of knowingly compounding a falsehood for their own gain. It’s bound to harden sceptical audiences against your message before they’ve even seen your arguments. Isn’t it, if nothing else, just rather rude?
But since the film has been gathering some good press and clearly isn’t a hack job, I visited the website out of curiosity. This is the video that was on the front page of the film’s website.
In it, Christopher Monckton is asked what he thinks about climate scientists who, in the course of their research, have become convinced that climate change is real and man-made. His answer is this:
“Right, the only scientists who are capable of coming to conclusions as barking mad as that are computer modellers. These are typically zitty teenagers sitting in dark rooms with a can of Coca Cola and too many donuts, and playing on their Xbox 360s, and they’re making predictions about the climate.”
At the end of the video, which runs for half a minute, I’d changed my mind. Monckton’s answer is deliberate, articulate, well practised, and utterly, utterly stupid. Since Monckton is clearly not an idiot, it seems that there’s a fairly narrow range of conclusions that can be drawn about him and his motives. So while insulting people who don’t agree with me is not something I would do myself, I’m going to give filmmaker Craig Scott Rosebraugh the benefit of the doubt about his choice of title. Let’s hope it finds an audience.