Soon or later, we see the black dragon behind our oil addiction. These are the megacorporations who span the world. They have private armies of security men, and the biggest military in the world behind them. They own politicians, private jets, and maybe a few countries.
But the most potent weapon in the arsenal of Big Oil is the river of money available for public relations. Advertising soothes us, movie placements make us want more, the oil industry is the subtle pusher, who keeps us addicted, keeps us coming back to the pumps, keeps us buying plastic products, and oil-based foods.
If only someone could tell it like it is.
That would be Craig Rosebraugh. Don't be fooled by the technical sounding name of his upcoming film. "Greedy Lying Bastards" is no puff piece for the industry.
Craig Rosebraugh - film maker, academic, writer, and activist. Craig is highly educated, Masters and has Law Degree. The Co-writer is Patrick Gambuti Jr.
Craig is the film-maker, director, and occasional actor in the new film "Greedy Lying Bastards" to be released in 2012. A rough cut has just been submitted to the Sun Dance film festival.
This is a no-holds barred film about "the power and dominance of the fossil fuel industry." The project started two and a half years ago, going to 14 countries on 5 continents. It covers the poisonous results of spills, corruption, and climate change caused by oil burning.
Some of the locations are Tuvalu (which will disappear as a country due to rising seas), to Uganda (now plagued by droughts and floods), and Peru (where melting glaciers threaten the only water supply for millions). There is also the Niger Delta, where children swim in the goo from oil pollution, and a prominant activist was murdered.
Craig covers a lot of the damage from the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster.
He finds people who cannot get medical care because Gulf doctors are so dependent on oil company business. Many businesses were wrecked. A group of four Florida tourists became sick swimming in oil and chemical dispersants. One died. A lot of Gulf coverage.
We hear about BP claims processing problems, after the big PR campaign by BP. Initial payouts of $5000 per person. Interim payments have been the problem, as losses continued. Only 16% of interim claims have been paid out so far.
Case: Steven Aguanaga, went to Fla Gulf Coast at beachfront hotel in summer of 2010. No sign of contamination. Hotel told them beach was safe, went swimming one afternoon - came back covered with an orange goo. All four in party felt ill. Steven's friend went back in, felt sick, Merrick Valian died within three weeks. Aguanaga continues to have symptoms of chemical exposure.
Case: Mississipi Shirley Tillman and husband very ill after a direct hit of dispersant, out on a boat helping to clean up the oil. Although they protected their grandson Gavin, no beaches for him, no water contact, but got sicker than rest of family. Got it likely from the air.
Case: Clayton Mathern, Louisiana. Clayton out on water half a mile from the rig when it exploded, on a supply ship. In addition to smoke from burning rig, Clayton was covered in dispersant sprayed from the air. Hospitalized several times. During Craig's interview, he was rushed to the hospital. Diagnosed with paralysis in one of his legs.
Few doctors will treat this toxicity. Some doctors turned away patients when BP chemicals were found to be the source of the problem. Doctors themselves are dependent on the industry and it's suppliers. They also fear the litigation, with the huge legal budget BP has.
BP is not paying the medical costs of ongoing toxic health problems. The company made an announcement in November 2010 that they would not pay for medical treatments
resulting from the spill. They didn't want to acknowledge there was a problem.
The only option left is to try and sue BP - but these are lower income and poor people with no money for lawyers.
Craig interviews people like Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General; Henry Waxman Congressman from California; former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Witman; top scientists from all over the world; and individuals impacted from communities around the world.
He also includes some statements by climate change sceptics.
What emerges is the cost of our deep addiction to fossil fuels and a hope to inspire people to change.
TESTING POLLUTED SEA FOOD
Film makers did their own tests about safety of seafood. They tested shrimp, sand and water. Shrimp was 10 times higher than levels set by Fed Government and BP after the spill.
Oil pollution in Gulf shrimp was found ten times higher than allowed by the EPA. But it is still sold nationally.
At time of Exxon Valdez spill safe level was set at 11 parts per billion in seafood. Then gov't and BP raised "safety" level 45,000 times higher to 500 parts per million, after the BP Deep Water Horizon spill.
Sea food buyers are relying only on smell tests(!) done by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Scientists used their noses to smell levels of hydrocarbons in fish.
"Gulf seafood is still contaminated and ending up in our U.S. food supply." -Craig Rosebraugh said.
Why so many sceptics shown in the film? So many pseudo debates on whether climate change is happening, despite majority of Academies say argument is over.
The fossil fuel industry is the force behind deniers, buying deniers, media, and scientists. They want to create confusion and doubt.
Deniers are buried by their own voices. "Dirty Lying Bastards" covers the industry's PR campaign. Two of worst are ExxonMobil and Koch Industries. In last decade each spent nearly 25 million dollars just funding climate denial campaigns.
HOW CAN WE CHANGE
Forming a new economy. Even the energy companies could convert and make money, but don't. Big oil companies have showcase projects to use in advertisments, but don't plow the investments into making it real. This film shows their investments in renewables are miniscule compared to what they spend on finding and developing more oil.
@dirtylyingbast is Twitter url The film is also on Facebook.
The oil industry will not/can not regulate itself. Profits are too big a draw. The industry needs an outside government agency. Will Congress do anything?
Plus: we must change ourselves.