Tag: Oil industry

Merchants of Doubt

March 3rd, 2015 — 12:43am

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Merchants of Doubt-sp

At the beginning of the film, we meet a magician who is performing at the Los Angeles’ venue called the Magic Castle. He relates how magicians deceive and misdirect as they perform. This, of course, is the metaphor for the work of the people we meet in this film. They work for various industries such as the Food, Tobacco and Oil Corporations. Although most of the time this fact is concealed from the public, they do deceive and misdirect in how they do it. And the fact that they do it is the amazing story of this documentary film. It is directed and produced by Robert Kenner, who also made the film Food Inc, the behind-the-scene story of the food industry. This time, Mr. Kenner mostly focuses his attention on global warming. It has become clear that the scientific community almost unanimously believes that the products of carbon dioxide create a blanket over the Earth’s environment that is causing global warming. The consequences are quite dire for the world in the next 50 years. Already, we are seeing a melting of the Arctic icecap with potential flooding of our coastal cities, colder winters and warmer summers. Before the civilized world can come together and address these serious problems, there is a group of seemingly knowledgeable spokespersons who appear to respectfully offer another viewpoint and explanation for the presence of global warming. However, these people are secretly paid by the oil industry to create uncertainty. Now is the time for action but these people are “merchants of doubt” and are highly effective in delaying, diverting and obscuring that fact and the need for action. They employ the same tactics that the cigarette industry had used to delay the recognition of the fact that nicotine is addictive and that cigarettes cause cancer. This is an amazing story, and interestingly enough, it comes from “the horse’s mouth” as much of it is directly told by the slick, well-spoken people who are operating at the bidding of the corporations who have paid them in defiance of the truth established by the scientific community. In the past when the companies in the tobacco industry were finally discovered to be deceiving the public, they were ordered by the court to inform the public of the truth about cigarettes and also to reveal that they were knowingly deceiving the public. The truth about cigarettes is now on every cigarette box and in advertisements, but we have yet to see statements from climate change deniers admitting that they have lied to the public. We can only hope that the necessity for these confessions of deceit will be forced upon those responsible for misleading the public about global warming. We also hope that a large number of people will see this film so that the truth will prevail.(2015)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Documentary

The Freedom

August 12th, 2011 — 6:18am


the Freedom- sp– This is a very important film but it is not yet ready for prime time. The version we were shown is not the final cut as the filmmakers Josh and Rebecca Harrell Tickell are still tweaking this film. We hope it will be pared down a little and the message focused and sharpened.  The premise of this documentary is that there need not be a. hopeless dependency on oil in the United States. The answer is that with determination and fortitude, as was shown by our forefathers in the founding of our country and in dealing with so many other crises, we can free ourselves from the ever increasing obligation and desperate need for foreign oil. Furthermore, that we can do this without doing the “drill baby drill “ thing in our own land and water nor do we have to utilize the ever dangerous nuclear power . The film proclaims that we can  solve our energy problems by primarily using ethanol and other biodegradable energy sources. They attack the arguments that experts have made that say that ethanol takes food away from human, emits more greenhouse gases than gasoline. They show that it can even be made from waste and compared to gasoline is cleaner burning and reduces every single tailpipe emission. They make these type of arguments over and over again and use numerous people such as former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, as well as US Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack and many others.  They make their case that we can do this and that we must do it. So this is an attempt at a strong educational documentary, which basically says we have been misled in this country by the right, the left and mainly by the ever present, ever powerful oil industry. They show how the oil industry argument can be taken apart whether it is made by their expert spokesperson or by a Professor at Cornell who doesn’t really think that Ethanol is the answer. So this is also a call for change, a call for banding together and a call for action. Unfortunately, this is the frustrating part of this movie. Assuming that you buy their argument or most of it, what are we to do? It is fine that we see the filmmakers driving around in their Ethanol burning vehicle. We are briefly told that for $80 we can buy a device for our car that will allow us to use various grades of Ethanol that are now available at some gas stations. This will “probably” be less expensive than regular gas. OK, I want to do it and try it but please tell me more about it and reassure me that it is safe for my car. Let’s start a movement so everyone who sees the film will do this and give us a sticker for our car that says we are part of the new movement (and publicize your film). There is no such energy coming from the film and I couldn’t even find more information about how to do this on their website which at the end of the film said if you want more information go to www.thefreedomfilm.com. The website  has some educational things but is mainly there to  publicize the film . We are also told in the film that we need to grow our own food, use solar energy and this will complement our new use of Ethanol. Jump to their web site – there is no data on joining the new “ Victory Garden Club” movement and no data and charts about costs and savings if we climb aboard with alternate energy. I know this is just a documentary film. It is really one voice against a very strong and persistent voice of the oil industry. However, I feel for the film to be successful it has to fully identify with the movement and try to jump-start the flow to Ethanol, which they claim is essential. For every one person who is moved to action by this movie, they will talk to at least ten people about what they are doing and that is how you get a buzz on the energy front and for this movie.

Comment » | 3 Stars, Documentary

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