Mark Your April Calendar: Years Of Living Dangerously

Update August 19: The series won an Emmy for "Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series" – it will be available on DVD September 7, and Amazon has begun taking preorders.

Mark your calendars for April to watch Showtime’s Years Of Living Dangerously, an 8-part series on climate change that shows peoples’ personal experiences and solutions from around the world.

Series Premiere: Sun, April 13 at 10 PM EST/PST (one-hour)  

Last week, Obama was interviewed for the film. He will talk about his understanding of climate science and his thoughts on appropriate policy.   

Joe Romm, who serves as Chief Science Editor, has been reviewing the segments for technical accuracy. "I’ve been blown away by just how visually and narratively compelling the show is," he says. "It is not just going to be a landmark climate change series, it is going to be a landmark television series, like Ken Burns’ The Civil War.

The 8-part series is produced by James Cameron (Avatar), Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Weintraub along with Emmy-winning  60 Minutes producers. 
It is filmed in places around the world, from the fast-melting Greenland ice sheet to forests burning in Indonesia and the western US.

Schwarzenegger says the film attempts to bridge the gap on the crucial question: Why isn’t climate change resonating strongly with the public despite all the warnings from scientists. 

"A scientist will never get the attention of an actor," added Schwarzenegger. "I always felt there was a communication gap in bringing ordinary people in and making them part of the movement. I think the environmental movement only can be successful if it’s simple and clear and makes it a human story."

Journalists like Chris Hayes, Lesley Stahl, and Tom Friedman and celebrities like Matt Damon (Promised Land), Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford provide gripping reports of people affected by, and seeking solutions to, climate change, says Romm.

All the people working on the film are known for their concern and commitment on climate change and the environment.

The project combines "the epic and passionate styles of Hollywood’s top filmmakers with Bach and Gelber’s reporting expertise to reveal critical stories of heartbreak, hope and heroism as the race to save the planet continues," say the producers.

Executive Producer David Gelber – veteran producer of 60 Minutes – says they approached other networks to carry the documentary and some were afraid for political reasons, showing the widespread poisoning impact of anti-science conservative rhetoric, he told The Hollywood Reporter. Showtime took it on because it doesn’t have to appeal to advertisers and can therefore carry controversial films, Showtime Networks’ president of entertainment David Nevins told the paper.

"We’ll make it exciting," says Cameron. "We’ll make it investigative. We’ll bring people the truth.  And people are always hungry for the truth." (except if they watch Fox). 

Some of the topics covered:

  • How Climate Corps is helping corporations up their sustainability
  • Rising sea levels and the environmental impact of natural gas
  • Severe droughts in southwest US
  • Public health issues of heat waves
  • Political obstacles to the growth of wind and solar power
  • Deforestation in Indonesia and the struggle to prevent it
  • How climate change impacts national sovereignty in the Mid East
  • How Super Storm Sandy affected towns and families
  • How Washington State’s governor is prioritizing action on climate change 
  • Circling the globe to see the effects of climate change firsthand
  • Elite firefighters in the western US face a fire season
  • Here’s a trailer:

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