Showtime Premieres Star-Studded Climate Change Documentary

The entire universe in blog form
March 28 2014 7:30 AM

Years of Living Dangerously

years of living dangerously
With climate change, those years are now.

Photo by Showtime, from the documentary trailer

I’ve been saying for a long time that to communicate science effectively, we need to connect with people. Scientists have a habit of just relaying facts to each other, since that’s how nature itself works. But people don’t work that way at all, and just reciting facts doesn’t work.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

If we want to connect with people, especially over the sound and fury of the anti-science noise machine, we need to be passionate. We need to be emotional. And we need to tell the human story.

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That’s exactly what it looks like Showtime is doing with its new big-budget eight-part series Years of Living Dangerously, which will show the impact of climate change on our planet. It looks phenomenal, gorgeously shot, and features journalists and celebrities who travel the world to investigate what we’re doing to our planet. Among the people in it are Jessica Alba, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lesley Stahl, and Thomas L. Friedman.

This isn’t a fluff piece, from what I can tell: Their science adviser team includes scientists Michael Mann, Katharine Hayhoe, James Hansen, and Joe Romm, among other top-flight climatologists.*

They’ve also set up a really nice website with more information, including links to the stories they cover and the science of climate change. The trailer looks great, and there’s also a version of it on YouTube:

The Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media has more information about the series as well.

I very much want to see this, and I hope it gets watched far and wide. With temperatures rising, extreme weather becoming the norm, temperature records being broken faster than ever, and the polar ice melting, we need this. And we need it now.

The series premiers Sunday, April 13.

By the way, the full version of the IPCC report comes out this Sunday. Be prepared for more noise than ever from the usual suspects.

Tip o’ the popcorn bucket to the NCSE.

*Correction, March 28, 2014: This post originally misspelled the last name of scientist Katharine Hayhoe.

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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