Some are calling the new nine-episode Showtime Series, Years of Living Dangerously, the “The Greatest Story Ever Ignored.” For those of you without cable, the first episode of the series can be streamed for free.
As to the other eight, I am hoping Showtime makes some kind of a streaming deal.
I beg to differ with Vanity Fair’s assessment of climate change stories—that climate change is the most ignored story ever told. The sad part is that many in the media, especially green media, have told the story—repeatedly. Over and over again, various writers and filmmakers have warned the public about the negative effects of what humans are doing the planet. Others call the consequences of climate change, which is already here, the most important story of our lives. Green reporters are often considered biased.
And then there are the climate deniers who point to earth’s natural cycles (which certainly do exist).
It is more than 50 years since publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, a book that documented the dangerous effects of indiscriminate chemical use on birds and the effects on other wildlife, plants and people. The book is said to have led to the founding of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
And Paul Ehrlich’s Population Bomb came out in 1968. Recently, Alan Weisman reprised the sense of Ehrlich’s work with his globe-trotting efforts reported in Countdown. Green Builder wrote about Countdown in December.
Even former vice-president Al Gore, known recently for his 2006 book and film, An Inconvenient Truth was not a first-time climate author.
The subtitle of Inconvenient Truth is “The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It.” As senator, in 1992 Al Gore wrote Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit. The Earth in Balance flyleaf reads, “A passionate defender of the environment for more than 20 years, Al Gore is now convinced that the engines of human civilization have brought us to the brink of catastrophe.” The book spoke of future water shortages and self-stewardship. Chapter 15 was “A Global Marshall Plan” to fix what was broken, which reminded readers of the original Marshall plan’s “common ideological outlook.” that led to rebuilding countries devastated by World War II. Gore’s environmental Global Marshall Plan called for annual environmental summits and for recognition that different countries were in different stages of environmental growth.
Like Ehrlich and more recently Weisman, Gore’s 1992 book reiterated the need for stabilizing world population; we are approaching nearly double the global population of 1992. Gore was worried about feeding 5.5 billion people. We are close to a global population of 10 billion on the way to 11 billion people. Gore called for literacy campaigns and birth control. I could go on, and there are many more authors and cinematographers, but it is clear, global problems and their solutions have been written about and sometimes filmed for generations.
Other writers and filmmakers had tried to shame us with some people’s global greed and selfishness and waste—all to no avail. And, of course, this Green Builder blog is preaching to the choir. Let’s hope the new series with its education and call to action Web site has some positive momentum. It can’t hurt that one of the executive producers is James Cameron and that actor Harrison Ford is one of the correspondents.
Author Elizabeth Kolbert just released her book The Sixth Extinction—that would be us, but I’ll get to why in another blog, because what is more pressing is the Showtime series that began airing Sunday. I also have a book by William B. Innes entitled Climate Con? that I’ll be writing about later, because it is wise to know what the climate deniers think.
The premiere episode of Year of Living Dangerously covers many topics that Green Builder has already told you about. Now there is film—pictures—to go with the stories we’ve told you about Syria and Climate Change and ones about Climate Change.
Of course, we will continue to write about what to do about climate change. We may have to some radical and expensive things, such as dam our ports as has been done in England and the Netherlands, or move communities inland and use other strategies to deal with what can’t be fixed—and as individuals, we can live more harmoniously with our planet and its resources.
Showtime’s docu-series about climate change, "Years of Living Dangerously" premiered and streamed Sunday, April 13 at 10PM ET/PT. It will continue to air at 10PM ET/PT on Sundays for the first four weeks before moving to Monday nights at 8PM ET/PT starting Monday, May 12 for the rest of the season:
Episode 101 – Sunday, April 13 (10PM)
Episode 102 – Sunday, April 20 (10PM)
Episode 103 – Sunday, April 27 (10PM)
Episode 104 – Sunday, May 4 (10PM)
Episode 105 – Monday, May 12 (8PM)
Episode 106 – Monday, May 19 (8PM)
Episode 107 – Monday, May 26 (8PM)
Episode 108 – Monday, June 2 (8PM)Episode 109 – Monday, June 9 (8PM)