Years of Living Dangerously, Years of Opportunity


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Above, watch the trailer for "Years of Living Dangerously" and the panel discussion with Thomas Friedman during the 2014 Spring Meetings. Below, watch the premiere episode. 

Fueled by warmer temperatures and added moisture in the air, a storm system coils like a snake ready to strike. Rising seas stand poised to obliterate shoreline developments and cityscapes. The brown, dry soil of once-verdant farmland threatens food security for millions, all while the number of mouths to feed grows. Wildfires rage and burning peat lands belch black carbon and greenhouse gases into our thin shell of an atmosphere.
And that’s how climate change is affecting real people, right now, all over the globe. “Years of Living Dangerously” on SHOWTIME® features an exceptional cast of world-class journalists and celebrity reporters documenting the impact of climate change worldwide. Over nine episodes, we show that climate change is 100% a people story.
World leaders just affirmed the latest in a series of reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Nobel Prize-winning authority on climate science. These reports are uncompromising in their assessment that climate change is real, it’s us, it's now, it's getting worse, and we’re not prepared. The latest report makes clear we have the clean energy technologies to start slashing carbon pollution at very low cost, much lower than the cost of inaction – but the window to act is closing fast.

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and Thomas Friedman at the April 10 event. © Leigh Vogel/Connect for Climate

These are the years of living dangerously. But they are also years of hope. We are the first generation to know that climate change is a clear and present danger, and also the last generation that can stop it. World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim often describes a vision of young children in the future, turning back to their fathers and asking, "Dad, what did you do when you knew?"

Under Kim's leadership the Bank is doing a lot. It has frozen almost all investments in coal-fired power plants and is driving forward renewable energy projects with vigor and determination. It has sparked Connect4Climate, a global campaign and coalition intent on forging solutions to the greatest challenge of our time. A common vision led the World Bank Group to host the D.C. premiere of “Years” on April 10, during its annual Spring Meetings. We congratulate Program Manager Lucia Grenna and the Bank's Connect4Climate team for its passion and professionalism.
These are years of opportunity. Two decades ago we had much more flexibility to solve the climate crisis. But the problem was too abstract to mobilize the kind of public pressure needed to persuade our leaders to make a change – and clean energy technologies were only starting to emerge. Now both climate solutions and climate impacts have arrived. They are concrete and personal. And “Years” is showing just how personal they are.
Our action campaign, Act Now, is building on the climate campaigns of groups like, the Environmental Defense Fund, the League of Conservation Voters, the National Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation, the Sierra Club, and many more. The aim is to revoke the license of leaders to continue business as usual. And this applies with special force to the global powers coming together for the 2015 climate negotiations in Paris. These talks might be the last chance for meaningful action before we cross tipping points we will be powerless to reverse.
For the first time since “An Inconvenient Truth,” we have a media vehicle with the potential to ignite a decisive conversation on climate. The combination of storytelling, star power, and masterful cinematography promises to empower those who are already concerned and engage those who aren’t. This isn't just about landmark television but about growing a global movement. We can and must work together to find solutions. We sincerely hope you watch the show – the biggest story of our time – with your friends and family and take a stand.
Years of Living Dangerously is a nine-part series, airing Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME®.

Join the Conversation

Jed Maitland-Carter
April 30, 2014

Social engineering or technical fix?
Why not both?
The article in the BBC today about land subsidence (sinking) , up to 100mm/year, and sea level rise, up to 10mm/year means we need a technical fix: move sea water around, inland storage, controlled flooding. But the other point in these comments are valid: human behaviour has destructive effects, particularly to ourselves (see So social engineering away from destructive activities and behaviours is necessary to have a survivable model for our peoples.

laila khan
April 25, 2014

Years of Living Dangerously is a brilliant project even if forty odd years late. We have entered the sixth era of extinction, for the first time the anthropocenes responsible for it. The green house gases levels in our air are not sustainable, the damage to our waterways, extinction of species, losses to biodiversity and the ecosystems have to be reversed. Fossil fuels and agriculture are the main culprits; unseen levels of CO2 in the atmosphere resulting in extreme climate conditions that hit the poorer countries GDPs worse, desertification of the Mediterranean areas, loss of glacial sheets in all parts of the planet, deforestation can not continue at such levels if at all. Our world leaders will have to be more transparent, accountable, and farsighted. I look immensely forward to these TV series - should be shown the world over to avoid a point of no return....

amy metzger
April 24, 2014

Jed, this may be plausible but I believe it wiser to cut our dependence of fossil fuels and become a world less concerned with over-abundance. The actions I propose are win-wins. More vegetation (more planted and less destroyed) = a more beautiful world with more carbon dioxide absorbed and less carbon dioxide emitted into the environment. More biking and walking = healthier people and less pollution; carpooling = getting to know people and less pollution; alternatives to fossil fuels = improvement in environment..air, water, etc. All of these will bring about a healthier planet. As James Cameron states above, these are years of opportunity. Let's do it.

Omar Solidum
April 23, 2014

Indeed,our global leaders should address the issues of climate change and global warming seriously and not simply a bench warmers or jet setters, so to speak.

amy metzger
April 23, 2014

Grateful for celebs, scientists and people of faith for their commitment to altering the course of climate change but it's an all hands on deck effort that requires 7 billion +. Those who use the Bible as an excuse for climate change are taking the easy way out to avoid culpability. Christianity and taking care of our planet are not mutually exclusive. Nor is any care of the earth in conflict with any other religion. This film is emotional and incredibly frightening but must be viewed to truly understand what we are facing. Let's use common sense as we go about our daily lives. Reducing our possessions, reducing deforestation, re-forestation, carpooling, using public transport, biking, walking, urban gardening, demanding less reliance on fossil fuels will make a difference. Our future planet will not be hospitable to our children if we don't change course. Climate change affects everything ... agriculture therefore food availability, air quality, water quality and availability...and more. #takeresponsibility #climatechange #ourchildrendeserveit #restoreourplanet #christianity #yearsoflivingdangerously #wecandothis #itsnothatdifficult #dontunderestimatethepowerofone #theoppositeofpovertyisenough #climatechangeisanationalsecurityissue #thestoryofstuff. - a Christian committed to changing this world

Jed Maitland-Carter
April 24, 2014

My thesis is that we can reduce / control oceans rising by pumping sea water into desert areas and maintaining inland sea reservoirs.