Dangerous
April 7, 2014 2:02 PM   Subscribe

Years of Living Dangerously is a star-studded 9-part investigative documentary on the real impacts of global warming around the world. The first episode will air on April 13, but it is now freely available online (first link, 1-hour). Series backers and producers include James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Globe says it's "a lavish, gripping production focused on the real effect of climate change in real people’s lives around the world."
posted by stbalbach (35 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
Star-studded and investigative are mutually exclusive terms. "In one scene, there was Schwarzenegger in a hazard suit and hardhat, marching through a forest devastated by fire."
Segments from the show are slated to include the following:


Alba reports on how Climate Corps fellows work to make the corporate sector more environmentally friendly;
Bittman investigates rising sea levels and the environmental impact of producing natural gas;
Cheadle reports on the severe droughts in the Southwest United States;
Damon explores the public health issues raised by heat waves;
Ferrera reports on the political obstacles to the growth of wind and solar power;
Ford visits Indonesia to learn about deforestation and the struggle to prevent it;
Thomas Friedman investigates how climate change impacts national sovereignty in the Middle East;
Hall travels to Bangladesh to see how climate change will impact the rest of the world in the coming decades;
Chris Hayes reports on how Super Storm Sandy affected towns and families;
Munn follows the new governor of Washington State, who is making the fight against global warming a top priority;
M. Sanjayan circles the globe to see the effects of climate change firsthand;
Schwarzenegger accompanies a team of elite firefighters in Western U.S. forests as they face the destructive fire season;
Somerhalder follows the daughter of Evangelical preacher Rick Joyner, as she tries to persuade congregations and preachers in North Carolina (including her father) to join the fight against global warming; and
Stahl visits Greenland to view the effect of rising temperatures melting the arctic ice sheet.

Stunts are created for celebrities to show concern on camera. I'm sure that all these shoots recycled and were very conscious of their energy footprints.
posted by Ideefixe at 2:13 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


This will finally convince conservatives to take action!
posted by slater at 2:16 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, why do anything when we can't fix everything!
posted by hat_eater at 2:22 PM on April 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


Ideefixe: Stunts are created for celebrities to show concern on camera. I'm sure that all these shoots recycled and were very conscious of their energy footprints.

The energy consumption inherent in a project like this is insignificant compared to the potential benefits of increasing public awareness of this issue and political support for measures to combat global warming. And if we don't eventually get political support for countermeasures, it doesn't really matter how much energy we use now; we'll eventually end up in the worst-case scenario.

I really dislike the idea that any force for change must embrace complete ideological purity all throughout the process. To be honest, I think much of the time, this idea comes from a general opposition to change, since trying to conform to ideology all of the time usually just results in paralysis and inaction.
posted by Mitrovarr at 2:23 PM on April 7, 2014 [36 favorites]


I make it a policy to leave two positive comments on YouTube for every threadshit I leave here.

Net-net, I'm making the Internet a better place.
posted by notyou at 2:24 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


They could've digitally added Predator stalking Schwarzenegger in the background and it wouldn't have hurt their credibility in my eyes as much as associating themselves with Thomas Friedman.
posted by indubitable at 2:24 PM on April 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


I'm sure that all these shoots recycled and were very conscious of their energy footprints.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to wash my hands of responsibility for global warming. I want to get something done about it.

Handwashing's for the Pontius Pilates of our day.
posted by ocschwar at 2:33 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm sure that all these shoots recycled and were very conscious of their energy footprints.

Man you are REALLY making the perfect be the enemy of the good.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 2:42 PM on April 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Surely this...
posted by chavenet at 2:48 PM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yes! Finally something that will get people to sit down and watch TV for a change.
posted by perhapses at 2:54 PM on April 7, 2014


This wouldn't gotten so much more exposure if it didn't have celebrities in it.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:58 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


And it wouldn't have appeared as familiar if they hadn't included that many Apple products.
posted by klue at 3:00 PM on April 7, 2014


I do wish I could hug a baby orangutan.
posted by perhapses at 3:02 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


re: 'conservatives', here's the WSJ (editorial page) response to the new IPCC report:
All of this vindicates what we wrote about the 2007 report: "Beware claims that the science of global warming is settled." It also suggests an IPCC toning down the end-is-nigh rhetoric that typified its past climate warnings: "Vulnerability is rarely due to a single cause." In other words, humanity has lots of problems, climate change being one of them. And as with other problems, humanity will cope and adapt.

All good, which makes it even more of a pity that the authors venture from cautious climate science into the most politically correct forms of political science. "Existing gender inequalities are increased or heightened by climate-related hazards," says the report, while dilating on the deleterious effects global warming has on "discrimination based on gender, age, race, class, caste, indigeneity, and (dis)ability."

The IPCC also turns out to have an agenda that's less about climate change than income inequality and redistribution. What else given the liberal fashions of the day? "Recognizing how inequality and marginalization perpetuate poverty is a prerequisite for climate-resilient development pathways," the IPCC insists, before suggesting that the costs for "global adaptation" should run between $70 billion and $100 billion a year from now until 2050.

So adaptation funding needs to be "orders of magnitude greater than current investment levels, particularly in developing countries." If one Solyndra wasn't enough, try underwriting thousands of them. Preferably in third-world countries. For those who suspect that the purported threat of global warming is really a vehicle of convenience for reviving the discredited economics of the 1970s, this IPCC report will serve as Exhibit A.

Then again, if you believe that the risks of climate change are sufficiently plausible that we should at least be considering an insurance policy of sorts, then the IPCC's policy recommendations could hardly be worse. The best environmental policy is economic growth. The richer you are, the more insurance you have. Wealth is what pays for robust safety standards and prevents sensible environmental regulations from being ignored or corrupted.

Yet the IPCC supports the very regulation, income redistribution and politically favored misallocation of resources that will make the world poorer—and less able to adapt if the climate threat proves to be as real as the U.N.'s computer models claim.
for a refresher on what the new IPCC report sez:
  1. The warming is unequivocal.
  2. Humans caused the majority of it.
  3. The warming is largely irreversible.
  4. Most of the heat is going into the oceans.
  5. Current rates of ocean acidification are unprecedented.
  6. We have to choose which future we want very soon.
  7. To stay below 2°C of warming, the world must become carbon negative.
  8. To stay below 2°C of warming, most fossil fuels must stay buried in the ground.
also btw...
-German Energy Push Runs Into Problems
-Ukraine spotlights Germany's nuclear power switch
posted by kliuless at 3:11 PM on April 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


Regarding #8, ExxonMobil recently said, "When you pry our cold, dead fingers from the gas pump."
posted by perhapses at 3:18 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh brother.
posted by jpe at 3:55 PM on April 7, 2014


My first reaction is that deniers will latch on to all of these celebrities' luxury lifestyles and accuse them of hypocrisy. "Al Gore Flies in Jets" syndrome.

My second reaction is that no matter what anyone does deniers will latch on to some trivial nonsense, so fuck it. Go, celebrities! Go!
posted by brundlefly at 4:05 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Wow that wsj article.

That's not real, right? It's from The Onion?

People don't just think the climate change is about tree huggers getting their undies in a bunch, they actually think it's a massive conspiracy to take away their money and power?

I don't care about their money and power. I would like everyone to have clean water and air. Wooooo, conspiracy. Look out....
posted by sio42 at 4:26 PM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


they actually think it's a massive conspiracy to take away their money and power?

Rush Limbaugh was saying this back when he had a TV show. In the nineties.

Thing is, then he was just Rush Limbaugh, now it's the WSJ editorial page espousing these fringe/crackpot interpretations.

I would like everyone to have clean water and air.

What if we create a better world for nothing?
posted by dhartung at 5:58 PM on April 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yeah but the powers that be remain unconvinced, and the folks who think it's a giant conspiracy have enough of a foothold in the media that they have a constituency.

Here's a short article/polemic by Philip Mirowski that gives a big-picture history of Economics view of how denialism works at the highest levels, and explains some of the forces behind it:

Neoliberalism is a coherent political movement embodied in the institutional history of the global network of think tanks: the American Enterprise Institute, the Cato Institute, the Institute of Economic Affairs, the Institute of Public Affairs (the key Australian node of the network) and their dedicated spin-off counter-science think tanks. All can be traced back to the Mont Pelerin Society, the central think tank of the neoliberal counter-revolution, founded in 1947 by Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman.

Mirowski goes into more of the detail and history in this talk from last year called "The Biopolitics of the Biosphere Crisis".

He's done a lot of work to back this stuff up, and I think the dimensions of what he's talking about are so large and well-hidden that it's hard to imagine how pervasive the neoliberal support of climate denialism really is.
posted by sneebler at 7:52 PM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


My first reaction is that deniers will latch on to all of these celebrities' luxury lifestyles and accuse them of hypocrisy. "Al Gore Flies in Jets" syndrome.

Heck, it was basically the first comment in this very thread.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:20 PM on April 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


The best environmental policy is economic growth.

With a strong enough economy you can provide a perfectly wonderful artificial environment... for those who count (aka WSJ subscribers).
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:10 PM on April 7, 2014


I'm pretty sure every 1st world person could half the amount of energy they use in a day and actually increase their quality of life.
posted by any major dude at 10:41 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


This will finally convince conservatives to take action!

This Is What the GOP's War On Science Looks Like
posted by homunculus at 12:35 AM on April 8, 2014




Stunts are created for celebrities to show concern on camera. I'm sure that all these shoots recycled and were very conscious of their energy footprints.
Ideefixe

How very appropriate; somewhat stuck in time are we?


i•dée fixe (i deɪ ˈfiks)
n.

pl. i•dées fixes (i deɪ ˈfiks)
a persistent or obsessing idea, often delusional, that in extreme form can be a symptom of psychosis. Also called fixed idea.

*sorry, but it had to be done*
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 12:42 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've seen this before again.
posted by vicx at 1:54 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]




So proud. A good friend of mine from HS worked on this project. Can't wait to watch.
posted by PuppyCat at 6:16 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]




From th 3rd link: Visit the websites of the neutrally named Cornell Energy Institute, MIT MITD +6.45% Energy Initiative and Penn Center for Energy Innovation, and you would think you were looking at algore.com

Um, yes. When I was an undergrad at MIT in the 1990's, it was the left that was antiscience. These days, at MIT "republican" is the same term of abuse "postmodernist" used to be in my day, and for the same fucking reason.

Take a hint, GOP.
posted by ocschwar at 10:51 AM on April 8, 2014


re: 'conservatives', here's the WSJ (editorial page) response to the new IPCC report:

More WSJ fun: Here Is the Crazy Wall Street Journal Anti-Science Op-Ed of the Day
posted by homunculus at 4:15 PM on April 8, 2014


So, I'm finally watching the first episode. All the people they show from west Texas, suffering from drought conditions that have wreaked havoc on the cattle herds and thrown many of their neighbors out of work, apparently think that there's no such thing as anthropogenic climate change.

So… we've got that going for us. Which is nice.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:07 PM on April 14, 2014


Although, watching further, there are people there fighting the good fight and trying to bring the truth that faith and science aren't mutually exclusive to the people that need to hear it most. To paraphrase Don Cheadle, "Accepting antropogenic climate change doesn't mean you have to vote for Obama."

Still, I'm my feelings about the future can be summed by thus: "Not great, Bob!"
posted by ob1quixote at 8:27 PM on April 14, 2014


A Fierce Green Fire
posted by homunculus at 9:29 PM on April 22, 2014


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