What do you get when you cross 60 Minutes with Deadliest Catch and An Inconvenient Truth? Years of Living Dangerously, the soon-to-be-released Showtime documentary series on climate. It’s gonna sizzle.
The 8-part series, backed by James Cameron and the legendary Hollywood producer Jerry Weintraub, will begin airing on April 13. Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars (Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Olivia Munn, Harrison Ford) are the celebrity reporters, covering the stories that get at the human truth of the climate crisis. Ace journalists like Tom Friedman, Lesley Stahl, and Chris Hayes will contribute. Great journalism will meet compelling TV, taking climate communication to a new level.
So, There Will Be Eyeballs. But that’s not the only reason why I’m so excited about this show. Having followed the effort for over a year now, I think they’re tapping into something big and powerful: the huge dissonance between what we know about climate disruption and how we’re responding. They’ve been digging, digging at the roots of denial, the vast underground maze of hiding places where we’ve sheltered our consciences from the collective failure to protect our kids’ future. They will shine a light on some things that just can’t stand the light. The effect, I think, will be jarring but not demoralizing; it will push us forward toward an honest reckoning, and a stronger commitment to overcome the obstacles to solutions.
One of the eight segments will follow Washington Governor Jay Inslee and his climate leadership exploits through his first year in office. It’ll show some of the obstacles he’s faced and profile the region’s heroic struggle against the coal industry’s desperate attempt to turn Cascadia into a coal export hub. The Governor will join us and we’ll feature the show at our big annual Climate Solutions breakfast, on May 19 in Seattle.
In addition to setting a new bar for entertainment and information value, the show will include something that was conspicuously lacking from previous climate blockbusters – a smart, ambitious public engagement strategy. Content will be distributed in a wide variety of social and other media forms, and viewers will be invited to become part of the solution. Even if you’re not a Showtime subscriber, stay tuned……