by Patrick Morency
After watching Showtime’s Years of Living Dangerously, my friends and I spoke about the movie and what we thought of it. We then found out it was a series and proceeded to watch a couple more episodes. It was that good!
The basic premise of the show was to raise awareness about climate change, which directly connects to the idea of sustainability. Just as the earth is a working system that needs checks and balances, so do the species that occupy the planet. Exploiting nature has its consequences, climate change being a big one.
The part that stood out most to me was the political misinformation and ignorance of not only foreign officials, but also our own representatives. The description of the way climate change is addressed in political campaigns really left me disappointed. The idea that elected officials purposely mislead people just to gain office is a difficult pill to swallow. Another thing that stood out was how the climate scientist from Texas was bridging the gap between religion and science, and having success spreading the message to the Christian rite. That was very fulfilling.
I watched the series with a couple of friends who knew little about the past and future impacts of climate change, but the film is adept at bringing the ugly reality of climate change to the forefront and opening up discussion by putting real scientific information in terms that people from all walks of life and all corners of the globe can understand. I was interested to see how my friends would react to the new information. It was great to see them react in a positive way. They got the message, loud and clear. At the end of the film, my friends said they were going to check their cupboards for palm oil and make an effort not to buy it after seeing the deforestation caused by palm oil production in Indonesia. For me, on the other hand, the show was really only a refresher, although I was unaware and pleased to hear of the successful efforts happening in Texas to increase acceptance of climate change among those who had opposed it on religious grounds.
Through working with the Energy Challenge, I have come to appreciate the ability of outreach to open up honest discussion about climate change that is founded on facts and science . This sort of discussion is crucial. It is only when people are fully informed and thus aware of the gravity of the situation that major change can occur.