Sunday, April 13, 2014

"Years of Living Dangerously"

Climate change is a complex topic and even some of the experts have a difficult time grasping all of the implications.  As the climate changes so does the society and world in which we live.  The most recent findings of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) point out what the science knows and the risks ahead.

Now a documentary series tries to bring the knowledge of climate change to the ordinary person.  It does this by telling the stories of people affected by climate change.  How does degrading the environment affect the world and the food you eat?  How does drought relate to climate change?  What are the risks involved in our future?

These are some of the questions addressed in a new Showtime series airing Sunday, April 13, 2014, at 10 p.m. called “Years of Living Dangerously”.  It is a nine-part series that will address a number of topics related to climate change.

The first episode is already available on the internet at the website .  If you do not get Showtime, you can watch it here.  Below is a discussion on the documentary and climate change from two of the participants in the program on a recent Face The Nation on CBS:

I have seen the first episode and I think it does a very good job of weaving the science into good storytelling.  Anyone viewing this should be able to follow the discussion and I think it will change your world view.  Tom Friedman of the New York Times has discussed how climate change could affect the Middle East for years, yet I was unaware of the extent the drought in Syria affected the conflict there.  If you have not read his book Hot, Flat, and Crowded published in 2008, maybe this series will encourage you to do so.

Some say climate science is a hoax or that it is a religion.  I hope you will listen to Katherine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University.  She is an evangelical Christian as well as a climate scientist and is married to an evangelical minister.  She, along with two hundred evangelical scientists, sent a letter to President Obama last year calling on the administration to address climate change.

Science is non-partisan and it not a religion, yet it has been used for partisan and religious purposes in the past.  Scientists have been charting the effects of our civilization on the environment for decades and the picture is clear.  When you look at the sum of research devoted to climate change the conclusion is clear that it is happening now and we are the primary cause.

I hope you get a chance to view this important series.  Then I hope you will join me Monday, April 21st, at 7 p.m. as I present “Climate Change and South Carolina” at the West Quad building on the campus of the University of South Carolina.  The presentation will draw on much of the information I have already presented on my program Climate Matters.  It is a look at how climate change may affect us in South Carolina and covers topics you may not see in the Showtime series.  The program is part of a meeting with the Sierra Club of South Carolina.