The new Showtime global warming documentary is a non fiction thriller which includes some of the biggest names in Hollywood and is coming on screens this weekend. Nine-part documentary called Years of Living Dangerously is trying to present the human impact on environment and consequences of global warming. The documentary is produced by James Cameron and its first episode, called Praying for Rain will air on April 13. Cameron invited many big Hollywood names to participate in the documentary, including Harrison Ford, Jessica Alba, Matt Damon, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Don Cheadle and Michael C. Hall. Cameron says that the documentary is about survival and that it is time to tell the story because it is the biggest story of our time.
In first episode, Praying for Rain, Don Cheadle travels to Plainview, Texas. People who are living there are coping with economic crisis due to long-lasting drought. The meat processing plant Cargill Inc, which provided job for most of the citizens, was forced to cease processing. Among other things, Cheadle talks to one of the fired employees who is going through hard times and firmly believes that he is witnessing “biblical drought.” The documentary also includes experts who give their opinion. In this episode, Katharine Hayohe, professor at Texas Tech University, tries to explain circumstances which caused drought and also remind people, that increasing temperatures affect their jobs, food and health.
The documentary will air Sundays on Showtime and each upcoming episode will host one Hollywood star. Harrison Ford will investigate deforestation and difficult situation of orangutans in the jungles of Indonesia. Arnold Schwarzenegger will battle wildfires in California and discover a hidden secret that may be even a bigger danger to national forests than fire. Matt Damon will be examining the heat wave consequences. “The devastation of the planet which we will witness over the next century is unimaginable for most people. I believe that this documentary can present the facts in a humane way and make them more real and tangible,” said James Cameron.
Aside from the obvious, recruitment of Hollywood faces to highlight the pressing problems has other advantages. When Harrison Ford traveled to Indonesia and demanded answers from the local environment minister and president, the meetings attracted international attention. “If viewers get to hear actors enumerating sobering facts, their words may enshrine in them, as they would not otherwise,” said Michael C. Hall, who travelled to Bangladesh where nation is threatened by the rising sea levels. Cameron added that the only way to changes is by changing the legislation.
In relation to issues of global warming, the documentary will also give a word to the skeptics. From Citizens of Texas, who believe that drought is God’s punishment, to the scientists who claim that warming is a natural process in the life of the planet. Although the Hollywood star power is quite substantial, the question is how much will the viewers learn about global warming from the upcoming documentary. “People think that global warming is about the melting of glaciers and polar bears,” says Cameron. “It is quite wrong. This is a 100 percent human story.”
By Janette Verdnik