Years of Living Dangerously

2014, Environment  -   33 Comments
Ratings: 7.54/10 from 74 users.

Years of Living Dangerously is a 9-part documentary concentrating on the climate alteration. James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub and Arnold Schwarzenegger are executive producers of this series and the episodes promote celebrity "detectives", who travel to regions around the world hit by global warming to consult professionals and "commoners" and analyze the effects of climate change.

In this first episode Harrison Ford gets to fly on a jet that was originally designed for war. Now NASA's using it for a peaceful mission, but the stakes are just as high. Their task is to collect air samples that measure greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the main cause of climate change.

For over 20 years, he's served on the board of conservation international. So this isn't the first time he's worried about threats to our planet. But this is a chance for him to see up close how scientists study climate change... and what it all means.

A three-year drought devastated the cattle herd in Texas. In many places, something like a drought is seen as an act of god, or part of a natural cycle. But where Don Cheadle lives, in Los Angeles, it seems like any kind of extreme weather gets blamed on climate change. Sometimes it feels like they live in two different countries. He wants to know what the truth is about this drought and if it's possible for these two sides to talk to each other. So he's heading to Texas to find out.

Thomas Friedman is less than an hour's drive from the Syrian border. But he's not there to write about the latest battle. There's a different disaster he's interested in, one he hopes will tell him something about the real roots of this conflict. Four years before the civil war started, Syria was hit by a drought that lasted until just before the revolution. A drought so devastating that it altered the lives of millions of Syrians.

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33 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Chris

    All of these people a fking idiots global warming is caused by cattle rearing!!!!! The emissions from cows are more than ALL of the emissions we are producing from fossil fuels COMBINED!

    We will never make any changes by changing the way we use fossil fuels. Nice try guys.

    Look it up!!

  2. Bit

    A CO2 neutral Terminator wouldn't that be nice!

  3. Anne-Marie

    This is a fantastic documentary series with stunning cinematography. It is captivating while really making you think about how everything on planet earth is environmentally linked and also what sort of changes you can make to better our current situation (mostly Americans being addressed in this particular series). I agree that it should have been released to a more mainstream community (for free) but it is most definitely worth your time to watch.

  4. cyberfrank

    I don t need a scientist to tell me it s getting warmer, it s obvious we re polluting too much, and we need to change many habits, we re not gods, we need air, water, and safe food, I don t want living in a cement-steel bunker for myself or any other life form, it would be hell! too bad this is just a preview, it sounds good.

  5. alpha2actual

    So how is it doing in the ratings, beat out Bob's Burgers reruns yet?

  6. lan ban

    The senders and recipients of the leaked CRU emails constitute a cast list of the IPCC's scientific elite, including not just the "Hockey Team", such as Dr Mann himself, Dr Jones and his CRU colleague Keith Briffa, but Ben Santer, responsible for a highly controversial rewriting of key passages in the IPCC's 1995 report; Kevin Trenberth, who similarly controversially pushed the IPCC into scaremongering over hurricane activity; and Gavin Schmidt, right-hand man to Al Gore's ally Dr James Hansen, whose own GISS record of surface temperature data is second in importance only to that of the CRU itself.

    There are three threads in particular in the leaked documents which have sent a shock wave through informed observers across the world. Perhaps the most obvious, as lucidly put together by Willis Eschenbach (see McIntyre's blog Climate Audit and Anthony Watt's blog Watts Up With That ), is the highly disturbing series of emails which show how Dr Jones and his colleagues have for years been discussing the devious tactics whereby they could avoid releasing their data to outsiders under freedom of information laws.

    They have come up with every possible excuse for concealing the background data on which their findings and temperature records were based.

    This in itself has become a major scandal, not least Dr Jones's refusal to release the basic data from which the CRU derives its hugely influential temperature record, which culminated last summer in his startling claim that much of the data from all over the world had simply got "lost". Most incriminating of all are the emails in which scientists are advised to delete large chunks of data, which, when this is done after receipt of a freedom of information request, is a criminal offence.

    But the question which inevitably arises from this systematic refusal to release their data is – what is it that these scientists seem so anxious to hide? The second and most shocking revelation of the leaked documents is how they show the scientists trying to manipulate data through their tortuous computer programmes, always to point in only the one desired direction – to lower past temperatures and to "adjust" recent temperatures upwards, in order to convey the impression of an accelerated warming. This comes up so often (not least in the documents relating to computer data in the Harry Read Me file) that it becomes the most disturbing single element of the entire story. This is what Mr McIntyre caught Dr Hansen doing with his GISS temperature record last year (after which Hansen was forced to revise his record), and two further shocking examples have now come to light from Australia and New Zealand.

    In each of these countries it has been possible for local scientists to compare the official temperature record with the original data on which it was supposedly based. In each case it is clear that the same trick has been played – to turn an essentially flat temperature chart into a graph which shows temperatures steadily rising. And in each case this manipulation was carried out under the influence of the CRU.

    What is tragically evident from the Harry Read Me file is the picture it gives of the CRU scientists hopelessly at sea with the complex computer programmes they had devised to contort their data in the approved direction, more than once expressing their own desperation at how difficult it was to get the desired results.

    The third shocking revelation of these documents is the ruthless way in which these academics have been determined to silence any expert questioning of the findings they have arrived at by such dubious methods – not just by refusing to disclose their basic data but by discrediting and freezing out any scientific journal which dares to publish their critics' work. It seems they are prepared to stop at nothing to stifle scientific debate in this way, not least by ensuring that no dissenting research should find its way into the pages of IPCC reports.

    Back in 2006, when the eminent US statistician Professor Edward Wegman produced an expert report for the US Congress vindicating Steve McIntyre's demolition of the "hockey stick", he excoriated the way in which this same "tightly knit group" of academics seemed only too keen to collaborate with each other and to "peer review" each other's papers in order to dominate the findings of those IPCC reports on which much of the future of the US and world economy may hang. In light of the latest revelations, it now seems even more evident that these men have been failing to uphold those principles which lie at the heart of genuine scientific enquiry and debate. Already one respected US climate scientist, Dr Eduardo Zorita, has called for Dr Mann and Dr Jones to be barred from any further participation in the IPCC. Even our own George Monbiot, horrified at finding how he has been betrayed by the supposed experts he has been revering and citing for so long, has called for Dr Jones to step down as head of the CRU.

    The former Chancellor Lord (Nigel) Lawson, last week launching his new think tank, the Global Warming Policy Foundation , rightly called for a proper independent inquiry into the maze of skulduggery revealed by the CRU leaks. But the inquiry mooted on Friday, possibly to be chaired by Lord Rees, President of the Royal Society – itself long a shameless propagandist for the warmist cause – is far from being what Lord Lawson had in mind. Our hopelessly compromised scientific establishment cannot be allowed to get away with a whitewash of what has become the greatest scientific scandal of our age.

    1. Sarae Bettany

      You really haven't the slightest idea what you're talking about, you're just spreading hashed and rehashed pseudo truth you're read on the internet. It comes down to this (a lot quicker to read than your tome) - for climate change not to be happening, and for it not to be caused by human activity, the laws of chemistry and physics would have to break down in the atmosphere. We KNOW CO2 (among other gasses) acts as a greenhouse gas (we've known this since the 19th century), we KNOW the extra CO2 in the atmosphere now comes from fossil fuels (from their atomic weight, which is different to other sources of CO2).

  7. abcd12321

    Earth's climate keeps changing,nothing new in this.It's a conspiracy to justify Government overreach and legitimacy.

    1. Michael Swoveland

      Actually it is the reverse. By depending on a fossil fuel economy we are beholden to large corporations that produce this resource and control the price. Regardless of the overwhelming evidence linking CO2 to climate changes, the development of non-industrial energy and agriculture make great sense because it put more control in the hands of individuals. Big oil fears the day when all buildings have renewable energy attached to their roofs and feeding into the power grid. That why Koch industries spreads this climate sceptic propaganda and creates doubt, it is the same tactics that the tobacco industry used.

  8. Mónica Fernández

    Please, could anyone tell me where I can watch the full second episode online? I live in Spain and Showtime web doesn't allow me to play the video.

  9. gussie

    The messengers in the film all live megawatt lifestyles. Unfortunately they are the same people who draw viewers -- we live in a celebrity culture. I'm glad when "global" climate change receives intelligent attention any time, any day, any way. So wish this series could be viewed in primetime on a free network channel so many more people would have access.

    1. Cathie DuBois

      This is important news, but once again, the information is being controlled by corporate America. This should be viewed by everyone, so therefore I agree with you. Why wasn't this made to be viewed by all, and not just paid subscribers to showtime?

    2. Jenna

      You can watch it on Primewire

    3. Sarae Bettany

      Fantastic! Thanks!

    4. Sarae Bettany

      Or not, none of the links worked for me - unless they wanted credit card details *sigh* :-(

  10. happypedro

    The fact that Thomas Friedman is in this film really lowers it a notch for me. As Matt Taibbi put it: "Where does a man who needs his own offshore drilling platform just to keep the east wing of his house heated get the balls to write a book chiding America for driving energy inefficient automobiles? Where does a guy whose family bulldozed 2.1 million square feet of pristine Hawaiian wilderness to put a Gap, an Old Navy, a Sears, an Abercrombie and even a motherf_cking Foot Locker in paradise get off preaching to the rest of us about the need for a “Green Revolution”? Well, he’ll explain it all to you in 438 crisply written pages for just $27.95, $30.95 if you have the misfortune to be Canadian." Friedman's house is 11,400 square foot suburban Maryland mega-monstro-mansion. He's an opportunist reinventing himself as an oracle of anti-consumerist conservationism.

    1. oakern

      I live in a coal mining, and forestry town. I understand that man made climate change is helped along by my actions, but my options are eat or don't eat. So when you say where does he "get off preaching to the rest of us about the need for a “Green Revolution”", same place as me.

      Tell me this, what the f*ck do you do that, is so god damn wonderful that put you on such a high horse? Do you stick nails in trees so when my friend went to work last month his chainsaw kicked and chewed 3 inches into his shoulder? How about recycling, maintaining park trails, growing 15% of your own food, driving only as necessary, and get rid of your lawn? I do all that. Maybe, also like me, you have a big house, cleared land to build it, own a truck, eat meat, use plastic products, travel internationally, or have kids.

      People like me are part of the problem yes, but were not about to curl up and die so we can be as green as can be, or ignore the problem and pretend its not there. My actions move coal by the hundreds of metric tonnes, my "green" efforts don't counter what I do for a living, but I bet you aren't any saint either, so get off your high horse.

    2. happypedro

      It's not about a high horse. I am far from perfect, so I am part of the problem, too. But I do put for my best effort, and I am constantly working toward improving. But my point was that I don't see Thomas Friedman doing that -- I see him as a hypocrite who doesn't care about environmental issues but who uses them to sell books. The difference between Friedman and you (from what I can tell from your comments) is that you do care and want to change, but can't or find it very difficult. Friedman can change, and talks about others changing as a way to sell books, but he doesn't care about changing nor does he put forth effort.

    3. Anywolf

      Thanks, oakern. That's true of all of us--if you're a United Statesian and you're not homeless, your very existence causes this damage. We have to cope with it somehow. I can't help but agree to some extent that people who live in glass houses--high ceilings, lots of glass, great ocean views, etc.--are my preferred target when throwing stones, but am I really any better? None of us are, not when it really comes down to the line. Know what I did today? I bought about a half-pound of plastic. Plastic is made from oil. I drove about 30 miles; that's a couple of pounds of carbon, released as a gas. I stayed indoors in heated spaces with lighted rooms. I charged my phone and my computer. We do these things because it's part of living in this country.

  11. Dr Sam

    AMAZING, indeed! But humans are hard-headed and stubborn. Time to listen up--and act, or it will be too late.

  12. hisxmark

    OK, it's show business. But, you have to realize that conservatives are not going to change their minds just because of facts. This still falls short, because to convince conservatives, you have to throw in some sex and some religion, and maybe a gunfight or two.

    1. 1concept1


      As they plunder & pillage in the name of Jesus - I refer to it as 'psychosis of the species' -

  13. BlueBoxBum

    Celebrities? It must be true. Why else would they endorse it?

  14. Dennis Fink

    First show sets a bad example with lots of flying (besides Harrisons jet flight to collect a small air sample, a crew flies to Indonesia to see forest destruction first hand) so they add a ton of CO2 to the atmosphere! Can't a balloon collect the sample and the Indonesia observation be limited to satellite?

  15. Geoffrey Grekin

    Wow.. This documentary (if one can call it that).. was cringe worthy.
    If Al Gore and Hollywood had a baby it would be this documentary, for all the wrong reasons.
    If you want to be informed watch a real documentary on the facts with people who are experts in the subject.

    But if your into heavily scripted, cheesy dialog and condescending demeanor from both actors/producers as they single handily fix and tackle climate change than this might be fore you!

    1. Jenna

      What environmental documentaries would you suggest?

  16. henrymart81

    Do you conspiracy theorists really believe this stuff?

  17. Brogan

    Oh god five minutes in and I already feel the wave of condescension.

  18. Brogan

    "I just have to get there" So authentic - gotta love it

  19. dmxi

    schwarzenegger?don't tell me he got 'mother earth' pregnant,too?

  20. dmxi

    i would class this under the term: 'euphemism'!

  21. User_001

    It always sounds weird religion being mixed in with science. I guess if anyone can attempt it, it would be Texans. Then again, I view Texas almost as a country on to itself.

    1. 1concept1

      And I thought I was the only one :-)

      The way i see Texas and the "conservative" mind set -

      They want to continue playing the game and and fat lady already sang -