Since I don’t have a television, I’m mostly unaware of what’s going on in the world of this type of passive entertainment. That’s my excuse for not watching the excellent first episode of “Years of Living Dangerously” until almost two months later. It’s available for free here, and strongly recommended:

http://www.sho.com/sho/years-of-living-dangerously/season/1#/index

The episode features a Texas town that is going through hard economic times because of drought, the connection between climate change and the civil war in Syria, and Indonesia’s deforestation problem. It’s certainly worth watching. There’s a lot of information, it’s a pleasure to watch, and the documentary clearly shows that climate change is a serious threat without going overboard with doomsday scenarios.

The best part of the film has climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe explaining to conservative audiences in Texas why climate change is real and why there is no contradiction between climate science and Christian values. She’s not only a top climate scientist with an impressive publication record, but also a convincing and engaging speaker who is able to talk about climate change with conservative audiences in a clear and compelling way — not least because she is herself an evangelical Christian. That’s a great accomplishment and leaves me optimistic about our future.

There’s been some debate about whether or not communication focusing on climate science and the damage caused by climate change is the best way forward. Perhaps the series is “global warming scare tactics”, but it’s so well done and engaging that I consider it a useful contribution to the debate. Television may not be a great technology overall, but, given that this is the world we live in, “Years of Living Dangerously” is a great way to draw attention to our great problem.

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