James Cameron’s acclaimed docu-series, “Years of Living Dangerously” is essentially the U.S. National Climate Assessment in living color. Now, Showtime is making “Years” available for free this weekend.
I’ve heard plenty of concerns from folks who watched the first episode online but have been wondering what to do since you don’t subscribe to Showtime. You haven’t been able to see Episode 2, in which Harrison Ford actually gets action from corporations and even the Indonesian government on the illegal deforestation seen in Episode 1. Nor have you seen former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger join a Colorado Hotshots wildfire fighting team and learn about how climate change is making wildfires worse. This is an especially timely story given the record drought and early start to the wildfire season in California this year.
The good news is that this weekend — May 9-11 — Showtime is making all its programming, including “Years of Living Dangerously,” available for free to 74 million homes that get cable, which is to say most of the country. And most of those homes will be able to watch all of the first four episodes.
“The timing is surreal: the government released its climate report in the midst of our 9 week series,” said “Years” Executive Producer — and 8-time Emmy winner at 60 Minutes — David Gelber. “Then SHOWTIME makes it available for free, making a great contribution to the public discussion.”
“YEARS gives us the visual highlights of the National Climate Assessment,” said climate scientist and Texas Tech University Professor Katharine Hayhoe. “From droughts in the Southwest to coastal flooding on the east coast, art imitates life. Except this time, it’s real.”
All of the 74 million homes will have access to the fourth episode, which includes the amazing “Preacher’s daughter,” segment with Ian Somerhalder:
The father: a megachurch preacher who doesn’t believe in climate change. The daughter: an activist trying to shut down the local coal-fired power plant. The daughter’s hope: to eventually convince her father that global warming is happening, and even, just possibly, see if he’ll make it the topic of his next sermon.
That episode also features a repeat appearance of evangelical climate scientist Hayhoe, who was just named to TIME magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
In addition, you’ll be able to see Episode 3, filmed a year ago, in which Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) becomes the first GOP member of Congress in recent memory to flip from denying the science of man-made climate change climate to accepting it. We actually have a video of just the on-air conversion — watch for the amazing reaction shots from MSNBC’s Chris Hayes:
You’ll be able to watch all of this episode and indeed all of the first four if you (or a friend or family member) are a digital cable TV subscriber to AT&T U-Verse, CenturyLink Prism, Comcast, Cox Communications, Mediacom, RCN, or Verizon FiOS. Non-digital subscribers, plus those who subscribe to DIRECTV, Cable ONE, and DISH, will be able to watch the fourth episode for free on Saturday and Sunday. Full details here.