Years of Living Dangerously, a new multipart tv series that premieres this month on Showtime, puts a human face on a global story, exploring the worldwide impact of our convulsing climate and the ways individuals and communities are responding to it. Reported by a cast of all-star correspondents that includes Matt Damon, Jessica Alba, Harrison Ford and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Years shows the thesis of global warming as we’ve never seen it, in locations ranging from the streets of Los Angeles to the forests of Indonesia to the dwindling ice caps of the North Pole. 60 Minutes veterans Joel Bach and Solly Granatstein, producers of the show, sat down with American Way.
AMERICAN WAY: Why celebrity reporters?
BACH: This is high-quality investigative journalism, but it’s also entertainment. And we want people to watch every minute. When someone like Arnold is reporting a story, I’m glued to the screen in ways I might not be with someone else.
AW: Any must-see episodes?
GRANATSTEIN: All of them. But one that sticks with me is a story Harrison Ford reported on deforestation in Indonesia. Deforestation accounts for about one-fifth of carbon dioxide emissions — more than the entire transportation sector. We took a helicopter ride over a national park that had been turned into a scorched-earth wasteland. Harrison was so shocked by what he saw that when he interviewed the minister of forestry the next day, he really gave it to him.
AW: You mentioned Arnold. The guy collects Hummers.
BACH: Yes, but they’re hybrids. As he says, it’s OK to have a hot tub as long as it’s solar-powered. And as governor of California, he passed some of the most sweeping legislation in the country in bringing a cap-and-trade program to the state. He was about as progressive as you get on climate change.
Years of Living Dangerously premieres April 13 at 10 p.m. EDT on Showtime.