Hollywood Heavyweights Aim Spotlight on Climate Change

LOS ANGELES — As temperatures continue to rise and habitats come under threat, a group of Hollywood heavyweights is seeking to bring the spotlight back on climate change with a new documentary series.

"Years of Living Dangerously," a nine-part series beginning Sunday on the Showtime premium cable network, chronicles the human impact on the global climate and the consequences for humans of climate change.

From the disappearing forests of Indonesia and the rising sea levels in Bangladesh to the increasing frequency of California's wildfires and the crippling Texas drought, the documentary turns the focus back on an issue that has lost visibility since the days of the 2006 Oscar-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth."

"This is such a critical time," said James Cameron, who is best-known as the filmmaker behind "Titanic" and "Avatar" and serves as an executive producer on "Years of Living Dangerously."

Image: James Cameron
Famed filmmaker James Cameron is an executive producer for "Years of Living Dangerously," a Showtime documentary series that focuses on the impact of climate change. Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

"The devastation to the planet that we'll be experiencing in the next century is really, I think, pretty unfathomable for most people, and I think that what the series can do is to bring it home and make it real, make it real in people terms," Cameron said.

To do that, Cameron appealed to well-known Hollywood actors to act as correspondents, including Harrison Ford, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Jessica Alba, Michael C. Hall and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In the first episode, "Praying for Rain," Cheadle travels to Plainview, Texas, where residents face economic hardship due to the severe drought in the region that forced the closure last year of the meatpacking plant owned by Cargill, the town's chief employer.

— Piya Sinha-Roy, Reuters