Years of Living Dangerously: Dry Season & End of the Woods (S1, E1&2)
Sunday September 22, 2pm. Season 01 Episode 01 “Dry Season” (first aired on April 13, 2014)
Don Cheadle reports on the severe droughts in the Southwest United States, following scientist and devout Christian, Katharine Hayhoe, as she speaks to religious audiences about the connection between extreme weather and climate change; Harrison Ford visits Indonesia to learn how slash-and-burn deforestation, driven by the global appetite for products like palm oil and paper, contributes a large portion of the world’s carbon emissions; and Thomas Friedman investigates how drought contributed to the civil war in Syria. The UK organization Global Witness stated that although Ford’s segment exposed the dangers of deforestation, executive producer Arnold Schwarzenegger owned an approximately 5% stake in Dimensional Fund Advisors, a firm that it said finances many of the world’s largest logging companies.
Sunday September 22, 3pm | Episode 2, “End of the Woods” (first aired April 20, 2014): Schwarzenegger accompanies the “hot shots”, elite firefighters in Western US forests, as they risk their lives fighting the fire season made longer and more destructive by global warming, as fire regions expand from the southwest US further north into Canada. He learns that even more destruction is caused by the proliferation of bark beetles, as longer summers enable them to reproduce up to twice each year and kill trees with their toxic secretions. Meanwhile, Ford continues his quest to stop Indonesian deforestation and the carbon emissions and displacement of animals and people that it causes, confronting officials including Indonesia’s forestry minister, Zulkifli Hasan, and its president, whom he persuades, with the help of the TV cameras, to take “real action”. He also gets sustainability commitments from officers of Unilever, a major user of palm oil. We also see how Greenpeace and other environmental groups are making a real and positive difference.