IPlil Plait has been saying for a long time that to communicate science effectively, we need to connect with people. Scientists have a habit of just relaying facts to each other, since that’s how nature itself works. But people don’t work that way at all, and just reciting facts doesn’t work.
If we want to connect with people, especially over the sound and fury of the anti-science noise machine, we need to be passionate. We need to be emotional. And we need to tell the human story.
That’s exactly what it looks like Showtime is doing with its new big-budget eight-part series Years of Living Dangerously, which will show the impact of climate change on our planet. It looks phenomenal, gorgeously shot, and features journalists and celebrities who travel the world to investigate what we’re doing to our planet. Among the people in it are Jessica Alba, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lesley Stahl, and Thomas L. Friedman.
This isn’t a fluff piece, from what I can tell: Their science adviser team includes scientists Michael Mann, Katharine Hayhoe, James Hansen, and Joe Romm, among other top-flight climatologists.*
They’ve also set up a really nice website with more information, including links to the stories they cover and the science of climate change. The trailer looks great, and there’s also a version of it on YouTube: More