Climate change is the challenge of our generation, but you wouldn't always know that when you turn on the television. Coverage of climate change has not kept pace with the scientific milestones and impacts we're seeing outside our window. A report released this year found that the big three networks spent just an hour and 42 minutes talking about it during their nightly newscasts last year. That's why the upcoming Showtime documentary series, The Years of Living Dangerously, is so important.
The resources behind this documentary series are usually reserved for the latest Hollywood blockbuster. But instead, the Years of Living Dangerously is bringing together a cross-section of journalists and celebrities to shine a spotlight on the challenges of climate change and the opportunities to combat it.
In each episode, correspondents take an in-depth look at the different impacts of climate change. This series does an outstanding job of putting a human face to the climate crisis. The first episode looks at the record heat waves and droughts that are being made more severe as a result of climate change. It's an important message at a time when extreme weather events aren't just becoming more frequent, they're becoming more costly. According to the Center for American Progress, between 2011 and 2012 alone, there were at least 25 extreme weather events nationwide, costing more than $188 billion in damages.
A later episode in the series will also feature the greenest governor in the country, Washington Governor Jay Inslee. Since winning a hard-fought campaign in 2012, Governor Inslee has been building a future for Washington State that addresses climate change and builds a clean energy economy. In that campaign, our state partner, Washington Conservation Voters, made its largest independent expenditure ever, investing more than $750,000 to help elect Governor Inslee.
The episode tells the story of one of the biggest environmental stories from last year's elections, when Washington Conservation Voters fought the coal industry -- and won. The county council in Whatcom County Washington -- which will decide the fate of the largest coal export terminal on the West Coast -- had four seats on the ballot. Our state partners spent more than $300,000 to elect pro-environmental candidates to those seats and flip control of the council. And now that coal export terminal is anything but a sure thing. It's a story you won't want to miss.
The creators behind the series are bringing supporters of climate action together to watch this groundbreaking series, hosting hundreds of watch parties nationwide.
From the damage of Superstorm Sandy and increasingly dangerous wildfires to the need to reduce carbon pollution and develop clean energy, this series is giving climate disruption the kind of attention it deserves but rarely receives. I believe so strongly in this series that I worked as an advisor on the project. And after you watch the series, you'll understand why.
It provides a look at how the climate crisis is impacting everyday Americans like never before. And best of all, it will make you want to be part of the solution.
Watch the first episode of the series here: