Showtime’s New Climate Documentary Barely Looks at Science

Masquerading as a scientific documentary, Showtime’s new climate change series is actually just more alarmist propaganda.

The first episode of “Years of Living Dangerously,” actually gave precious little time to discussing scientific data of climate. Ninety-five percent of the show wasn’t about actual climate science (a mere 3 minutes 5 seconds of the 57 minute 10 second program discussed climate data). Although the word science got bandied about frequently.

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Assumptions that climate change is man-made and worsening were made throughout Showtime’s one-sided conversation of the subject. It also dismissed skeptics, which is exactly what you’d expect from a team that included James Cameron as one of the executive producers. He once said he wanted to “shoot it out” with “bonehead” climate skeptics. People on the show argued that skeptics simply don’t believe in man-made climate change because of their religious or political beliefs.

The program included alarmist scientists who promoted taking action on climate change as well as actors and a columnist. Actor Don Cheadle went to Plainview, Texas to find out whether people blame climate change for their drought. When they didn’t, he wondered why “faith and science always seem so far apart?”

“Years of Living Dangerously” which premieres on Sunday, April 13, featured famous celebrities discussing climate change and its alleged impacts on the planet. The first episode, which can already be viewed online, featured Harrison Ford, Cheadle and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. It focused on Indonesian deforestation, as well as droughts in Syria and Texas.

The minimal discussion about scientific data was hypocritical given how heavily Showtime pushed the scientific aspects of the documentary on its website. In fact, Showtime lists a host of “science advisors” including prominent alarmists like James Hansen, Michael Mann and Michael Oppenheimer. Chief Science Advisor Joseph Romm even described the series as “science-based messaging” in an April 9 conference call with the Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Joseph Romm, a physicist with the Soros-funded Center for American Progress, and Heidi Cullen, Chief Climatologist with the alarmist Climate Central, were “Chief Science Advisors” for the program. Romm has lashed out at skeptics and accused them of being anti-science and less accurate than psychics.

The episode reflected Cameron and Romm’s disdain for those who disagree on man-made climate change.

In 2010, James Cameron, famous for many of his films including“Avatar,” called climate skeptics “boneheads” while saying he wanted to “shoot it out” with “deniers.” That same year, Cameron attempted to organize a debate on global warming but, after demanding numerous changes and eliminating press coverage, eventually canceled the event.

Romm has repeatedly expressed disdain for climate skeptics. In March 2014, Romm compared “climate science deniers” and “psychics,” saying the only difference is “psychics sometimes guess the right answer.” In February 2014, he wrote that “we don’t need people ‘to believe in climate change,’ we just need them to accept science.”

Romm is a senior fellow at the left-wing Center for American Progress which is funded by billionaire liberal George Soros. He has also tried to intimidate the media to keep climate skeptics off the air. In 2012, he attacked PBS for simply including a climate skeptic alongside an alarmist in what he called a “completely unbalanced, extended interview.”

Showtime’s latest effort certainly reflected Romm’s sense of proper balance on the issue.

“Years of Living Dangerously” tried to explain why so many people doubt man-made climate change by blaming politics and religion. The show reinforced that impression by completely excluding skeptical scientists.

While discussing his attempts to convince people on the issue, actor Don Cheadle said “It’s often difficult to sow these seeds in the hard-baked political terrain of Texas.” He also claimed that many people think “if I believe in climate change, then I have to vote for Obama.”

A major theme of the episode was focused on attempts by Texas Tech climatologist Katharine Hayhoe, Cheadle and others who blame climate change on man’s actions to convince Christian Texans that they are right. Hayhoe calls herself a Christian and has made it her “mission” to convince others. In an article for The Huffington Post, Hayhoe pushed for the use of Christian rhetoric, such as compassion for the poor, to promote climate change legislation, despite economic arguments that those policies would hurt the poor.

Sean Long
Sean Long is a former writer for MRC Business.