By Ande Finley
Harrison Ford hikes through Indonesian forests and goes head to head with government officials over deforestation of rain forests for palm oil plantations. Don Cheadle visits a drought-ravaged Texas town and talks to climate change disbelievers. Journalist Thomas Friedman finds a strong link between the recent Syrian revolution and three years worth of crop failure.
This is just the first of nine episodes in “Years of Living Dangerously,” an Emmy-Award winning Showtime program presenting global climate change from a unique angle – the perspective of people living through its hardships, challenges and dangers. With its mission of bringing increased resilience and sustainability to our island, Transition Lopez Island chose this series to raise awareness about these critical issues facing our planet. The group hopes to translate that focus into a slate of activities that will harness our island-grown community activism and encourage people to thrive in these uncertain times. Each episode will be followed by community conversation led by members and special speakers from the co-sponsors, including the Lopez Locavores, Friends of the San Juans, Bureau of Land Management, San Juan Islands Conservation District, Islands Energy and the Lopez Community Land Trust.
“Although some of the footage in this series is pretty bleak,” steering committee member Scott Finley clarified, “we want to make sure that attendees take away a message of hope and inspired action.”
One anticipated outcome is the establishment of a chapter of Carbon Washington, a team tackling environmental tax reform. In April, they will kickoff a campaign to gather signatures to put a revenue-neutral carbon tax on the ballot in November 2016 and Transition is hoping to do its part here in the San Juans. Kyle Murphy, campaign co-director, will be sharing Carbon Washington’s proposal after the second episode on March 11.
Assisting like-minded local organizations, Transition Lopez Island has been wrestling with issues around local economy, labor share, energy use, movement of goods and people and food and water security since members started to gather under its banner in 2011. Recently, the group achieved official status becoming the 152nd Transition Initiative in the U.S., joining a movement of over 300 initiatives worldwide.
“Years of Living Dangerously” debuts on Wednesday, March 4, 7 p.m. at The Gathering Place at the Hamlet and runs through April 29. For more information, send an email to email@example.com or call 468-5199.