An expensive, $20 million superstitious program on drought and CO2
Update, April 16th (blog post originally released on April 12th): Nielsen ratings concluded that the premiere of "Years of Living Dangerously" was only watched by 294,000 people (compare with 16+ million for The Big Bang Theory), confirming my 04/12 predictions below that the ratings would be poor. If you divide, you see that an average TV viewer (or those paying for the commercials) would have to pay over $68 for the TV series to become profitable.By most quantitative criteria, James Cameron is the world's most successful film director and film producer. He has earned almost $1 billion just for himself and some of his works are blockbusters – like Titanic and The Terminator; let me not include Avatar here. He's also a deep-sea explorer. You can have some unusual hobbies if your worth approaches a billion.
However, when it comes to issues like the climate, he is just batshit crazy. He's much more religious about this nonsense than Osama bin Laden was religious when it came to the Allah doctrine. So he also decided to shoot a completely unoriginal, redundant, 9-part TV documentary (9 hours in total), Years of Living Dangerously.
The first episode, included in the video above, will be aired tomorrow. I have actually watched it – partly in the background because I had other work. It is a collection of unnecessary repetitions of footnotes from An Inconvenient Truth. What seemed incredible to me was how boring the "documentary" was. I can't understand why the creator of Titanic just can't make a more persuasive documentary.
It's supposed to be filled with stars – so you get Harrison Ford (famous actor), Katharine Hayhoe (a Christian who is a climate alarmist in Texas), and Thomas Friedman (of the New York Times). But in this documentary, they're dull, uninteresting, not acting well, so at the end, the documentary looks much less "celebrity-laden" than An Inconvenient Truth, for example: Al Gore was enough to beat this documentary in this respect.
Harrison and Friedman are trying to convince random people at those places to offer dramatic stories about drought. What a surprise that they get virtually nothing dramatic out of them. Deserts have been around for billions of years, sometimes they are added, sometimes they are greening (and Sahara is close to the latter; that's why the world's greatest desert is never discussed in similar documentaries). The life at deserts (and even semi-deserts) is, by definition, less green and less rosy. ;-)
These three hosts visit various boring places, especially places with some drought – in the Midwest, Turkey, Syria, and so on, and they try to link the drought, unemployment, and all other evils in the world to carbon dioxide. Needless to say, there doesn't exist any research or scientific or rational justification – not even in the alarmist crackpot literature – that would indicate that the increase of global temperatures, let alone carbon dioxide, would imply increased drought.
Cameron seems to look at everything through the lenses of the climate change doctrine: wars, unemployment, bad weather, just everything. It's hard to figure out how someone with such a severe brain defect could have created a movie, let alone Titanic. You may call me a string theory believer. String theory is clearly a theory of everything. But even though some string theory processes actually operate inside all the events around us, I am not thinking of string theory when I look at drought, unemployment, wars, simply because the relevant theories for the low-energy macroscopic phenomena are effective theories whose dependence on the specific features of string theory is extremely weak.
Even if you believed that carbon dioxide adds some measurable positive contribution to the global mean temperature, it's very clear that its relationship to someone's unemployment or conflict is much weaker than the influence of the excited string harmonics. It's just an insanity to think about temperature-unrelated phenomena in the world around us – and especially social phenomena – in terms of the 5th or 10th most important contribution to the variability of the global mean temperature at the centennial timescale. But this program is all about these irrational links. You listen to some stories about oil-palm companies poisoning elephants etc. and you sympathize with the elephants and start to feel that the documentary has deviated from the main theme, AGW. But you're quickly shown that it hasn't. The poisoned elephants are due to CO2-driven climate change, too! This guy is a complete loon.
The documentary also criticizes deforestation. Deforestation looks sad to me. But you may see that these people are inhuman Luddites when they single out palm oil as a villain. Palm oil is indeed being grown at vast areas but it's needed almost everywhere in the products you find in the supermarkets – chocolate bars, cosmetics, and so on, and so on. Incidentally, the price of palm oil seems to be almost the same (currently around $700 per ton) as the price of coconut oil (I am buying coconut oil for prices that are at least 20 times higher!). Given the remarkably healthy character of coconut oil relatively to the palm oil (which is still an unhealthy cholesterol builder, among other things), I am amazed that the palm oil is not being replaced by coconut oil in many applications. At any rate, palm oil should be celebrated, it's one of the things that the happy modern civilization really needs. More forest-friendly alternatives may be found but check the products you bought in the supermarket how many of them would be in trouble without some kind of a replacement.
Cameron is a climatic religious bigot and the documentary shows that he is totally incapable of learning some science or shooting a program that popularizes science. In this respect, the documentary is even worse than An Inconvenient Truth. It doesn't even try to make the viewers learn some science or think scientifically about some of these issues. Cameron has probably never tried to do so himself. So it's just a constant stream of brainwashing, random sad events automatically attributed to "global warming" by the filmmaker himself and by random people who clearly know about as little as he does. The idea of the scientific method – formulating competing hypotheses and eliminating the inadequate ones by comparisons with the quantitative evidence – is something completely unknown to Cameron.
Katharine Hayhoe offers problematic comments that science and faith are perfectly compatible. She is trying to communicate her climatic apocalyptic beliefs to the Christians and she is apparently surprised that she is failing, much like Cameron must be surprised that his "blockbuster" only has 150,000 views now, although it's the only copy of the first episode on the Internet. I would be willing to bet that the number of viewers will be low tomorrow.
There is no way to advise Cameron to produce a more rational documentary about an issue that is intrinsically scientific. There is no way simply because making viewers (and himself) think irrationally, using the mindless witch-hunt mentality, is the very reason why he is shooting similar worthless documentaries. It is no coincidence that Katharine Hayhoe is a star in the first episode. Cameron wants religion and superstitions – more generally, a mindless faith in what spiritual authorities say – to retake the topics that science has once stolen from them. He wants to convert people and make them as mindless as he is; one thing he surely doesn't want the viewers to do is to think.
When I say that the "climate as another religion" Hayhoe as a star is no coincidence, he's my additional evidence. Harrison Ford explicitly states – at the beginning of this official 2-minute "Years of Living Dangerously" promotional video – that he needed "something outside of myself to believe it; and I found in Nature a kind of God". That may sound just like the religious metaphors from physicists; however, Ford's religion is clearly not one meant to be developed by the scientific method. Now, Nature is great but his "thirst for religion" is so strong that he simply has quickly the "climate apocalypse" as a major component, too. (In later episodes, Ian Somerhalder will contribute to the "climate religion" theme once again when his main task will be to convert North Carolina's Christians to the Climate Alarmism Cult.)