By Dayna Reggero
The upcoming SHOWTIME® docu-series, Years of Living Dangerously, premiering on April 13, provides an opportunity to meet the people and see the places affected by climate change. Sharing these stories is a host of major film, television and news figures, including Jessica Alba, Mark Bittman, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, and many more.
Actor Ian Somerhalder (Lost, Vampire Diaries) interviews Beyond Coal Campaign Director, Mary Anne Hitt, and Anna Jane Joyner, Western North Carolina Alliance (WNCA) activist, during the “Preacher’s Daughter” episode. Filming locations include Duke Energy’s Asheville coal plant, the Asheville Beyond Coal rally, and sites in Charlotte, NC.
Joyner’s father is a megachurch preacher who doesn’t believe in climate change. Her hope is to eventually convince her father that global warming is happening. Joyner has been championing moving beyond coal and combating the climate crisis for years, a task she considers her life’s work. She led a national campaign to end mountaintop removal coal mining, an issue she remains deeply committed to, owing to her love of the Appalachian Mountains and culture.
“Now, when I think of climate change I don’t think of polar bears or glaciers or graphs, I think of the loss of our high elevation mountain forests, the loss of species and ecosystems that make our Blue Ridge Mountains some of the most beautiful and special in the world,” she says. I think of my neighbors who are farmers and lost much of their crop, and profits, to the torrential floods we experienced last summer.”
“YEARS is our effort to invite Americans, and others around the world, to take a fresh look at climate change so they can truly understand – with their hearts as well as their minds – the profound stakes, the unmistakable urgency and why they need to lead their leaders to do the right thing.” says Daniel Abbasi, YEARS Climate Leader and Executive Producer.
For North Carolinians, the most unmistakably urgent issue is pollution caused by energy production. “Duke Energy’s Asheville coal plant is the largest source of climate-disrupting pollution in Western North Carolina,” says Hitt. “Doubling down on renewable energy and energy efficiency is the quickest, most effective way to roll back the worst effects of climate disruption.”
If Duke Energy meets the demands of the community and phases out its coal plant, the Asheville plant will be the 163rd plant in the nation to be retired since 2010.
To learn more about this Years of Living Dangerously episode and take action, visit http://content.sierraclub.org/coal/asheville.
About the Author: Dayna Reggero works to provide solutions for current environmental and social challenges. To connect or learn more, visit DaynaReggero.com.
Photo Credit: The Years Project / John W. Adkisson