Time to Stop Living Dangerously and Move Beyond Coal

asheville beyond coal event

By Dayna Reggero

Years of Living Dangerously, Showtime’s new multi-part television event, premiering April 13, provides an opportunity to meet the people and see the places affected by climate change. Sharing these stories is a roster of major film, television and news figures, including Jessica Alba, Mark Bittman, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, and many more.

“Preacher’s Daughter,” a North Carolina-centric segment, features actor Ian Somerhalder (Lost, Vampire Diaries) in climate conversations with Anna Jane Joyner, Western North Carolina Alliance activist. Filming locations include Duke Energy’s Asheville coal plant, the Asheville Beyond Coal rally, and Charlotte, NC.

“Duke Energy’s Asheville coal plant is the largest source of climate-disrupting pollution in Western North Carolina,” says Beyond Coal Campaign Director, Mary Anne Hitt, who is a featured expert in the episode.

The Southeast Regional Climate Center Annual Climate Summary for the Southeast United States reported that 2013 was the wettest year on record in Asheville, NC, and the wettest summer on record in the Southeast.

years of living dangerously poster“The climate changes when it is forced to change, and now humans are forcing it to change far more rapidly than ever before,” says Joe Romm, Ph.D., Chief Science Advisor of the Years Project. “Past climate change reveals that our climate is very sensitive to carbon dioxide. Levels of CO2 in the air have increased 40% over the past 150 years, mainly from the burning of fossil fuels, which has warmed the planet more than it has in thousands of years.”

The City of Asheville, responded to community concerns in 2013 by unanimously passing a clean energy resolution. North Carolina also boasts the second largest solar growth in the nation.

Still, there is a lot to be done.

“I began this project as an environmental activist, and person of faith, concerned about climate change,” says Joyner of her experience filming. “Having immersed myself in the science and human impacts of climate change for more than a year, I know now there is nothing more worthy of my dedication.”

To learn more about this Years of Living Dangerously episode and take action, visit http://content.sierraclub.org/coal/asheville.

Dayna Reggero devotes her time to working for all that is good, socially-responsible, and sustainable. You can connect with Dayna at DaynaReggero.com.

Years Art Photo credit: The Years Project/Courtesy of SHOWTIME

  1. Joe

    Unfortunately many countries are on an ever increasing slope to burn coal. Japan with all it’s nuclear reactors shut down has increased coal imports and is burning more coal both India and China also are burning a great deal of coal- projection is for million of additional metric tons of coal burned every year and even with better coal burn technology this means more carbon into atmosphere and ever increasing levels of cumulative persistent CO2 levels into future with levels going persistently higher above 410ppm- not sure climate models have this increase modeled

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