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What Does Miami Share With Jack Black? A Climate Change TV Show

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Years of Living Dangerously/National Geographic Channel
Jack Black, right, interviews Mayor Philip Levine about Miami Beach's climate change resiliency strategies.

What does Miami have in common with National Geographic and actor Jack Black?

 

The answer's not obvious: climate change.

 

The National Geographic Channel has a show about climate change called "Years of Living Dangerously." This week, Jack Black hosts an episode, "Saving Miami," about climate change in Miami. Jon Meyersohn produced and directed the episode. He says Miami was an immediate choice because people from across the country and the world move there and visit there.

 

"Everybody has an opinion about Miami or they’ve been to Miami or they have a relative who goes there," he said. "It's just the most fun place to be in the United States."

 

And because the city's well-known and embraced, it's a good starting point to attract national attention to climate change.

 

Meyersohn described Miami as "ground zero" for climate change. He says that in contrast with cities like Boston and New York, where a lot of attention's paid to climate change, Miami and Florida have a history of denial -- notably among developers and state leaders like Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Sen. Marco Rubio.

 

"You have a massive amount of building, sea level rise, political denial. And, denial based on the fact that you have not had a major storm in more than 10 years," he said.

 

Meyersohn said he and his team were encouraged that people here are getting involved in combating climate change. They interviewed a lot of them -- activists, researchers, local officials and residents. One takeaway?

 

Because Miami's so beloved, "it’s particularly hard to deliver a message like, oh, this place is sinking," Meyersohn said.

 

So as part of the episode, Jack Black talks with a psychiatrist -- Lise Van Susteren, who's also a Washington, D.C.-based environmental activist -- about his feelings on climate change.

 

"Saving Miami" aired Wednesday night at 10 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel. At 9 p.m., there was an episode about solar energy in the United States, which includes discussion of Florida's controversial proposed Amendment 1.