Living in a world affected by climate change is not a monotonous experience, reflects Dorothy Fortenberry, writer and executive producer of A Challenging Future, which can be seen on Apple TV. “There are days when it is deeply sad and I process a kind of mourning; others seem ridiculous and strange to me, like when it snows in Los Angeles; and there are days when I am very angry and I want to go out into the street, "she confesses," and we wanted to capture the essence of all these emotions in the series ”. The plural includes the creator Scott Z. Burns, who already had experience in the story of the decline of society after producing the documentary An Inconvenient Truth with Al Gore and writing Contagion, the film directed by Steven Soderbergh. In this project he imagines the imminent future of humanity in a fictional key. What will happen when the oceans have been emptied of fauna? And how will humanity survive the heat, droughts, constant fires and rising sea levels?
“We wanted to make the show to tell the middle ground: that whole section of the story before we get to the end, because we have a choice to decide what the world will be like tomorrow,” says Burns, who devised and planned the plots after working closely with scientists, politicians, journalists and environmental activists such as Denis Hayes, so that the narrative of the destruction of the planet was credible and had a scientific basis, covering from 2037 to 2070.
Thus, the eight episodes focus on independent stories that tell from the opening of a casino in an almost melted Greenland, the disappearance of the whales or the arrival of realities with curfews depending on the quality of the air: "It is a future that could exist and in it we bring out our best and worst qualities: empathy, creativity, innovation and compassion against our short-term view, greed and fear”.
“Solutions to climate change like renewable energy or sustainable agriculture already exist, so part of the mystery is why this change isn't happening,” Burns says. In fiction, a businessman played by Kit Harington reasons that capitalism, which led human beings to climate change, can also be the solution: "I feel grateful to be able to question capitalism even though the idea raised by the character is a discussion that we must have".
The creative tandem also anticipates why they decided to end the series with an episode focused on the idea of responsibility. During the research process, they studied whether there were structures to modify the behavior of the main actors of capitalism and render them accountable: “Are there international courts? Are there government leaders who can control billionaires who only seek maximum profit? These agents exist but they must be empowered and must function successfully on their own.”
At the moment, those who have been convinced by this proposal are the actors of the first line of Hollywood: Meryl Streep, Edward Norton, Marion Cotillard, Diane Lane, Sienna Miller or David Schwimmer star in the anthology series that moves between drama , the thriller and the satire to awaken the public from this carbon torpor.