Fight climate change, urges scientist and evangelist Katharine Hayhoe

Both science and religion urge us to address climate change, says Katharine Hayhoe, climate scientist and evangelical Christian. Photo by Dayna Reggero

Faith and science are not mutually exclusive, and this understanding can help address the climate challenges we face today, Katharine Hayhoe told hundreds who gathered at the First Baptist Church on Oak Street in downtown Asheville Tuesday, April 5, to hear the acclaimed climate scientist present a talk titled “Science, Faith and Our Changing Climate.”

Hayhoe, who holds a doctorate in atmospheric science, is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. She is also an evangelical Christian.

Hayhoe began her talk with a history of climate science since the 1800s, including its early scientists. Turning to the last 20 years of climate-science research, she then presented data demonstrating that the planet’s climate is changing. More importantly, she added, the scientific data is clear: Humans are responsible.

Pivoting to issues of faith, Hayhoe referenced a number of bible sources, including Genesis 1, where, she said, “God made us responsible” for creation, and John 13:34-35, which commands people to love one another. She also cited several contemporary sociological studies that show a lack of belief in climate change is rooted in people’s social circles and political ideologies, not in their religion.

Offering a path forward to engage people of faith, and even those not faith-based, Hayhoe suggested: “bonding over our shared values, connecting those values to climate issues, explaining why [those issues are] real, and inspiring others with the progress already made and with shared values in faith.”

Her message of common ground and our shared values for future generations resonated well with her audience, a wide range of people, from climate and faith-based activists and community leaders to politicians to the general public.

The program was presented by the Creation Care Alliance, a program of MountainTrue, along with supporting partners Krull & Company , Green Sage Café, Climate Listening Project , Citizens Climate Lobby Asheville Chapter and the Wild Goose Festival.

“Regardless of how you feel about climate change or what you believe in, in terms of your religion, we all can agree that we need to take care of the land where we live and this Earth. It’s the only one we have. It’s here not just for us, but for future generations,” observed state Rep. Brian Turner.

Julie Mayfield, co-director of MountainTrue and member of Asheville City Council, offered that, “MountainTrue is a grassroots environmental organization, we are a policy advocacy group, and to effect policy change we need people to support what we’re advocating. The faith community is an enormous sector of our community. Eighty percent of the people affiliate with a faith. We ignore that affiliation at our peril if we want to change policy for the better to protect the environment.”

Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Asheville Chapter’s, Lead Organizer Steffi Rausch said citizens who are well trained and organized by Congressional District with a good system of support can influence the political process to achieve bipartisan solutions to  addressing climate impacts.

Peter Krull, owner of Krull & Company, a sustainable investment service in Asheville, explained why he was a sponsor of the event. “Our business is helping people align their investments with their values, and what we see with Dr. Hayhoe is that she is educating a broad group, especially in the faith community. We have a program called Re.Vest, specifically targeted at both congregations and people of faith, helping them to both divest from fossil fuels and then re-invest in more sustainable investment options.”

Hayhoe and her husband, Andrew Farley, published a book titled A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions in 2009. Hayhoe and Farley are evangelical Christians, and Farley, an associate professor of applied linguistics at Texas Tech, is also the pastor of a local church.





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13 thoughts on “Fight climate change, urges scientist and evangelist Katharine Hayhoe

  1. Lulz

    LOL, when a Christian is also a left leaning malcontent, why they’re accepted. But when they don’t agree, they’re more fearsome than Muslims. LOL, LOL, LOL. You people are unreal. By all means, let’s keep up with the lies and censorship and then let’s pretend that America alone is the cause of all the problems in the world. It’s simply amazing how you think tearing the nation down will net some kind of positive result when the decades of facts and figures that don’t agree with left wing ideology are always ignored. And that includes scientific and economic factors as well as cultural. And don’t forget to apologize for everything the nation has ever done too lulz. And Sanders for the win because we all know a guy who never held a job until 40 and that’s been in government since really has the knowledge and ability to ensure we’re all rich with free everything LOL.

    • boatrocker

      Malcontent is a funny word as our Founding Fathers were called the exact same thing.
      Good luck with glossing over anything bad in America’s short but brutal history. I think they would have called you a Tory during the American Revolution.

      Sanders, according to the Internets (owned by liberals I’m sure in your mind) in addition to being a politician was a teacher, psychiatric aide, a carpenter (like that other Jewish carpenter), a film maker and a writer. But yeah, none of those are ‘real jobs’- I think I’ve asked you in other threads to define a real job before.
      I want to know whether the aches and pains and aggravation experienced for having to feed myself is real or all in my head.

      Jeremiah 2:7- I brought you into my lands to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable.

      Or is that too Old Testament ‘Jewy’ to warrant consideration? Man- those Jews even own half the Bible!

  2. James

    Death to the false religion of mother earth goddess! Christ the King forever!

    • bsummers

      Down With Fanatics!

      If I had my way with violent men
      I’d simmer them in oil,
      I’d fill a pot with bitumen
      And bring them to the boil.
      I execrate the terrorist
      And those who harbour him,
      And if I weren’t a moralist
      I’d tear them limb from limb.

      Fanatics are an evil breed
      Whom decent men should shun;
      I’d like to flog them till they bleed,
      Yes, every mother’s son,
      I’d like to tie them to a board
      And let them taste the cat,
      While giving praise, oh thank the Lord,
      That I am not like that.

      For we should love the human kind,
      As Jesus taught us to,
      And those who don’t should be struck blind
      And beaten black and blue;
      I’d like to roast them in a grill
      And listen to them shriek,
      Then break them on the wheel until
      They turned the other cheek.

      — Roger Woddis

      • James

        This is exactly while I’ll take the love, mercy and truth of Christ ANY DAY over the intolerant, hateful, persecution-loving, false religion of secular progressiveness. Your heresy, witchcraft, bigotry and general negativity are one thing but when you slander Jesus to your side, boy you better get yourself to the Sacrament of Confession and Repentance. You don’t know when your time will come and if it comes when you’re NOT in a state of grave, there’s no guarantee that God will say “eh, come on into Heaven, I’ll get over it”.

        • bsummers

          Who wants to be in a state of grave? I was raised Southern Baptist, but I don’t recall ever hearing that one.

        • bsummers

          Oh sorry – someone just said to me that this was probably a typo – “grace”… “state of grace” is what I need to be in.

          And when did I slander Jesus? Unless you mean by pointing out that he was a socialist Jew who went after the money lenders… Hey, Vote Bernie!!!

  3. Katharine Hayhoe is a compassionate and Christian person who knows more about climate science than almost anyone in the world. When she says that human burning of oil and coal is driving this dangerous process, it is the truth. when she says that the poor and the powerless will be the first humans to suffer and die from this, she tells the truth again. finally, when she tells us that trying to slow this process begins with letting go of our resentments and prejudices, admitting our imperfections, and reaching out to our fellows to find our way together, she tells the deepest truth of all. Listen to her. Listen to her. Time is short.

  4. Big Al

    She’s a Christian (not a Pagan earth-goddess worshiper), but she wants to save the environment! Wow…!

    Don’t buy this hype.

    I once asked the author of a book about environmentalism in non-mainstream churches if she would be willing to put aside differences over whether global climate change is man-made in order to join with mainstream Christian “Creation Care” groups to address shared issues. Her reply: “They just need to be educated”.

    In other words, there is only one way, THEIR WAY, and anything other than attacking Capitalism and Industry to redistribute wealth is unacceptable.

    This “green movement” is just more Totalitarian Socialism (i.e a money and power grab) re-branded to appear kindler and gentler.

    • bsummers

      Wow, way to completely dismiss this speaker and her views, just because some other person didn’t respond the way you wanted.

    • Yep

      Yes Big Al very accurate assessment of these type of liberal kinder and gentler christians… can think of several local congregations that sway this way … even the mainstream UMC too.

  5. David Macdonald

    Well I’m an atheist, and all you deniers will burn in a he’ll of your own making it seems, and the 12 horsemen of the apocalypse are 1. Richard Alley, 2. Kevin Anderson, 3. Jason Box, 4. Ken Caldeira, 5.Andrew Dessler, 6. Kerry Emanuel, 7.Peter Gleick, 8.Katharine Hayhoe, 9.Phil Jones. 10. Michael E. Mann, 11. Richard A. Muller, 12.Michael Oppenheimer,

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