Tapestry

How to talk climate change with Evangelical Christians

Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist and a prominent figure in the study of climate change. One of her toughest jobs? Trying to convince her fellow Evangelical Christians that global warming is real.
Canadian scientist Katharine Hayhoe is one of the lead authors of The Climate Science Special Report. (Ashley Rodgers/Texas Tech University)
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Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist and a prominent figure in the study of climate change. One of her toughest jobs? Trying to convince her fellow evangelical Christians that global warming is real. 

Hayhoe tells Mary Hynes that she convinces her fellow Evangelical Christians that climate change is real by appealing to their shared religious beliefs.

Katharine Hayhoe (Chris Soldt/BostonCollege MTS)

For Hayhoe, science and religion have always peacefully co-existed. Her parents were missionaries and her father was the science and technology coordinator for the Toronto District School Board.

After studying physics and astronomy at the University of Toronto she earned her Master's degree and PhD in atmospheric science from the University of Illinois. That's where she met her husband, Andrew Farley, a noted Christian author, pastor and professor. They now live in Texas.

It wasn't until after they were married that Farley and Hayhoe realized they didn't exactly see eye-to-eye on climate change. She had assumed he believed it was real. He assumed she believed it was false. When they finally found some common ground, they wrote the book A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions

Katharine Hayhoe is an associate professor of political science at Texas Tech University and the director of the school's Climate Science Center.  In 2014, Time magazine listed her among its 100 Most Influential People.

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