Dr. Katharine Hayhoe is an Atmospheric Scientist originally from Canada, now a Professor in Texas. She consults with cities and municipal governments about climate change actions as well as giving public talks. She was in Portland this summer speaking at the World Affairs Council International Speakers Series.
"When Katharine Hayhoe, associate professor in the political science department at Texas Tech University in Lubbock and director of the school’s Climate Science Center, speaks to community groups, she often opens with a statement of faith. This 42-year-old atmospheric scientist is deeply religious and married to an evangelical Christian pastor. But she also begins that way because she finds it helps her connect to her audiences. “People will listen to you if they see you as someone who shares their values,” she notes. “I try to illustrate how if you are a person of faith, you should also care about climate change. It’s not always an easy argument to make. People think you’re asking them to join the Church of Al Gore. I try to show how this is about caring for others and protecting our families, communities—our way of life.” Hayhoe’s consulting work involves helping municipalities plan for climate change. After record heat waves in Chicago, for instance, her report to city officials prompted them to initiate a green-roof program, which saves money and alleviates the urban heat-island effect."
“I feel climate scientists are similar to physicians. We’ve determined the climate is running a fever. We know if nothing is done, there will be serious consequences. For me, my faith takes me further. This affects God’s creation, which is people and the earth, which we are commanded to love.”