It may come as a surprise for some to hear a famed climate scientist declare, "…more science is not the answer to global action." That is, however, exactly what Texas Tech Professor, Kathrine Hayhoe shared in her article for Scientific America.
Over 50 years ago, scientists first provided evidence that the climate is changing, and while actions have been taken, they have paled in comparison to the motivation provided by our faith. This, of course, is not intended to deride the scientific work conducted by experts. Hayhoe's words instead illuminate the usefulness of faith leaders in climate talks, encouraging millions to act on these scientific findings because their hearts compel them to do so. Hayhoe continued, "As a scientist, I value the observations, data and facts that have been collected in many years of climate science research. As a person of faith, I am motivated by love for others and for this amazing world in which we live."
Hayhoe isn't alone as climate attitudes have transitioned to action drastically in the past year due largely to the cascade of faith leaders speaking on the moral issue of climate change. Religious leaders discoursing on climate change not only bridges the 'perceived divide between religion and science', but offers 'unique voices [to] have the potential to fundamentally alter the climate debate.'
Science and Faith Can Solve Climate Change Together: Moral conviction, backed by facts, could finally inspire global action
Katharine Hayhoe | Scientific America
It has been almost a quarter century since the majority of nations signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, agreeing to “limit dangerous anthropogenic [human] interference with the climate system.” And yes, nearly 25 years since the world agreed to prevent serious impacts on global food supply, the natural environment and the economy.
This December, 195 nations will be heading to Paris for the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to discuss yet again how to accomplish what they all promised nearly a generation ago. As you can imagine, the question on everyone’s mind is, “Will this time be any different?”
Climate science has certainly advanced across this time frame. Our global climate models zoom down to finer and finer resolutions; our satellites reveal remote corners of the globe; we increase our understanding of the response of giant ice sheets and deep ocean currents to a warming planet.