Katharine Hayhoe, a political science professor and climate scientist at Texas Tech University, has worked tirelessly over the years to educate religious communities about climate action through a series relentless speaking engagements. Apart from being a renowned climate scientists, Hayhoe is an Evangelical Christian, leaving many to wonder how she melds two seemingly disparate schools of thought. In an interview with National Public Radio entitled, An Evangelical Christian Believer In Climate Change, Hayhoe expands on her straightforward approach to addressing issues of climate change amongst skeptical Christian communities and how it has made her a stronger Christian.
Hayhoe shares that, ‘One of the biggest issues I often get asked is if God is in control, how could this (climate change) happen?’ Her response, albeit simple, is poignant: free will. God gave us the ability to make decisions, care for His creation and the consequence of choosing an overly industrialized society is climate change.
Hayhoe emphasizes that creation care is not a shift in theological thinking, rather, it is a transition to already existing values within the Christian community. She explains that, “If we are a conservative, conserving is what we do. If we are Christian, loving others is what we do. If we're a parent, wanting a better world for our child is what we do…We want a better world for ourselves.”
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
As the year 2014 draws to a close, we've been listening back to some of our favorite interviews over the past year. This week's pick comes from our editor Natalie Winston. Hi, Natalie.
NATALIE WINSTON, BYLINE: Hey, Rachel.
MARTIN: So which interview did you choose?
WINSTON: I picked a conversation we had with Katherine Hayhoe. She is a climate scientist at Texas Tech University and also a devout Christian. And she has spent time going around to other evangelical communities where she lives trying to kind of explain why climate change is real and also how caring about climate change fits into Christian values.
MARTIN: So kind of an interesting tension. What particularly struck you about this conversation?
WINSTON: The thing I loved about Katherine is that she just defies all stereotypes. She defies the stereotype about scientists, about being conservative, about being a so-called tree hugger, about being an evangelical Christian. And that's what I think is just so cool about her. And you can hear that in the conversation.
MARTIN: All right, let's listen to it. This is my conversation with Katherine Hayhoe.