GOOD

Dr. Katharine Hayhoe is an evangelical Christian climate scientist — and a breath of fresh air

If you peruse the comments on any article about climate change, you'll see scores of people claiming that climate change is a hoax and that the masses are being duped by some version of a globalist conspiracy in which thousands upon thousands of professional earth scientists are being paid off by boogeyman George Soros. Such denial about the reality of climate change crosses cultures, but one group is particularly prone to questioning the scientific consensus: white American evangelical Christians.

According to Pew Research, over a third of evangelical Christians claim there is "no solid evidence" that climate change is happening, and white evangelical Christians in the U.S. are much more likely to be skeptical of the science than other demographics. Most of the strongest voices in the climate change denier camp are religiously and politically conservative, which may lead those who view the world in binary, black and white terms — conservative/liberal, Republican/Democrat, saved/damned, good/evil — to automatically swing toward listening to deniers before listening to the vast majority of scientists.


Some people may also view science as being in conflict with their religion in general. For folks whose faith is their highest priority, such a view can easily lead to dismissing science out of hand.

None of this, of course, changes the fact that practically every reputable professional science organization on the planet has endorsed the consensus that the earth is warming faster than should naturally occur, that human activity is a significant contributor to that acceleration, and that not taking action to stop it will have disastrous consequences for life on our planet.

RELATED: America burns more of its used plastic than it recycles and it's turning our planet into a trash fire

So how do we bridge the chasm between scientific fact and (some) evangelical Christian beliefs?

Enter Dr. Katharine Hayhoe. As an atmospheric scientist who studies climate change, she takes science seriously. And as an evangelical Christian married to a pastor, she also takes the Bible seriously. The difference, she says, is that unlike religious faith, climate change is not something you believe in or don't believe in.

"I don't believe in climate change, and I never have because it is not a religion," says Hayhoe. "As a scientist I look at the data and the facts and they are clear: climate is changing, humans are responsible, the impacts are already serious, and there are solutions if we act now."

Hayhoe is the Director of the Climate Change Center at Texas Tech University. She was named one of Time's Most Influential People in 2014, one of Fortune's 50 Greatest Leaders in 2017, and recently received a U.N. Champion of the Earth award for Science and Innovation. She is a leading voice on climate change, and her overt faith makes her uniquely suited to reach those who are skeptical of science to the point of rejecting it.

If you want to see Dr. Hayhoe in action, go to her Twitter account, where she patiently answers people's questions and takes a refreshingly clear-headed approach to climate change denial. Then check out here digital video series, "Global Weirding with Katharine Hayhoe." Produced in partnership with PBS, the series tackles specific aspects of the science of climate change, as well as politics and religion that sometimes slip into the mix, and it does so brilliantly.

Here are a few gems from the series' YouTube channel:

First, the idea that climate change is just a money grab by scientists:

Climate change, that's just a money grab by scientist... right? www.youtube.com

And for the "The climate is always changing, this is all part of the natural cycle of things" folks:

This is all just a part of a natural cycle, right? www.youtube.com

How about what the Bible says about climate change?

The Bible doesn't talk about climate change, right? www.youtube.com

And for those of us who keep banging our head against the wall trying to fight denial with fact, some ways to talk to deniers that might actually help:

If I just explain the facts, they'll get it, right? www.youtube.com

Professional scientists are busy doing research, publishing their work, and teaching students. They don't have time to hang out in comments sections taking on the unscientific or pseudoscientific claims of random climate change deniers. And that's too bad because we need their voices out in the world, talking to normal people, explaining the science in ways that non-scientists can understand, and rebutting the people-who-think-they-are-thinking-critically-but-aren't.

RELATED: No, climate change protesters did not leave behind a bunch of trash, despite what a viral photo claims

Thank you, Dr. Hayhoe, for lending your voice to the fray and for providing these tools we all can use to fight for the health and future of our home. You are just the breath of fresh air our planet needs right now.

The Planet
via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
Pixabay

Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

Keep Reading Show less

Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Cocostation

Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger

Dizaul

Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head

Speakman

Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor

Zomchi

Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

The Planet