Previously published on BillMoyers.com.
The latest in a string of dire reports on climate change recently came from the United Nations' meteorological advisory body, which said that the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2013, due to a "surge" in carbon dioxide, prompting fears of an accelerated warming of the planet.
A majority of Americans think global warming is real and that human activity's a factor, believing in the science behind reports on climate change. But some two-thirds of white evangelical Christians aren't convinced.
In the face of those who use religion to deny the worldwide crisis of climate change, climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, an evangelical Christian, believes that her faith is compatible with science. This week on Moyers & Company she speaks about ending the gridlock between politics, science and faith in order to find solutions to the widespread threats associated with global warming.
Katharine Hayhoe tells us:
"...The New Testament talks about how faith is the evidence of things not seen. By definition, science is the evidence of things that are seen, that can be observed, that are quantifiable. And so that's why I see faith and science as two sides of the same coin."
The daughter of missionaries, Hayhoe believes she, too, has a mission:
"Caring about climate is entirely consistent with who we are as Christians. But over the last several decades... we have increasingly begun to confound our politics with our faith. To the point where instead of our faith dictating our attitudes on political and social issues, we are instead allowing our political party to dictate our attitude on issues that are clearly consistent with who we are... Climate change is a casualty of much larger societal issues. If we can get past the issue of rhetoric and politics, and actually start talking about what's in our hearts, I have seen amazing things happen in terms of moving forward to look at solutions that are consistent with the values that we have."
Katharine Hayhoe teaches at Texas Tech University and is director of its Climate Science Center. She is the founder and CEO of Atmos Research, a scientific research and consulting firm and co-author of A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions. A rising star of climate science, Hayhoe was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2014 and featured in the Emmy Award-winning Showtime documentary series Years of Living Dangerously.
Moyers & Company airs weekly on public television. Explore more at BillMoyers.com.