The Evangelical Scientist Preaching Climate Change

Photo: Nattu

The weather in the United States this “autumn” has been bizarre. I live in Maryland, and we’ve had seventy degrees fahrenheit one day, forty degrees the next, then sleet, then sunshine—and I’ve never been able to traipse around town sans winter coat in December before.

With that in mind, let’s revisit Ann Neumann’s 2014 interview with Katharine Hayhoe, “climate evangelist.” Flouting the stereotype of the anti-science Evangelical Christian, Hayhoe champions the reality and urgency of climate change. She is conservative in her politics and her spirituality, sure, but she’s deeply concerned for the planet’s welfare and sees environmental protection as a Christian imperative. Needless to say, her stance is threatening to many Evangelical Christians, including Republican politicians. For others, it’s the permission they need to face reality.

It’s a common perception that science and religion are mutually exclusive. But there are many scientists who would consider themselves to be spiritual people. Not only that, but in the case of climate change—a scientific issue with strong moral implications and difficult decisions to be made—it’s essential to connect the science to our values. And for many of us, our values come from our faith.

For Christians, doing something about climate change is about living out our faith—caring for those who need help, our neighbors here at home or on the other side of the world, and taking responsibility for this planet that God created and entrusted to us. My faith tells me that God does want people to understand climate change and do something about it.

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