What Would Jesus Do (About Climate Change)?

Or, how you can understand global warming even if you think the earth is 6,000 years old.


You may remember Katharine Hayhoe as the climate scientist who wrote a chapter for Newt Gingrich’s book about environmental entrepreneurs, only to watch Gingrich throw the chapter in the trash and her under the bus. If so, you know one thing about Hayhoe (the climate scientist part) that her husband didn’t know when they got married.

Improbable as it may seem, when Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech, married Andrew Farley, a linguistic professor and evangelical preacher, he didn’t know what she studied. And she didn’t know that he was a climate skeptic. Love, as a wise guy once said, is blind.

Over the succeeding years, Hayhoe and Farley debated the evidence, and, eventually, they proved the ancient proverb: In marriage, the woman is always right. Their experience even spawned a book geared toward evangelical Christians — A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-based Decisions — and something of a secondary career track for Hayhoe: communicating climate science to churchgoers.

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The Climate Desk is a journalistic collaboration dedicated to exploring the impact—human, environmental, economic, political—of a changing climate. The partners are The Atlantic, Center for Investigative Reporting, Grist, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Mother Jones, Slate, and Wired.