White evangelicals are more likely than any other group of Christians in America to deny that climate change is occurring. But for Texas Tech climate scientist and evangelical Christian Katharine Hayhoe, faith is at the heart of her work.
In a new episode of her show “Global Weirding,” distributed by PBS Digital Studios, Hayhoe explains why accepting the science and working to combat climate change should be a top priority for evangelicals.
The first book of the Bible, Genesis, states that God made humankind in His image “so that we humans could be responsible for every living thing on the planet,” Hayhoe says.
“All of us respect wise stewardship when it comes to being in charge of something,” she continues, “and that’s what Genesis is talking about.”
What’s more, the Bible repeatedly calls on believers to demonstrate love to others, and especially those less fortunate. “And that,” Hayhoe says, “is why we care about a changing climate, because it disproportionately affects the poor and the vulnerable.”
Although just half of American evangelicals believe global warming is happening ― compared to 63 percent of all Americans ― many prominent evangelical leaders agree with Hayhoe that climate change is a human rights issue, as well as an environmental one.
In a document released by the National Association of Evangelicals in 2011, entitled “Loving the Least of These: Addressing a Changing Environment,” the organization’s president Leith Anderson wrote: “While others debate the science and politics of climate change, my thoughts go to the poor people who are neither scientists nor politicians... They will suffer while we study.”
Check out Katharine Hayhoe’s video on the Bible and climate change above.