Meet Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist with Atmos Research and Consulting and Professor & Director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. Sometimes, I unexpectedly bump into a guest at an event, conference, or randomly out in the world. Other times, a friend, like Andrew over at the Sounds and Vision podcast, will suggest a guest because they know who or what will make me geek out - like today’s guest, Katharine.
Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist and sometimes referred to as the “Jezebel of climate change.” Her research focuses on understanding what climate change means for people in the places where they actually live. (Breathe! She’ll describe what that means in this episode in a non-science-y way for us layfolks). As a first time beekeeper and lover of long walks in nature, climate change is definitely something I think (ok, worry) about on the regular. Katharine’s also a Professor at Texas Tech University and the host of the PBS digital series Global Weirding. She's been named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and Fortune’s 50 world's greatest leaders.
In this episode, we talk about climate change, including how it’s affecting those of us living in Northern America. We also talk about how we talk about any complex issue, like climate change, and what we can actually do to change it in our own unique ways. We talk about girl power (and the impact of daughters on their conservative dads). We chat about science-y and religious-y smokescreens, including how to recognize and dismantle them. We tackle toxic trolling and the toxic package of fear and loss.
As you listen to this episode, I have two challenges for you. First, I challenge you to think of a woman in your life that needs to know about Katherine and her work. Who would nerd out about this topic, too? Please share this episode with them. Second, think about one tiny action that you can take to make a positive impact on climate change today. Katharine (and the book Drawdown below offer so many choices). We all need to do our part. Have a listen.
Selected link love + resources from the episode:
Connect with Katharine social media: Website
Global Weirding (YouTube series)
Evie Sobczak (biofuel invention turns algae into fuel)
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, 3rd Edition: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships by Marshall Rosenberg (book)
Planet Stewards (formerly known as Climate Stewards)
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All of this is from Katharine (with some minor edits for readability).
[00:06:38] I don't find any hope at all in the science. It seems like almost every new study that comes out shows that climate is changing faster or to a greater extent or affecting us in new and different ways that we didn't even know about before.
[00:08:05] Fear will not motivate the long-term change. We need to fix this problem. We have to have that vision of a better future, and that is what we all need to be aiming towards.
[00:08:07] Climate change is a long term issue. We have to make substantial foundational changes in the way that we get our energy, in the way that we grow our food, and we're in it for the long haul.
[00:14:30] In 2017, 70% of new energy installed around the world was clean energy, wind, and solar.
[00:16:22] We have to break down not only the impacts, but the solutions. We have to recognize, ‘Well, what is it that I can do in my life, with who I am, where I'm at?’ That actually makes the difference.
[00:17:06] Every single one of us can talk about this issue [of climate change]. The most important thing we can do is not change a light bulb, but rather change a politician.
[00:22:42] We can spot somebody waving the bony finger of judgment at us a mile away. I don't know about you, but I can't stand somebody who's coming at me with an ‘I will fix you’ attitude.
[00:29:35] We're not used to seeing those climate scientists as a fellow human who we can look in the eyeballs and relate. We live in a society where people who are different than us are deliberately and systematically being sub-humanized and being presented and portrayed as other than us.
[00:40:01] [On climate change deniers] I'm a symbol of what they fear, what they think is depriving them, or whatever it is they're losing.
[00:44:47] As a Christian, we believe that who we are is not what we do. Our value and our worth is not based on what we've accomplished or what other people say about us and what other people believe about us. It's just based on who God says we are.
[00:46:26] I have done everything that I can, but I released the results. I don't judge my performance, myself, or my value on the results either. That is also incredibly freeing.
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