Climate scientist comes to Fairbanks church to talk faith and science
Climate scientist, Doctor Katherine Hayhoe, has been visiting different organizations and holding lectures in Fairbanks.
On Tuesday, she held a lecture at Friends Church, about how faith and science can interact.
Doctor Hayhoe has previously written a book about climate change based on facts and faith based decisions. This book was co-written by her husband, who happens to be an evangelical pastor. She produces bi-weekly content for PBS, and has written reports for the US Global Change Research Program and the National Academy of Sciences.
"It isn't enough just to talk about the science, we have to talk about why we care, and the reason why I care is because I'm a Christian. I believe, as it says in Genesis 1, we've been given responsibility to care for everything living on this planet, which includes plants, animals and people." said Hayhoe, in response to the question of why faith and science should be interlinked.
She discussed common arguments against climate change by Republican politicians and pastors. That the climate is changing since it is God's plans or that it is merely natural fluctuations. She combated this by showing national data showing temperatures rising and glacier reduction at an increasing rate. Hayhoe made the case that being a Christian compels her to care about such issues.
"We need our science to tell us what's happening, why it is happening and what the consequences of our choices will be" Said Hayhoe. "But we also need our faith because our faith informs our values, and our values tell us how to respond to this information."
Lastly Hayhoe addressed what she called the biggest misconception about climate change, that it's a distant problem that will only effect future generations.
"It affects our health, it increases the wildfire smoke days, and it affects our infrastructure, our homes and our roads through thawing permafrost. Its affecting the beauty of the natural glaciers that we so admire. Here in Alaska we can see the evidence of a changing climate and how it’s impacting our lives with our own eyes."
Hayhoe hopes to bridge the gap between politics, religion and climate change and says that instead of working against each other, these elements can work together, for the benefit of everyone.