Climate scientist sees opportunity for Iowa

The Des Moines Register - As a 21-year-old University of Toronto student, Katharine Hayhoe needed a course to wrap up her degree in physics and astronomy. She'd already earned a minor in Spanish and taken the standard electives like children's literature and art history.

"Climate change has become the most divisive political issue in the United States, after people's opinion of the president," Hayhoe said in a phone interview. "It's become divisive, though, not because of the science. It's because of the solutions."

Faced with the prospect of difficult and expensive solutions, people find it easier to deny the problem. "It's a lot easier to say, 'I don't think it's a real problem' than it is to say, 'Oh, yes, I think it's a problem but we don't want to do anything about it,'" Hayhoe said.

Hayhoe, now director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, will discuss climate solutions in Iowa this week, a trip coinciding with Earth Day observances. She'll speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Iowa State University's Memorial Union. Hayhoe is also the founder and CEO of ATMOS Research, a climate change consultancy. She is science adviser to Showtime's Emmy-winning series "The Years of Living Dangerously," and was featured in the first episode.

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