Texas Tech University Researchers Take Faith-Based Approach to Global Warming With
‘Climate for Change’
October 28, 2009
Two researchers look at the global warming debate from a Christian perspective.
Two Texas Tech University researchers are tackling the global warming debate from
a Christian perspective with a new book, “A Climate For Change: Global Warming Facts
For Faith-Based Decisions.”
The book is written by husband-and-wife team Katharine Hayhoe, a research associate
professor in the Department of Geosciences, and Andrew Farley, an associate professor
of applied linguistics. It will publish Thursday (Oct. 29) by Hachette Book Group.
Hayhoe is a climate researcher who contributed to the Nobel-winning United Nations
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the recent study conducted by the White
House. She said the idea for the book developed from questions the couple received
from people trying to separate climate change fact from fiction.
“This book came from conversations with friends who wanted to know the truth about
climate change from a fellow Christian – someone they could trust,” she said. “We
realized we had an incredible opportunity to speak out on one of the most pressing
issues facing our generation. Most Christians are not scientists, and it's hard to
say how many scientists are Christians. In our family, we have both.”
The authors address common misconceptions about climate change, including global cooling
theories and whether current warming trends are part of a natural cycle.
Hayhoe said many people have a tough time deciding if global warming is happening
because the media is cluttered with competing and diametrically opposed viewpoints.
“The most important questions to start with are ‘is climate changing,’ and ‘are humans
responsible,’ ” she said. “We have good answers to those questions: Yes and yes. We
have overwhelming evidence that shows it’s already happening. It’s affecting our lives
already whether we realize it or not. It’s not about blue or red or any kind of politics.
It’s about thermometer readings and history. It’s about facts, figures and reality.”
Farley, who recently authored the new book, “The Naked Gospel: The Truth You May Never
Hear in Church,” serves as a nondenominational pastor at a church in Lubbock, Texas,
where he said many don’t believe in global warming.
“Together, we have talked to people who are asking whether or not climate change is
real,” he said. “They want to know if it's a genuine crisis that requires our attention
or if the whole thing is just a lot of smoke and mirrors. They also want to know what
the Bible says, if anything, about a Christian response.”
He said that as Christians and good neighbors, the faith community should give the
topic of climate change fair consideration. Given the effects the documented rise
in global temperatures is already having on our world, it is important to take action
now before it is too late to prevent more severe impacts.
“Love God, love your neighbors and remember the poor,” Farley said. “This was the
unwavering mandate of the early church more than 2,000 years ago. And this is our
solidly biblical motivation for caring about climate change today and how it already
affects real people. Today it’s our global neighbors, even though they may be strangers
to us, who are feeling the greatest effects of climate change and who will continue
to feel those changes in the future. The poor and disadvantaged are the most vulnerable
because they don’t have the resources – luxuries like heating and air conditioning
– that will help us to adapt.”
Making small changes now can lessen the impact on future climate change, Hayhoe said.
“In terms of the future, there is an enormous difference between the amount of change
and the impacts that we expect if we continue to depend on our current sources of
energy as we have in the past, as compared to what our future holds if we transition
to new clean home-grown sources of energy such as wind turbines that cover the High
Plains of Texas.”
The book offers common sense ways each person can lower his or her carbon footprint
- Change manual thermostats for new programmable units. This conserves energy, and can
save almost $200 a year on electric bills.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent bulbs. If every U.S. household replaced
just one traditional bulb with a fluorescent bulb, the energy saved would be equivalent
to taking nearly 1 million cars off the road.
CONTACT: Katharine Hayhoe, associate professor, Department of Geosciences, Texas Tech
- Turn off computers and televisions at night. If every home and business would set
computers to automatically turn off, it would save $4 billion worth of energy each
year – enough to power all of Vermont, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
(806) 392-1900, or email@example.com;Andrew Farley, associate professor of applied linguistics, Department of Classical
and Modern Languages and Literatures, Texas Tech University,
(806) 445-9739, or firstname.lastname@example.org.