Texas Tech University

A believer among the skeptics: A Canadian’s crusade to convert Christians to climate change belief


April 27, 2015

BullFax - Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, a cheerful, Toronto-born evangelical Christian, has become the hottest ticket in the highly polarized U.S. debate over climate change. Named in 2014 by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in America, she is sought out by Hollywood stars, applauded by environmentalists and fellow scientists, and a huge draw on the Christian speaking circuit because she has opened the door, if only a crack, to the largest and single most stubborn community of climate skeptics in America — evangelicals.

In 2006, Hayhoe and her husband moved to the panhandle city of Lubbock, Texas, a dusty plains city of 239,538 residents and 127 churches, where they secured teaching positions at Texas Tech University. Andrew also took a job as a part-time pastor at a local Baptist church.

"Not only were there quite a few people in (the United States) who didn't think climate change was real but most of them lived in Texas," she said. "And the biggest concentration are in west Texas." Hayhoe became Texas Tech's first director of its new Climate Science Center, which, perhaps significantly, is part of the department of political science.

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