Texas Tech University

What the coronavirus can teach us about fighting climate change

Washington Post

August 25, 2020

Washington Post - The cartoon flashed across Katharine Hayhoe’s social media timeline in mid-July: Two doctors in lab coats scrutinize a box labeled “covid-19 science" while one says to the other, “As long as we just provide the FACTS to the American people.” Next to them, a pair of climate scientists are clutching their stomachs and laughing themselves to tears.

Hayhoe, a climate researcher at Texas Tech University, had to laugh, too. She is all too familiar with the limits of facts when people don't want to face them.

"We've known for a long time that simply communicating scientific facts is not enough to spur what science shows is the correct or rational behavior," Hayhoe said. "Climate scientists were probably the least surprised people in the world when the response to the coronavirus became politically polarized. Because that's what we've been living through for 30 years."

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