Path to Zero
Path to Zero
3.03 - Finding Climate Change Hope with Dr. Katharine Hayhoe

In this episode, Tucker has the privilege of talking to a preeminent climate scientist who The New York Times described as “one of the nation’s most effective communicators on climate change.”

You may know Dr. Katharine Hayhoe from her many appearances on late night talk shows or perhaps you saw her TED Talk that has received nearly 4 million views. From that talk, she became the nation’s evangelist for “rational hope.”

About Dr. Katharine Hayhoe

Dr. Hayhoe is the chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy and a distinguished professor at Texas Tech University. She also hosts and produces the PBS Digital Series, Global Weirding, and has received a number of recognitions, from making the TIME 100 list to being named United Nations Champion of the Earth in Science and Innovation.

Finding Hope

Tucker talks to Dr. Hayhoe extensively about her new book, “Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World.”

Hayhoe says she commonly gets two questions from people about climate change:
1. How do I have a conversation with a family member or acquaintance when it’s such a polarizing issue?
2. What gives you hope?

“When we see something coming and we realize there’s nothing we can do, that is where we lose hope,” says Hayhoe. “Where do we find hope? By recognizing that there are actions that we can take that will make a difference.’

Hayhoe says we can find hope by using our voice and we have tremendous power to advocate for change. She points out that we’re all part of groups whether that be your employer, children’s school or church. She recommends doing things like suggesting an energy audit to reduce carbon emissions, taking public transportation or thinking about where you get your electricity.

Christianity and Climate Science

Tucker and Hayhoe also discuss the perception that you can’t be for the climate and also be a Christian. Dr. Hayhoe is an evangelical Christian and the wife of a pastor.

“They are completely compatible with each other, in fact, the reason I’m a climate scientist is because I’m a Christian,” says Hayhoe. “Climate change is a profoundly human issue, it affects every single one of us, it affects our water our food, the safety of our homes and it affects the poorest and most vulnerable people more than anyone and that’s not fair. As a Christian, I believe that we’re called to love our neighbor.”

Role of Fossil Fuels

Tucker also asks Dr. Hayhoe about her thoughts on the role oil and gas companies will play in addressing climate change. Hayhoe believes there’s a roll for everyone but we are definitely reducing the use of those products.

“We can’t fix climate change and not reduce the use of oil and gas,” says Hayhoe. “Companies like BP are taking the lead and transitioning a large part of their business model to look at alternative fuels and how to be more efficient with the resources that we have.’

“Saving Us” Discussion Groups

Hayhoe says she is working on putting discussion questions and short videos on her website related to her book, Saving Us. For anyone looking for a way to start a conversation, she says you can find the resources to have a book discussion group.