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Community Life

Hey-o! Did Somebody Say Climate Change?

Dr. Hayhoe answers questions during the Q&A portion of her talk. Photo by EHS Communications

On March 27, students took a break from service and listened to the wise words of Katharine Hayhoe, the Scholar in Residence who came to EHS to discuss her beliefs on climate change and faith. We’ve all seen the erratic weather; one day it’s 80 degrees and sunny, then the next is 30 degrees with wind speeds strong enough to shut the government down. Long story short, Mother Nature’s unpredictable forecast is a prevalent topic of discussion and debate, and Dr. Hayhoe came to clear some things up.

Her presentation essentially addressed the community’s #1 question: if there is so much debacle and emphasis on “global warming,” why isn’t the weather always warm? Here were her main takeaways and tips on how we can make a difference:

  1. Although often used interchangeably, global warming and climate change have a very distinct difference. Global warming deals solely with human impact, while climate change deals with human impact AND nature’s impact.
  2. Earth has been experiencing climate change for the past 4.5 + billion years: gradual increases and decreases to the globe’s average temperature over time. It’s an inevitable aspect of our world’s livelihood. Global warming, on the other hand, is caused by humans’ excessive burning of fossil fuels. We use these in our day to day lives.
  3. Climate change is not a political issue, it’s a humanitarian and scientific one. “The planet is warming; the science is clear that humans are responsible; the impacts we’re seeing today are already serious; and our future is in our hands.”
  4. How can we help? It’s the little things that can have a major impact. Reducing water usage: i.e shorter showers, turning off the faucet when not in use, etc., installing solar panels and using wind energy. All of these options can not only save us money, but also help regulate our Earth’s erratic climate.
  5. Now, finally, how does this relate to faith? Rev. G answers this question perfectly: “[Dr. Hayhoe] challenges not only in the scientific realm, but also in the religious realm. The sharing of her Evangelical faith along with her commitment to science and all of God’s creation shows the diversity that exists inside her denomination.”

As we approach the final weeks of school, consider Dr. Hayhoe’s remarks; the future of the environment rests in our hands. How can we, as a community, help make a difference?