Wayland hosting climatologist Katherine Hayhoe

November 3, 2011

PLAINVIEW – Wayland Baptist University will host renowned climatologist Dr. Katharine Hayhoe on Wednesday, Nov. 9. A Research Associate Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas Tech University, Dr. Hayhoe is an expert on climate change and will be speaking at Wayland’s weekly chapel service at 11 a.m. in Harral Memorial Auditorium. She will also give a seminar at 2:30 p.m. in the Moody Science building. Both events are open to the public.

The director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech, Dr. Hayhoe approaches global warming and climate change from a Christian perspective. Her visit to Wayland is in conjunction with the university’s Creation Care Week, Nov. 7-12. Promoted and sponsored by the School of Math and Sciences, Creation Care Week is designed to enlighten students and others on the importance of caring for God’s creation. Hayhoe highlights the week-long event that will culminate in an electronics recycling effort co-sponsored by Wayland, the City of Plainview and SIMS Recycling on Saturday, Nov. 12, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Dr. Hayhoe will speak on global climate change, an issue that is highly controversial in the public arena and results in adamant arguments both supporting the concept and in opposition to it. Dr. Herbert Grover, Dean of the School of Math and Sciences at Wayland, is hoping Hayhoe can shed light on the information scientists rely on to derive their viewpoints, and help people see the broader issue from a Christian viewpoint.

Dr. Hayhoe will specifically address the basics of climate change during her chapel presentation, asking the question: How do we know it’s real? Why do we think humans are causing it? And, Why should we as Christians care?

“This is a delicate issue,” Grover said. “While the community of climatologists holds that there is no doubt about global warming, others remain skeptical. The issue is clouded by differing interpretations of scientific data and modeling results and concerns about the economic and political implications at the global scale.”

Hayhoe is viewed nationally as an expert on the matter. Her research has been used to develop state and federal policies, and has been presented before Congress. She has been featured by more than 200 media outlets worldwide, including Fox News and the BBC. From 2008-2009, Dr. Hayhoe served as a lead author on the federal report “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States,” commissioned by the Bush administration and released under the Obama administration. The report provides an assessment on how climate change is affecting public health, water resources, energy, agriculture and the natural environment. She and her husband, Andrew Farley, also co-authored the book A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions.

Grover said her approach is very “positive and respectful” in nature as she points to facts in hopes of clearing confusion on the issue. Grover hopes people will listen to her with an open mind.

“What we are trying to do is enlighten and inform without inflaming the issue,” he said.
Along with her chapel presentation, Dr. Hayhoe will speak at a special luncheon and again at 2:30 in a special afternoon seminar where she will address future climate change in Texas. Anyone interested in hearing Dr. Hayhoe is invited to the chapel session at 11 a.m. in Harral Auditorium, and to the afternoon seminar in room 110 of the Moody Science building.