Evangelicals, Katherine Hayhoe, and Climate Change

In Environment, Religion, The Big Picture by Vijay Jayaraj9 Comments

Dr. Katherine Hayhoe is an evangelical scientist who desires the wellbeing of human society. She crunches data and helps people quantify the impacts of climate change.

Sadly, her communication to the church has been anything but helpful.

Dr. Hayhoe says, “The data tells us 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.”

But is it? Does the church have to take her at her word because she is an evangelical and an atmospheric and climate scientist at Texas Tech University who is passionate about communicating science to the faith community?

Not at all!

There are evangelical scientists in both camps—the climate alarmist camp and the climate realist camp (aka the climate skeptics).

None can be termed ‘climate deniers,’ since scientists in both camps agree that the climate has been changing from the beginning of time. They only disagree on the magnitude of human contribution.

How, then, do we arrive at truth?

To test the validity of dangerous climate change theory, we have to repeatedly compare predictions based on the theories with data (real-world observations) and see whether the data contradicts those theories. The science of climate change is no exception. This is where Dr. Hayhoe’s claims are found wanting.

The data do not reveal dangerous warming. Instead they show that climate has been changing since the creation of the Earth, and recent changes are well within historic bounds.

While she is right to say that the planet has warmed since the mid-19th century, the warming is not unprecedented. The earth has been warming since the Little Ice Age of the 16th and 17th centuries. We should be surprised if it were not.

We have had two similar warming trends in the past 2000 years, both when humans had nothing to do with carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

In fact, temperature reconstructions show us that there have been many such warmings in the past. Thus, we have no reason to panic about our role in the warming.

With regard to the relationship between carbon dioxide levels and temperature, we have no conclusive proof that the global temperature levels are driven to dangerous levels by carbon dioxide levels.

The three warmest years in the past 20 years were a direct result of exceptionally strong El Niños, not carbon dioxide. Even though carbon dioxide levels increased steadily during many of those 20 years, temperature did not.

Where do the dangerous warming forecasts originate?

They come from computer climate models that have been proven wrong. How? By comparing their predicted warming rates with the data. On average, they predict 2 to 3 times the observed warming. These are the very same models Hayhoe cites as proof for catastrophic warming.

The fault in the models is widely acknowledged, even by scientists in the climate alarmist camp, and testified to by climate scientists to the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

There has been no significant warming in the past 19 years and no drastic sea level rise as hyped by the popular media.

No human activity has impacted the global climate system in any dangerous way, contrary to Dr. Hayhoe’s claims.

Church leaders should, therefore, use their conscience to safeguard the church from science communicators who misinform and promote an alarmist agenda based on skewed scientific data.

This misinformation regarding climate data impacts millions of people around the world adversely, robbing them of access to clean, affordable, and reliable energy from fossil fuels. It hampers the Christian efforts to address the needs of the poor and marginalized.

Dr. Hayhoe is fond of saying, “If you begin a conversation with, ‘You’re an idiot,’ that’s the end of the conversation.” Ironically, she does not live up to her own doctrine, as she continues to refuse dialogue with her fellow evangelical climate scientists who differ from her perspective.
Christianity isn’t a blind faith, but climate alarmist dogma is!

Vijay Jayaraj (M.S., Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, England), Research Associate for Developing Countries for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, lives in India.

Vijay Jayaraj (M.S., Environmental Science) is the Research Associate for Developing Countries for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. He currently lives in Udumalpet, India.


  1. tom@colderside.com'

    You need to be aware of the fact that she makes substantial income in “consulting fees and honoraria,” from those very positions she refuses to debate.

    If her name appears on a report or publication, accuracy will not be found within .

  2. jarmobile@aol.com'

    Everything about how the alarmists debate, including denigrating skeptics to the point of refusing to give them a hearing (or 16 AGs attempting to use legal means to criminally shut them down ), utilizing flawed data collection, manipulating analyses and employing hyperbolic narratives to scare politicians and the general populace alike hints of an evil spiritual influence. How else do you explain the overwhelming numbers of activists, the frenetic energy with which they work and the wholesale collusion of the scientific community, including evangelicals like Dr. Kayhoe.

    It reminds me of the ‘lying spirit’ in 1 Kings 22.

  3. lvenner27@sympatico.ca'

    Assuming the planet is 4 billion years old and if we take the last billion the average temperature has been 22 C. The average for the last 350 years has been 17C. In the late 80’s early 90’s the POPE asked the Canadian Pro-life, Campaign Life to attend the various UN conferences and point out to the 2cd and 3rd Worlds what we had in store for them, getting rid of them. Campaign Life’s efforts were mildly sucessful, enough though for the UN and the World Bank to resort to first Global Warming then Climate Change to achieve their goals of Population Limiting. that it in a nut shell.

  4. rtamaki@shaw.ca'

    It’s remarkable that when Hayhoe was featured in the 2014 documentary “The Years of Living Dangerously”, she presents the Vostok ice core record that Al Gore used in AIT as proof that CO2 caused warming. Of course that argument is long ago debunked, so that even Al Gore doesn’t use it anymore, but she does. Major credibility fail in my view.

  5. jimring@sbcglobal.net'

    IPCC Third Assessment Report
    Chapter 14
    Last paragraph:

    “In sum, a strategy must recognize what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

    This information was not included in the Summary Report for Policymakers given to the press and public.

    If the climate is indeed a coupled non-linear chaotic system (who can doubt the IPCC) then there is no rational or scientific basis to make a definitive statement about a future state of the climate.

    At this point the coupled non-linear chaotic nature of the climate makes scientific observations academically interesting but individually they have no relevance in predicting the future state of the climate. The climate is a system which means the relationships among these observations are what is important not the observations themselves.

    All the public discourse regarding the future state of the climate has been based on the false premise that the current climate models are predicting the future state of the climate when in fact the models are merely projecting these states.

    Predictions are the purview of science. Model projections can only agree with predictions when the models duplicate the real world which the IPCC says is impossible to do.

    To base public policy on an unknowable state of a system defies common sense. However, too much money and political power is at stake for the Central Planners to do otherwise.

    I would argue that the Climate Model True Believers are the ones taking an unscientific approach to the subject.

    In January 1961 President Eisenhower in his Farewell Address identified the situation in which we find ourselves today:

    “Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.
    In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
    Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
    The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.
    It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system — ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.”

    Other relevant publications from Eric Hoffer are: “The True Believer” and “The Temper of Our Times”

    From “The Temper of Our Times”: “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business and eventually degenerates into a racket.”

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