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Climate Hustle

Katharine Hayhoe's labour of love inspires a torrent of hate

Posted on 15 January 2012 by John Cook

Katharine Hayhoe is a Texan-based climate scientist and in my opinion, one of the clearest, most engaging and effective climate communicators kicking around. She also happens to be an evangelical Christian. A great introduction to climate science, her faith and Katharine herself is found in this short 10 question piece which was part of Nova's The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers series:

Further insight into what drives Katharine can be found in the following video where she discusses the Christian response to climate change. A core Christian value is a heart for the poor and vulnerable. Katharine provides one of the more concise and compelling summaries of why climate change is an important issue for Christians. Here's an excerpt (but do watch the full video):

As a Christian, we're told that God is not the author of fear. God is love. When we're acting out of fear, we're thinking about ourselves. When we act about love, we're not thinking about ourselves. We're thinking about others. Our global neighbours, the poor and disadvantaged, the people who don't have the resources to adapt. So I believe we're called first of all to love each other and second of all, to act.

Katharine's climate communication stems from of a love of science, a love for her fellow human beings and underpinning it all, her love for God. However, she has recently been bombarded with a wave of hate. The catalyst for the recent hate-fest was the breaking news that she had written a chapter about climate science for an upcoming book by Newt Gingrich, currently involved in the Republican Presidential primaries. When pressured, Gingrich dropped Katharine's chapter. What followed was a torrent of hate mail directed at Katharine, sometimes receiving hundreds of abusive emails in a single day. Some people's aversion to science has become so acute that the prospect of a climate scientist writing a chapter about climate science in a book published by the academic press is cause for sending abusive and threatening hate mail.

Meanwhile, the science tells us that the countries that contribute least to climate change are affected the most and are the least able to adapt. The people most affected are women and children, the most vulnerable in society. The human impacts will be more dire if good people such as Katharine did nothing. Therefore, I'm deeply thankful for passionate, positive communicators such as Katharine Hayhoe, tirelessly and fearlessly striving to communicate the realities of climate change.

Note: there is a We Support Katharine Hayhoe Facebook page. If you believe in supporting scientists who face of intimidation and persecution, I encourage you to make a public display by liking the page.

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Comments 1 to 50 out of 56:

  1. Oh, just watched the second video. Damn, she's married.
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  2. Disgusting how people can be so hateful and threatening when they can't face up to reality - especially those who would call themselves religious.
    Disgusting, too, how Gingrich dropped the relevant chapter just so he could appeal to the deniers within the Republican party. Hypocritical as well.

    Unfortunately, America is becoming a laughing-stock, politically speaking, where anti-science, religion and denial of reality is seemingly thought of as being the right qualities for a certain (largish ?) section of society.
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  3. You can well understand why she's being targeted by the hate-mongers. She is gorgeous, confident, bubbly and very articulate. Are you sure she's a climate scientist? Doesn't fit with this stereotypical image I have.
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  4. See the website for her book, A Climate for Change and the LA Times interview.

    Her book for evangelicals, "A Climate for Change," sells tepidly because Christian bookstores won't stock it. At a senior citizen center in Lubbock, a man shaking with rage shouted an expletive-studded monologue about how the greenhouse effect doesn't exist. At a talk for Texas Tech business school students, her arguments were simply dismissed. At the end of any given talk, perhaps one person might tell Hayhoe she's convinced him of the scientific consensus on global warming.

    Some might say that we're known by the company we keep. Hmm, Hayhoe on one side; the likes of Limbaugh and Morano on the other. No surprise, Gingrich picked the wrong side.
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  5. My congrats to Katharine. I hope other scientists follow her initiative.
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  6. Misanthropes are running the aslyum.

    Clearly the true problem is our self-contempt and species contempt.
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  7. Why did an informed woman, who professes to have empathy for "Our global neighbours, the poor and disadvantaged, the people who don't have the resources to adapt" donate her efforts and expertise to provide arch Republican Newt Gingrich, of all people, with a campaign tool?
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  8. I have to say, I think that people like Katherine Hayhoe and Barry Bickmore are very likely the most important individuals in the entire climate debate. They are so important for starting to address the cognitive dissonance we see with conservatives and the religious. I can rattle off scientific research all day long and there are people who will never ever believe me because I am a liberal atheist. But Katherine and Barry are in a very unique position that helps advance the broad public acceptance of climate science.

    If you read these comments, Katherine, thank you for your work!
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  9. Gingerbaker... Gingrich previously had made very clear statements about AGW being a concern and there's even a commercial with Gingrich and Boxer talking about their common position on it. It's only since he became a presidential candidate that he shifted his position.
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  10. It's really a damn shame that certain people have politicized climate science so much that a good and smart person as Hayhoe could receive so much hate mail for doing nothing more than providing a requested chapter on climate science. Something is very wrong with this picture.

    Kerry Emanuel recently also received a lot of hate mail, some of it targeting his wife, for saying that the political denial reactions to climate science sometimes make him feel ashamed to be American. Sometimes I feel the same way.
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  11. She has my full support, although I am not an especially religious person.

    I believe in fair play. What Morano did was unforgivable. That is not the first time, though. Who on earth would actually want to be remembered in toasts, when they have departed, as a hate-monger?

    I do not recognise the motivations for this that he has. The world has always - when it has worked OK - followed science: this is how we started to cure diseases such as Smallpox. Morano's mode-of-existence, instead, seems to be to attempt to rubbish any facts that do not match up to his rather strange worldview. Hence Climate Depot. He should be ashamed of himself. I could not live with myself if I were responsible for that.

    And you are responsible for that, Marc Morano. You should, indeed, be ashamed of yourself, were it that you knew shame!

    So come - answer me - and justify your methods. Come and justify why you think encouraging hate-mail to hard-working people is somehow cool. Come and tell us why you splatter your front page with the email addresses of folk with the obvious intention of getting their inboxes cluttered with messages of hate. Come tell us why you think the whipping-up of hatred against gentle Christian folk is a bit of a laugh. And then we may have peace (as Theoden suggested to Saruman).

    Marc Morano, respond honestly.

    It's your call...

    John
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  12. Rob Honeycutt:

    "Gingrich previously had made very clear statements about AGW being a concern and there's even a commercial with Gingrich and Boxer talking about their common position on it. It's only since he became a presidential candidate that he shifted his position. "

    I understand that, Rob, but it doesn't help me to understand why she would donate her efforts to support Newt Gingrich, his political goals, or those of the Republican party. None of which have any history of the slightest inclination to help "...Our global neighbours, the poor and disadvantaged, the people who don't have the resources to adapt".

    Do you think Hanson or Mann would write a book chapter - for free - for any perennial Republican candidate?

    I wonder whether her motivations to do this were not exclusively to promote climate change awareness, but rather also included political motivations typical of evangelical Christians, who vote very strongly Republican. If so, then I would argue that her religious and political affiliations might well be in severe cognitive dissonance with her claimed humanitarian and scientific goals.

    Not that there is anything wrong with promoting the dissemination of the scientific facts surrounding climate change, but doing it in the service of the Republican party, which has demonstrated its anti-science biases to anyone's satisfaction, simply doesn't jive with Hayhoe's professed missions.
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  13. I sincerely hope Dr. Hayhoe is following this. This is obviously a difficult time for you and your family, but know that regardless of what mean-spirited, hateful and ideological people might believe, you have truth, honour, integrity and science on your side.

    You also have the support of many, many people who respect and admire you and your work. Thank you for everything that you do and for standing up to bullies like Marc Morano and Rush Limbaugh.

    Stay strong.
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  14. Dr. Hayhoe might have been impressed by Newt's own words on the environment in "A Contract with the Earth," Gingrich and Maple, 2007:

    I am convinced, however, that the environment is an issue that transcends politics. Americans deserve candor on this subject: why the environment is so important to all of us, and why the time has come to act on what we know.

    But he was sitting squarely on the fence at that time:

    We recognize that global climate change is supported by a wealth of scientific data ... However we still cannot be certain about the variance introduced by distinctly human activities. Should human behavior be a cause, to any extent, it wouldn't be surprising, given the role that human beings have played in other environmental events ...

    He was, once upon a time, almost a radical green:

    The greatest dangers to biodiversity on the planet today are poor people cutting down tropical forests for money and killing endangered species for meat. Wealthy people can afford to protect the forests and protect endangered species.

    Only to find that this particular Newt could switch from green to red in a heartbeat:

    The candidate immediately stated that global warming “hasn’t been totally proven” and even if it were, he would still oppose a cap-and-trade solution to combat carbon emissions which, as Gingrich argued, would “turn over the entire economy to the EPA.” He offered the following analogy to explain his position. “The Dutch face the problem of oceans. They decided to build dikes instead of lowering the sea.”

    Poor choice of examples, as the Dutch are hardly standing still on climate change:

    As sea levels swell and storms intensify, the Dutch are spending billions of euros on "floating communities" that can rise with surging flood waters, on cavernous garages that double as urban floodplains and on re-engineering parts of a coastline as long as North Carolina's. The government is engaging in "selective relocation" of farmers from flood-prone areas and expanding rivers and canals to contain anticipated swells.

    Perhaps not being included in Newt's book will, in the long run, work out as a good thing for Dr. Hayhoe.
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  15. Katherine has been fighting the good climate fight for a long time.
    She voluntarily spoke at the Ontario Association of Physics Teachers conference and did not ask for any money in return.
    Along with her parents, she has been in the science education business for her whole life as far as I can tell.

    She has been working "from the inside". Years ago she addressed the REP (Republicans for Environmental Protection) - I didn't such a thing existed - . Her lecture may still be available online somewhere.

    I'm not sure how religious she was before marrying her minister husband, but none-the-less she helps those in Texas to reflect on what the moral course of action ought to be. I am saddened to hear about her getting the hate mail.

    I think she is awesome and approaching this very nobly.
    I also think she maybe credited for the expression "climate weirding" in her efforts to help increase the climate literacy of those she tries to inform.

    I predict that she will keep doing what she has been doing and not slow down because of the personal attacks.
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  16. Gingerbaker... Actually, I think it makes total sense that she would write a chapter on climate change for Gingrich's book. Gingrich is also very religious and I think it's with the religious that she wants to convey the science of climate change. It's just sad that it's turned into yet another scene of hate-mongering from extremists.
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  17. Maybe some of you are aware of this effort
    http://creationcare.org/blog.php?blog=19
    to "engage" with global warming, motivated by Christian concern for the earth & for the "least of these my brethren."
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  18. In regard to her manifesto and the signatories:


    1. The same standard regarding a Biblical position to GW should be applied as is presented here: There is no consensus. It obviously isn't settled in the evangelical community that one can hold to a Biblical position and the position presented in ECI Statement is certainly not mainstream.

    2. While there are 500 signatories, a few of which are well known, many come from the liberal side of evangelical Christianity which doesn't necessarily hold to the Bible being inerrant and inspired.That there are 500 isn not indicative of any kind of shift in thinking. 500 or 5000 signatures could probabably be obtained objecting to the manifesto and Hayhoe's position.

    3. The Bible itself makes no statements about AGW one way or the other.

    4. The use of the Bible in the ECI manifesto is "cherry picking" and not acceptible in the Biblical hermeneutics or science.
      If the canon of Scripture is considered as an organic whole, rather than an accumulation of disparate individual texts written and edited in the course of history, then any interpretation that contradicts any other part of scripture is not considered to be sound.Biblical Hermeneutics

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  19. Interesting discussion.

    Regarding the use of "cognitive dissonance", I think it is being used incorrectly. I believe it more accurately means that feeling of confusion and discomfort when you have distinct bits of information in your head, you believe them to all be true, and yet they conflict with each other. It is a feeling associated with conflicting information, but is not the information itself, and it only makes itself evident when the conflict is recognised. For instance, if someone you trust tells you that a good friend has done something awful. It can be identified with statements to the effect that, "I just don't know what to believe." or, "There must be some other explanation." (Hmm, all of a sudden Merchants of Doubt comes to mind.) It provokes a response based on emotion; as Rob Painting has noted, an easy way out of the dissonance is to reject part of the information.

    I think Gingerbaker exemplifies the tendency to think in Us and Them terms. It is important to break the habit of doing this; otherwise, it the division only widens. Then you end up with irrational scenarios where whatever the other side says must be wrong because the other side said it.

    My guess is that Gingrich's views on other issues are compatible with Hayhoe's, and so she felt no compunction against helping him. In her mind, I'm guessing, religious faith, party affiliation, and belief in science are independent; that appears not to be the case for many people.
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  20. I have just read the RTCC interview, the level of intolerance is unbelievable. The national anthem of the USA speaks of "land of the free and home of the brave". For me Hayhoe is clearly the brave one and it seems to me that a lot of people in the USA think that the "free" part is only applicable to others having exactly the same ideas as they have. This looks like the return of the Spanish Inquisition, another era of Enlightenment is needed.

    I'm not a believer myself, but it is good to hear that science and a personal religious belief don't have to exclude each other.
    I hope that Katharine Hayhoe doesn't give up and also will be able to enjoy her climate-work.
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  21. TOP,
    1. There clearly is consensus among climate scientists that AGW is real. I would venture to guess that you are correct that the ECI statement does not reflect the mainstream view among evangelicals.
    2. The signers' position on biblical inerrancy is irrelevant.
    3. There was no measurable AGW when the Bible was written, so one wouldn't expect statements on it.
    4. The biblical passages used in the ECI statement were ones that support the ideas of caring for the poor and practicing good stewardship of Earth's resources. These principles are widely accepted as being in accord with the Bible as a whole, and with orthodox Christianity.
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  22. @muoncounter #14

    "The Dutch are hardly standing still on climate change"

    The Washington Post has beautiful photographs of some places of my country, but I don't know where the phrase "spending billions of euros on floating communities" is based upon. I couldn't trace any data in Holland, but I'm quite sure it is not true. People who like to live in the neighborhood of water can built such houses on their own expense and only when it is allowed by regulations.

    The last sentence of your quote seems correct to me. In the 90's we had some threats of flooding in the Netherlands caused by high water levels of our rivers, like the Rhine. The government decided to deal with this and with future estimates of even higher amounts of water being transported by the rivers because of climate change. Part of the measures taken is directed at improving the riverdikes and another part is directed to give more room to the rivers when necessary. Maybe the "billions of euros" are related to this protection program, I checked the budget for this project (it is public) and it is estimated to be 2.2 billion euros.
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  23. I find TOP's (@ 18) claim that "The use of the Bible in the ECI manifesto is "cherry picking"..." intriguing.

    The most prominent use of the Bible in that manifesto is to assert that Christian's have an obligation to "love their neighbour as themselves". The clear ethical consequence of "loving your neighbour as yourself" is that harm to your neighbours should figure as prominently, and with the same weight in your considerations, as harm to yourself; and that benefit to yourself should figure no more prominently, and with no more weight than benefit to others.

    This most onerous, and consequently most ignored, of Jesus teaching is recounted by Matthew as follows:

    “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

    Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”


    As Luke's account makes clear, in Jesus' view your neighbour is anybody on whom your actions can have an impact, regardless of traditions of animisoty (if any), and regardlessof the existence of any prior personal relationship. In a world of global consequences, this means that for a Christian their "neighbour" is everyone in the world.

    Of this centrality of love, as Jesus' parable of the sheep and the goats makes clear, failure to satisfy the commandment to love your neighbour as you love yourself is equivalent to failing to love Jesus himself. John makes it clear that if you do not love your neighbour, you do not love God. And Paul makes it clear love is the most central aspect of Christian teaching.

    I could go on, but I believe that I have established the point. TOP's claim that the use of this passage is "cherry picking" is flat out false. So false, in fact, that nobody who has read and understood the Bible could honestly make it. Of course, most evangelical Christian's do ignore this passage for all intents and purposes. When they read Jesus' primary exposition of what it would actually mean to follow this central command, they say its all figurative, because they certainly recognize that it is onerous.

    Indeed, what is noteworthy about TOP's claim of cherry picking is backed by nothing but his own word. Apparently, it is a key part of TOP's theology that when TOP speaks ex cathedra he is infallible.
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  24. Of course she was beset with hatred. That's because it's not about facts or science. It's about ideology, and she betrayed some evangelical folks who see themselves as the true representatives of "the faith".
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  25. Though written for Christian audiences, Katharine's book, ,A Climate for Change is a model of clarity, simplicity and accuracy for any audience.

    Similarly, her slideshow for Republicans for Environmental Protection, "A Climate for Change: What is happening to our world, and what can we do about it?" has some of the clearest slides found anywhere, because they strip away all the clutter to reveal one key point.

    It is difficult to imagine how anybody with the slightest familiarity with Katharine's work or videos could possibly be so filled with hatred.

    She nails it when she says that those who heap scorn on climate science are acting out of fear, and "God is not the author of fear."
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  26. TOP,
    I suggest you review the following:
    Gen 2:15 on man’s / woman’s original purpose in the earth
    Isaiah 58:6 on “true fasting”
    Jeremiah 22:16 on “what it means to know” God
    Mt 25 on how to treat the Lord
    James 1 on “pure” or “true religion”
    Based on these passages, it seems to me that—if AGW is real—those Christians "from the liberal side," orthodox or not, have a pretty good handle on what God wants.
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  27. Tom C,
    I was thinking along the same lines; a Christian should be bound to not harming their neighbor. I think that is what drives some people a little nutty. The facts are that we have all been culpable (well, most of us anyway). We can accept that, or we can choose to believe that either nothing bad will happen, or, at least, we are not responsible for it. How many people can ask themselves "How many people will die as a result of my actions?" and be expected to give a truly rational answer, even to themselves?

    In general, I find that it's best to put aside any feelings of guilt or blame that anyone has, and decide how to move forward from there.

    Tom S,
    Yes, acting out of fear. Switching to psychology rather than theology, fear and denial often go hand it hand.
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  28. Suggested reading:

    "Climate Deniers Hit New Low With Vicious Attacks on Scientists" The Huffington Post, Jan 15, 2011

    Click here to access.
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  29. I also hope Dr. Hayhoe continues to speak the truth about climate change. As an evangelical christian I share her concerns and try to pass on what I know about climate to others who are willing to listen.

    Because I believe the facts of climate change and the dire consequences we face under a BAU pathway I have done everything I can to prepare myself to teach science to middle school students with climate change being one piece of that preparation. I know my students need every opportunity to personally practice measuring climate change and sharing what they find out with others to make informed choices. Perhaps if we invited people to share their knowledge and experiences they would be more willing to listen and make better choices? I certainly hope that will be the case with my students.

    Here in the Midwest USA people respond favorably to change when it is in their best interest to do so or they perceive their actions as helping their neighbors.

    After the 1993 Mississippi River flood wiped the town of Valmeyer Illinois off the map the town had to decide where to rebuild, the floodplain or the nearby bluff. One of the facts they had to take into consideration was the possibility of a worse scenario brought on by a warmer climate. Eventually, the town as a whole decided to stay together and move to the bluff. One of the reasons given was that, "It was best for us and our neighbors".

    Perhaps we should encourage decision makers to recast economic changes related to a warming climate as a help thy neighbor choice?
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  30. Suggested reading:

    “Canadian climate scientist finds fame, hate mail in U.S.”, Toronto Globe & Mail, Jan 10, 2011

    Click here to access.
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  31. To add to Tom's comment @ 23 in response to TOP @ 18.

    Three of the eight Bible passages referenced in the ECI statement are "Golden Rule" passages. Interestingly, both Jesus and Paul BOTH say that the Golden Rule (to love your neighbour as yourself / do unto others as you would have them do unto you) is the essence of the Bible. That is, follow the Golden Rule, and you're following all of the Bible.

    Jesus says just that in Matt 7:12 and Matt 22:37-40 (both already referenced). His words about the Golden Rule in those passages: "for this sums up the Law and the Prophets" and "All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments" (one of which was the Golden Rule).

    Just in case there was any doubt as to the underlying theme of the Bible, Paul confirms what Jesus said (in the above passages) in Galatians 5:14:

    "For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”"

    The other passages in the ECI statement seem relevant and well-chosen to me.

    @ Estiben (21):

    "3. There was no measurable AGW when the Bible was written, so one wouldn't expect statements on it."

    Interestingly, there are statements in the Bible (albeit relatively obscure compared to those used in ECI) that suggest prescience of humankind's potential to destructively alter the physical planet on a scale only possible in modern times. Consider: “... will destroy those who destroy the earth” (Revelation 11:18). The context and language suggest that "destroy" (in both instances) is physical, extensive and far into the future from the time of writing (2000 years ago). It's hard to think of a better fit than AGW, although other pullution / resource depletion (i.e., environmental) issues could also easily fit the text.
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  32. @Tom Curtis
    The shamah (Deut 6:5) is part of what Jesus said. And Hayhoe didn't quote it, just the second part. You have clearly put you finger on the problem. Cherry picking. You can't have one love without the other. And as you point out by quoting that, the first most important law is to love God. You can't love your neighbor without loving God. Look at Exodus 19:1-17 which covers the same ground in more detail. And it is impossible to do so.

    Tom, both you and amhartley are cherry picking. Why don't you put together a biblical doctrine of weather? It is a frequent theme in the Bible. Then you will really know what I am alluding to. For starters have a look at Matthew 8:27, Matthew 14:26 bearing in mind Matthew 8:26. Hayhoe sort of missed that too. It creates havoc with the first claims in the ECI manifesto for an evangelical.

    ex cathera??? It's a subject I have a degree in. Ps 119:11
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  33. daniel1
    "That is, follow the Golden Rule, and you're following all of the Bible." Compare that to James 2:10 Even what you quoted about the Golden Rule doesn't quite fit AGW because the Golden Rule has to do with clearly identifiable actions that have clearly identifiable and certain consequences. Romans 13:8,9 & 10, but especially v9. In context Romans 13 comes after Romans 1-12 which are heavily involved in theology without much application. The application follows from the theology. Although the predicted consequences of GW may be serious they are speculative as is clear in the language of the ECI manifesto.

    And yes, Revelation 11:8 could refer to the things you mention. It could also refer to all out nuclear war or some other yet to be devised action of man. And in keeping with the verses that Tom Curtis quoted how about Revelation 14:7?

    I am of the opinion that anything man touches without God being involved is going to end up a mess.

    And just for the record, I am not arguing against the Golden Rule as presented in the Bible, only for the correct interpretation and application thereof.
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  34. TOP (@ 33): All great verses! I resonate with the biblical passages that are important to you, too.

    There is a certain line of reasoning that I find present commonly among my fellow Christians for which I find no sound basis in our sacred text (the Bible). Indeed it seems back-to-front, and based on at least one false premise. In my observation, it goes like this:

    * My economic/religious values are at odds with environmentalism but supportive of minimal government, personal freedoms, etc
    * Therefore scientific observations of AGW are more likely to be extremely uncertain or even a hoax and/or anti-Christian because common policy prescriptions clash with my values
    * Therefore the Bible cannot be correctly interpreted to support any observation of AGW or prescription for responding to it.

    As a fellow Christian, I am glad there are people like Katharine Hayhoe who communicate that the Bible supports placing a higher value on conserving our planet than on unrestrained pursuit of profit / economic growth.

    Most Christians would probably agree that the highest biblical value is placed on saving people - above the natural world or wealth. The question is simply how best to go about that; and whether to put the natural world or economics next in our hierarchy of values.

    It would be interesting to calculate the ecological footprint of Jesus, who owned and earned nothing to speak of (in an economic sense). His statements and lifestlye concerning wealth accumulation suggest values far more aligned with placing economic interests last on any values hierarchy.
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  35. Fellow Sksers will know me as an occasional blog post author and an activist in the Australian political scene.

    As a pro-AGW evangelical Christian, I am a great admirer of Kathryn Hayhoe. I have also been active for over a decade in seeking to educate politically conservative Christians on the sound scientific and Biblical reasons for urgent action to mitigate climate change.

    If my agnostic friends on this site can allow me some freedom, may I put in a plug for an article I wrote for this demographic? Christians and the Environment – A Study Guide has received positive feedback from around the world, including in recent times from one John Cook. I am not seeking to promote my faith on a site dealing with science, but this tool may help readers keep their Christian friends out of the clutches of climate change deniers.
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  36. John Hartz, your Huffington Post link doesn't work, perhaps because of a missing 'l' at the end. This one should work.
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    Moderator Response: [JH] Link fixed. Thanks.
  37. TOP @32, the section that Hayhoe quoted (well, cited actually) in the ECI manifesto was:

    "34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
    37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”"


    The bit regarding which you bore false witness about her has been placed in bold. False witness twice over, in fact. Once in saying she left it out, and a second time in saying more-over that she was cherry picking by leaving it out.

    I will not chop logic with you about the interpretation of the Bible, for you have just made it manifest that you read your ideology into the Bible rather than seeking guidance from the Bible. (Anyone interested can look up Exodus 19 and you will see that it contains not one word about it being necessary to love God in order to love humans. That is an "interpretation" which consists of devising a theology, then finding texts to hang it on. Particularly note worthy in this case in that it denies human experience and Biblical teaching to the contrary.)

    Finally, readers looking up Matthew 8:26 will find that TOP cannot distinguish between particular miracles and the normal causal laws that hold in the world.
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  38. Let's focus. The issue here is neither one of exact Biblical quotation nor interpretation; it is the reaction to Dr. Hayhoe's work - and the work of other climate scientists - by the hateful.

    The comments by Dr. Donald Brown are very relevant:

    we encourage civil society to turn up the volume on the often highly unethical and sometimes deeply malicious tactics of the climate change disinformation campaign. We believe we need a new word for morally irresponsible behavior that attempts to undermine through disinformation political action needed in response to very threatening human activities. ... The world has lost over two decades in the fight to reduce the threat of climate change. We must insist on the highest standards for climate skepticism and strongly condemn malicious disinformation.
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  39. muoncounter @38. I agree, can we all please keep this thread on topic. The topic being the vitriolic, hateful and even violent threats that are being made against not on Dr Hayhoe, both other Climate scientists and their families.

    Thanks. I also hope that regardless of peoples' position on AGW that they join us here at SkS in condemning these cowardly and menacing and disgusting acts in the strongest possible terms.
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  40. @Tom Curtis
    This is the quote out of the ECI Manifesto I was referring to:
    Christians must care about climate change because we are called to love our neighbors, to do unto others as we would have them do unto us, and to protect and care for the least of these as though each was Jesus Christ himself (Mt. 22:34–40; Mt. 7:12; Mt. 25:31–46).

    While it cites the full text of Mt. 22:34-40 it only quotes a portion of it, and it is the quoting of a part of it that I am taking exception to.

    Sorry Tom, I meant Exodus 20:1-17. For some reason chapter 19 always sticks in my head and I have to flip the page. Anyone familiar with the text would have caught that error.

    There was a paper that was read at the NEA in December that quoted the whole passage. The NEA notes that Evangelical Christianity has historically cared for the poor with which I am in full agreement both in thought and deed.
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  41. daniel1

    The last part about Jesus ecological footprint is interesting and that he owned and earned nothing. That is not strictly true. For most of his life he was a "technon" as was his father. We typically translate that word carpenter, but it was more than that. He had his father's business and perhaps was more of a building contractor familiar with stonework. It was only when he started his ministry that he left that part of things to his brothers, in part to make sure his mother was cared for while he traveled the countryside.

    And Jesus was considered a winebiber and glutton by his enemies.

    The difference between a Christian caring for the world and the present discussion is that the motivation to do so comes from God, not men. That is flipped around in the ECI statement.
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  42. TOP, you said I'm "cherry picking," based on Matthew 8:27 & Matthew 14:26 "bearing in mind Matthew 8:26." I'm not sure how to interpret that, except to suspect you claim that, because God controls the weather, we don't need to worry about it?
    However, if we read God's sovereignty that way, then I suppose we could dispense with all acts of kindness & mercy. After all, whatever God wills, will happen.
    To me, that's cherry picking as well, of an even more extreme form.
    My apologies if I'm taking this in a direction you didn't intend. Plz help.
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  43. We all abhor bullying,and in the case of Katherine Hayhoe this loathing is even more pungent because the object of the attacks is a woman.Would some enterprising North American resident establish an AGW Cyber-Bullies site?Hayhoes,Hansens,Manns and so on can then shovel the foulness into it so it can be source-sorted.Bios of the bullies could be developed so we end up with a repository of nastyness on which disinfecting sunlight might shine.
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  44. Chris G @27 -- Totally agree with you that denials stems from fear.

    Anger is not a primary emotion; it is always the product of pain or fear. Scratch the cyberbully and you find a scared kid underneath.

    The imagined threats are ludicrously bloated -- "Al Gore's UN-based global eco-conspiracy will take away my SUV" -- but the emotion is all too real.

    My #1 personal take-away from the December AGU meeting was this "note to self": It's the fear, Stupid!
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  45. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. -Yoda
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  46. TOP @40, unless you are implying that Matthew 22: 34-40 does not imply that "Christians are called on to love their neighbours" you are straining at gnats. (It is also not a quotation in the ECI Manifesto, as can be noted from the lack of quotation marks.)

    Exodus 20 is better, in that it at least mentions loving God. However, it still does not assert that is it necessary to love God in order to love humans. Your exegesis is clearly not based on accepting the message from the Bible, but on imposing your message upon it, as previously noted. I also note your belief implies that Fred Hollows did not love his fellow man. The obvious absurdity of that claim becomes sufficient refutation.

    Finally, I find it interesting, but bizarre that the New England Aquarium (NEA) should be quoting from the Bible. Thank you for informing me of that fact.
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  47. I must echo the thoughts of Albatross @ 39 above:
    The topic of this thread is the vitriolic, hateful and even violent threats that are being made against not only Dr Hayhoe, but other Climate scientists and their families.
    So as much as I have enjoyed the fruits of the overall dialogue here, I must ask all participants to limit their comments to that premise.

    Thank you all in advance for your cooperation on this.
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  48. 45 - with all this religion going on; someone just had to start quoting from the Jedi cannon...
    ... ballance is always good.
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  49. Hmmmm, the old schoolyard problem. When the brats cannot win the argument they revert to threats and bullying.

    Hang tough, Katherine. So smart, so erudite, so brave, and so cute!
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  50. Tom Curtis@23, thanks for quoting that. I'm not a Christian, but if I was, then those two commandments would be my guiding light.

    If Jesus were to return today, I expect he would have to spend a bit of time with various "Christians", explaining to them how they missed the whole point of what he said.

    I expect he'd also disapprove rather strongly of the attacks on climate scientists.
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