Religion has nothing to say about climate change, right?


(upbeat synth music) – In June, 2015, the pope
issued a formal report called an Encyclical, on climate change. Some were puzzled, he’s
not a scientist, they said. Why is a religious leader
weighing in on climate change? Climate change isn’t
just a scientific issue. It is also a question of right and wrong. And for more than 80%
of us around the world, we often get our sense of what is right and wrong from our faith. That’s why leaders from
across the entire spectrum, have issued statements on climate change. And on the importance of
caring for creation and for other people on this
planet. Informed by our science, it’s our hearts that tell us we must act. I’m a scientist, and as a
scientist I can tell you science is awesome. But
it can’t do everything. When it comes to climate change, here’s what science can tell
us. That climate is changing. Science can also tell us that
for the first time in history, humans, not natural cycles, not the sun, are the main cause of this change. Science can also tell us
that the choices we make going forward will shape
our climate future. If we continue to depend on old, dirty, polluting fossil fuels
for most of our energy, we’re gonna be following a much higher and faster pathway to
change. On the other hand, if we can transition, in a
sensible, sustainable way to clean sources of renewable energy that don’t produce heat-trapping
gases and other pollution, we’re gonna be heading much more slowly towards a safer future that
will be easier to prepare for. Science can tell us
what’s likely to happen. To our food, our water
resources, our health, even our economy depending on
how much fossil fuels we burn. But this is where the science stops. Science can’t tell us what’s
the right thing to do. Should we put a price on carbon? Or should we cap emissions
and allow polluters to trade? If so, how much and how
fast? Should we shut down the fossil fuel industry or encourage
it to transition as well? Invest in new technology or
help poor countries to adapt? Ideally, all of the above, but practically we can’t do it all. We have
some tough choices to make. And for that, we need
to engage our hearts. And for many of us here in North America and around the world, what’s in our hearts has a lot to do with our faith. Faith and science are not in competition. They are not two alternate and mutually exclusive systems of belief. As one atheist put it,
“Scientists do not join hands “every Sunday and sing
‘yes gravity is real, “I will have faith.'” In the same way, sacred texts like the
Bible, the Torah, the Koran, they’re not science textbooks. These books are intended
to serve as guides, giving us a perspective
on where we came from, where we’re going, and how to
live our lives here and now. That’s why we need our science
and our values when it comes to difficult thorny issues,
like climate change. Speaking for myself, I’m a christian. And I believe that as a Christian, I’m called to help
people who are suffering. Who is most vulnerable to the
impacts of a changing climate? The poor, the world over.
From the single mother in Mcallen, Texas who can’t
afford to keep her family’s apartment cool as the summers get hotter. To an elderly fisherman in
the Maldives who will soon have to find a new place
to live as sea level rises. To the Syrian family in the refugee camp. Their land and their home long gone, desperate to just find
a safe place to live. But here’s the good news when
it comes to climate change, the desire to care for and help others is not exclusive to any one denomination, or religion, or even faith. Atheists, agnostics and humanists
share these values too. How do I know? Because when
it comes to making statements about climate change,
it’s not just the Pope. Nearly every major Christian denomination, and world religion has
something to say about it. From the Episcopal church, they say, “We are painfully aware, that those of us “living in the Northern
Hemisphere are responsible “for the majority of
climate change. Accordingly, “we hold a particular responsibility “for the changes that will
reverse the trajectory “of atmospheric warming,
and safeguard the sanctity “of what our God calls ‘very good.'” From the other side of the world, here’s part of the Hindu
declaration on climate change. “We must consider the
effect of our actions, “not just on ourselves,
and those humans around us, “but on all beings. We have a dharmic duty “for each of us to do
our part, in ensuring “we have a functioning,
abundant and bountiful planet.” There’s even an Islamic declaration on global climate change. “Our species, “those selected to be a caretaker
or steward of the earth, “has been the cause of such corruption “and devastation on it,
that we are in danger “of ending life as we
know it on our planet. “This current rate of climate
change cannot be sustained, “and the Earth’s fine
equilibrium may soon be lost.” Faith and science, data and sacred texts, on climate change, they’re
painting the same picture. Unless we’ve signed up
for that trip to Mars, this is the only planet we have. It just makes sense to care for it. And to care for our brothers and sisters who share it with us,
particularly those who are less fortunate than us, and
who are already suffering the impacts of a warming world. I truly believe, that just
about every single one of us no matter our religious
background or lack thereof, we have all the values we need
to care about climate change built into us. Every human
on this planet is born with a sense of responsibility, appreciation for our world, and often an instinct to care for others too. And that’s exactly what we
need to make good choices and to inform our actions
on climate change today. As scientist Jane Goodall says, “It’s only when our clever brain “and our human heart
work together in harmony, “that we can achieve our true potential.” Thank you for watching Global Weirding. Be sure to go to globalweirdingseries.com every other Wednesday so you
don’t miss the new episode. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel, follow me on Twitter, and
check out our Facebook Live discussion every other Thursday after each new episode at 7
pm Central. See you next time. (ambient music)




Comments
  1. There is absolutely no proof that mankind is causing climate change.

    Letting some androgynous woman scientist lie on youtube doesn't change that.

    The pope is an idiot.

  2. Some scientists of the past were Christians believing in God. Most that are famous lived in the Dark Ages, when anyone declaring otherwise would be excommunicated and prevented from institutes of learning.

  3. Very important message. The fact that I'm agnostic when it comes to the god question is of secondary importance to the moral obligation I feel, when it comes to looking after this planet and leaving it habitable for future generations. More people need to hear Katharine Hayhoe's message!

  4. Good morning Ms. Hayhoe,

    Could you please take Scott Adams down a peg or three?

    http://blog.dilbert.com/post/155073242136/the-climate-science-challenge

    Cheers,

    Jeff Hess
    Have Coffee Will Write

  5. Some of these religions promote excessive population growth. Where I'm from the Christian interpretation of the Bible is such that having large families is appropriate. Population growth is the most destructive force regarding climate and resource depletion so at some point religious leaders are going to have to admit, regarding being fruitful and multiplying, the Bible was only concerned about making enough people in the authors' tribes so that they could have enough soldiers to wage war with other bronze age tribes, and that having 3 or 4 or 5 children is not some inherent moral good; indeed stepping outside of religion, because overpopulation leads to climate change, resource poverty, and war over what's left, it is a moral bad.

  6. You can still use math, accounting, and engineering to figure out what the best solution is. It's simple: it's the least cost, highest value (most carbon reduction) solution. It's a science problem. I say we buy $500B worth of Li+ storage at Elon Musk's projected 2020 prices and then let the market build out the wind and solar that such large scale storage would accommodate.

  7. This is what I wrote about faith. Faith is not a belief system. Faithless fallen angels want to know when they will lose all that they value. Those beings are willing to beleave a lie. They fear that day. It will be burned up. Lost people are grappling for it right now in a vain attempt to secure it to themselves.  The lost that have a fallen being in them will be burned up when God's light shines. The fallen angels will be cast into burning bodies and souls burning in God's light after the second resurrection. Thomas, had be not have faith in him would have never reached forth touching the wounds on Jesus pulling away in fear never saying that he was the Lord of glory. Why need faith when the saved are meeting Jesus in the air seeing the end of death? Devils are faithless filled with fear wanting to know when that will happen willing to believe a lie when people think they know the day and hour. Matthew 24:22 “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. ”KJV Cambridge editon 1611study bible.  Old Scofield bible study bible. The Sword study bible or the KJV 1900. God alone knows how short those days will be. It is folly to try and out guess God.
    Faith is not what you think. The centurion had faith when he asked a person to do something with the person doing what the centurion wanted the person to do. Thomas had faith doing what Jesus said saying reach forth and touch the nail and spear wounds that were on his body. They were not known to Thomas until he touched them doing what Jesus asked him to do. A faithless devil possessed person would have refused to do that being filled with fear at the thought of Jesus being alive. They thought that he was dead. Demons want death. Faith waits for the end of death and to see God as he is rising into the air to meet him in the air. Why need faith to see them when they are seen?  They that have faith love the truth. They that are faithless love lies.  Fallen angels will believe a lie as to when Jesus will come back. It will be the end of them and all that they value.

  8. The planet is screwed with all of the nuclear power plants that are around. There is a humongous amount of nuclear full around with no good place to put it even if we were to transition to non polluting energy sources. People need to prepare for the world made new by being good to people whatever sexuality name and people be they clothed or unclothed.

  9. I just had an great conversation about this with a friend of mine and fellow science student the other night. Science exists simply to provide facts, it cannot tell you what to do about them. Obviously, if you care about the future of the planet, then the science of climate change will incite you to act, however the facts themselves are completely neutral. Those who refrain to act either simply don't know the facts or don't care about the future of the planet. Science is objective; it exists to provide us with facts. How we react to said facts determines how much we care about a given issue. Great video!

  10. Address the fact that most Christians think Jesus will come back before climate change becomes too catastrophic.

  11. The real questions to ask on Global Warming are:

    1) Is the earth warming up? I read where for the last 12-15 years that the earth has actually been in a cooling period. With so much bias both ways it is hard to know who to believe. Supposedly the ice cap in the Arctic has grown significantly since 2013. The Antarctic ice cap has actually grown in total mass despite calving of icebergs. More water in the form of snow is there now vs. 20 years ago.

    2) If the earth is warming up, is it enough to be worried about? Temperatures have varied vastly over the eras and eons of history without a single smoke stack or car in sight. We have gone thru mini ice ages and warmer spells even during recorded history. We are all still here.

    3) If it is enough to be worried about, can we conclusively say it is man made? CO2 is 4/10,000 of the atmosphere, and only about 1/10 of that comes from man. The vast preponderance comes from volcanoes, the sea and decomposing biomass. How can something so small of a percentage of the total atmosphere wreak so much havoc?
    Some data supports the notion that during higher periods of CO2 that civilizations have thrived with higher crop yields, more time to invent, explore, and even the expansion of the arts.

    4) If it is enough to worry about and it is man made, is there something we can do that will effectively make a difference? How do we curb overall CO2 if the man-made portion is only 4/100,000? If we stopped all CO2 emissions would it make a difference?

    5) If we could do something to effectively curb CO2, do we have the funding and most importantly the political will of the people to do it Where does the funding come from? Most of the world would rightly say we just can't afford it. Who knows if India or China (the biggest polluters) would contribute or curb their own CO2? The US is $20T in debt already…lastly if we have to significantly cut consumption e.g. less cars, electricity rationing, fewer factories or consumer goods, ie go back to a pre-industrial days; who will do that?

    6) Do the citizens of the world have the enduring will to allow governments to have greater control of our pocketbooks, lifestyles, behaviors and potentially our freedoms?
    Are we collectively willing to be told in greater degree how we can live our lives? Would we support electricity rationing, limiting number of cars per family, or miles driven per year? Can we support diverting trillions of dollars away from the other needs of our world?

    We answer any of these questions with no, or I don't know, or it depends, I would assert that we are not prepared to potentially waste vast sums of money on something that may not be real, or doesn't or can't be addressed effectively.

  12. In the middle of trump country I can tell you they think it is gods doing, it's the rapture. We shouldn't be concerned with climate change because 1) trump is not worried (vomit), and 2) it's gods plan (ohhh, vomit again).

  13. If it’s science
    What percentage do humans contribute
    To climate change ?
    No one can answer .
    Climate change is a cult with hidden truths
    Any one who questions climate
    Apparently is an idiot.
    It’s a real nice feel good talk
    But there is no facts
    Someone answer the question I have

  14. Man's Sin is the main course of the earth's decline. Climate change and global warming is a smokescreen. God's word tells us that. examples include. The great flood Genesis 6. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah Genesis 18 and 19. In fact we read that the earth is groaning as with labor pains Romans 8:22-24. Jesus Himself said there would be wars and rumors of wars, famines, increase in earthquakes. Matthew 24 And there is coming a time that has never happened in the earth's history. Furthermore, we read that God's wrath abides on the ungodly and unrighteous. But of course who cares about this stuff? Eternity is a long time, where are you going to spend yours?

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