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Climate Hustle

Katharine Hayhoe, Intent to Intimidate

Posted on 28 January 2012 by Rob Honeycutt

In this latest video from Peter Sinclair he sits down with Dr Katharine Hayhoe, associate professor in the Department of Political Science and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University.

As many are aware, Dr Hayhoe wrote a chapter on climate change for Newt Gingrich's upcoming book which was removed at the last moment, causing a great deal of uproar and thrusting her into the spotlight of politics.

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Comments 1 to 17:

  1. Hayhoe's comment about 'politics informing religion' is something I've been concerned about for a long time. Many 'conservatives' in the United States rail against and continually work to undermine the constitutional separation of church and state... because they don't seem to understand that it is just as important to protect religion from being corrupted by politics as vice versa. Dr. Hayhoe is to be commended for recognizing and standing up against the perversion of her faith into a political tool, but I fear she will find it is more the norm than an anomaly in this country.
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  2. (Oh how I wish the La Nina would end and give us a bruising El Nino. We need some stark new temperature highs to help win the argument.)
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  3. Joe--
    Wrong wish. Unfortunately this is not a football game but our world. The best strategy is to keep focusing on the facts and their outcomes.
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  4. JoeTheScientist@2

    You mean like the bruising El Nino that won the argument in 1998? Hmm, something wrong there...

    All that would happen is that the "skeptics" would claim it was a freak event, then they would use it as the start point of their graphs for the next decade to show falling temperatures.
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  5. Sapient Fridge@4


    Dishonesty, thy name is climate change denial!
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  6. What an incredibly sensible scientist. If you believe that God gave us dominion over the beasts in the field and the fish in the sea, he didn't say take this and destroy it. Presumably, like a father willing his legacy to his son, he hoped his son would take care of said legacy. This has always puzzled me about the GOP (Republicans). The proportion of committed Christians amongst them is said to be very high and yet all they want to do is to exploit the earth at the expense of their children. All they want to do is to accumulate wealth. What happened to their role as the guardian of god's works. What happened to Love thy neighbour. I just don't get it.
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  7. william,

    I suspect a great deal of it has to do with the rise of millennarian dispensationalism among many Protestant denominations that form the 'Religious Right' within the US.

    If one holds the belief that, as the song goes, God's gonna set this world on fire one of these days (that is, the imminence of the End Times and hence the perfect Kingdom of God), then one can hardly be expected to support policies which are based on countervailing notions (such as the expectation that humans want to restructure society to sustain 7+ billions of people, if possible, for some thousands of years into the future).
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  8. To answer William's comment, here's a quote from one well-known televangelist that seems to characterise the situation:

    "There’s no need for us to apologize for being blessed."

    When people start considering wealth as a "blessing from God", problems abound.

    ie. Anything that generates wealth is by definition, sanctioned by The Lord.
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  9. Tristan@8 Yes, the Radical Right conveniently forget the admonition that "The love of money is the root of all evil" and that money = power in our greed-centric view of civilisation. Dr Katharine Hayhoe has a good deal of right on her side, but is fighting a powerful evil that is expert at distorting truth. Still, you can only save the world one person at a time. More power to her.

    Christians who cherry-pick from the bible are not listening to the message, IMHO. If the book of Revelation is taken into account, the Four Horsemen must be in the stables already, saddling up and getting ready for the Apocalypse. I take a different view: my Four Horsemen are GFC2, Global Warming, Peak Oil and Overpopulation.

    One of the alleged Chinese Curses is "May you live in interesting times". I think we are doing that.
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  10. l'm with Joe. At least it might take the wind out of 'warming stopped in 1998.
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  11. Tristan @8,
    Your well know evangelists who claim that:

    "Wealth is by definition, sanctioned by The Lord"

    simply contradict themselves. Their dogma does not make sense, because the bible teaches to the contrary, i.e.:

    "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God"
    repeated at least in 3 gospels:

    I'm with william @6 on that subject: I simply don't understand how certain denominations can develop such incoherent logic.
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  12. @chriskoz wrote "I simply don't understand how certain denominations can develop such incoherent logic."

    Human nature, as a species it is something at which we excell.

    Einstein wrote "There are only two things that are infinite, the universe and human stupidity (although I'm not sure about the universe)" [or words to that effect] ;o)
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  13. Dikran Marsupial,
    I notice that you have been posting regularly on 'Real Science'. Is there any chance you could get in contact with me here;
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  14. Texas Climate News posted some excerpts from the hate-emails Dr. Hayhoe received.

    Don't read if you have a weak stomach.
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  15. muoncounter

    Ugh...Those threats are disgusting and, I would guess, actionable. Hayhoe is understating the level of misogyny in some of them.
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  16. I see people are waking up to the sad reality that one can be a so-called "bible believing Christian", yet completely miss even the most fundamental and important messages in that book.

    Some of us, though, figured this out a long time ago. Luther himself did the same thing when he created Protestantism, and his bad example has been followed by not just Protestants since then.

    Interestingly enough, there IS a connection between the answer to the question (how to avoid falling into that trap of missing the messages) and what the world needs to do to mitigate climate change. For both require the same fundamental approach: to recognize the need for spiritual struggle.

    Now I know such a statement will cause some readers to spit out their coffee if they happen to be reading while sipping at the same time;) But think about it: raising beef cattle is a large cause of global warming, eating a mainly vegetarian diet (at least for large parts of the year, e.g. Lent/Advent) IS a classic first step in spiritual struggle. So the two coincide here.

    But it gets better: the only time-tested way to deal with the human tendency we lament here, the tendency to believe what you want to believe (this is what AGW denialists rely on) while ignoring all the facts of the "inconvenient truth" is self-denial wrought by spiritual struggle. Learned discussion in scientific journals has never been enough, even the skillful use of rhetoric (in the best sense of the term) to create and guide a political movement is not enough.

    Then again, I am all too aware that far too few ever do embrace this spiritual struggle, so many remain in their ignorance. But this is why I keep returning to imagery from that same Book of the Apocalypse mentioned above, warning that we are facing the most stressful time we have ever faced since the beginning of human civilization, as AGW induced famine, war and pestilence spread over the Earth.

    You can tell I don't place much hope in 'geo-engineering', either.
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  17. MattJ wrote: "Luther himself did the same thing [i.e. 'completely miss the most fundamental messages in the bible'] when he created Protestantism, and his bad example has been followed by not just Protestants since then."

    Frankly, I found this statement offensive... and I'm an agnostic. Ironically, 'the Reformation' itself was largely due to perceived instances of failing to follow fundamental biblical messages. Let's please not rehash centuries of Catholic/Protestant bigotry here.

    also: "I am all too aware that far too few ever do embrace this spiritual struggle"

    Or, as my muslim friends call it, jihad.

    and: "raising beef cattle is a large cause of global warming"

    Not really. Any land use and/or methane release issues are constrained by current total cattle population. There is no cumulative effect in play here, and thus the GW impact is small compared to (for instance) increasing CO2 levels.
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