Dr. Katharine Hayhoe is one of the most powerful climate communicators in the world. Time Magazine, which in 2014 named her to its list of the “100 Most Influential People in the World”, would agree. So would President Obama, who was joined by Dr. Hayhoe in an hour-long interview about climate change on the White House lawn in 2016.
Interestingly, she does not emphasize the physical science as much as the social science in her much-watched TEDTalk or her Global Weirding video series on PBS. This is ironic because Dr. Hayhoe is a professor of atmospheric science — aka climate scientist — at Texas Tech University¹. Instead, Dr. Hayhoe maintains that the most effective way to move hearts and minds on the issue is to accentuate the threat climate change poses to our shared values and to all we hold dear.
“We often think that we have to be an environmentalist to care about climate change – but the truth is, no matter who we are, we already have all the reasons we need to care about climate change,” Dr. Hayhoe notes. “We just haven’t connected the dots.”
Dr. Hayhoe sees sports as a powerful “dot connector” and that is a main reason why she has become an EcoAthletes Supporter.
“If we’re an athlete, we care about our sport,” said the avid skier. “Today, extreme heat is affecting baseball and running; warmer winters are thawing outdoor ice rinks and shortening the winter sport season; and stronger and more frequent heavy downpours are flooding our roads and contaminating our water bodies. What we care about is already being affected by a changing climate, whether we know it or not, and that’s why we should care about climate change.”
“EcoAthletes is honored to have Dr. Hayhoe’s support for our mission to inspire and coach athletes to speak out confidently on climate change,” said Lew Blaustein, the organization’s founder. “Her belief that people respond to messages from trusted sources — in our case, athletes — more so than science, is a hallmark of our virtual ‘climate education for athletes’ courses.”
Photo credit for image at the top of the page: Martin Voelker/Citizens’ Climate Lobby
¹Dr. Hayhoe also is an Endowed Professor in Public Policy and Public Law in the Public Administration program of the Department of Political Science at Texas Tech