April is Earth Month and as it begins, an internationally-known scientist is touring the state to share her expertise and perspective on climate change.
Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist also known for her deep faith in God. She is featured in the Showtime documentary, “Years of Living Dangerously,” and was on Time Magazine’s 2014 list of the 100 “most influential” people in the world.
Hayhoe says for too long, climate change has been thought of as a “leftist” issue.
“So, we have to be a type of person who probably hugs trees, votes Democrat and that’s the myth I think that we’ve bought into,” she says. “Whereas, the reality is, if we’re human, if we live on this planet, then we have all the values we need to care about climate change.”
Hayhoe speaks this week in Charlotte, Asheville, Greensboro, Durham and Raleigh. Her visit was coordinated by North Carolina Interfaith Power and Light, and was several years in the making.
A complete list of times and locations is on the group’s website NCIPL.org.
This year, scientists reported the Earth’s surface temperatures in 2015 were the warmest since modern record-keeping began in 1880.
Hayhoe says it’s an accepted scientific fact that humans are major contributors to the warming of the planet. She adds even those who continue to disagree on climate change can find some common ground if they’re open to discussion.
“Even if we don’t agree on the science, we can still often agree on the many solutions,” Hayhoe says. “And there are plenty of solutions available to us today that will improve the quality of our life, that will create a safe environment for us and for our children to live in, and that will also help with climate disruption.”
Hayhoe lists a few of those solutions as clean energy, such as wind and solar, a reduction in greenhouse gases by reducing carbon emissions, as well as reducing other sources of pollution.