Left-wing environmentalists enlist evangelical scientist as ambassador to win over skeptical Christians

Hayhoe
Katharine Hayhoe (BioLogos.com)

LUBBOCK, Texas – Katharine Hayhoe is not a household name, but that could change quickly if the mainstream media has anything to say about it.

Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University who believes man-made global warming is real and poses a serious existential threat for the planet. She is also an author and a scientific advisor for several organizations dedicated to raising awareness about climate change (or “climate disruption,” “global warming,” or whatever the weather alarmists are calling it these days).

What distinguishes Hayhoe from the hundreds of other scientists with similar résumés is the fact that she’s also an evangelical Christian. Typically, evangelicals are Christians who hold very conservative political and social views.

Finding a born-again believer in the upper levels of the scientific community is about as rare as finding an honest politician in Washington D.C. One 2010 survey revealed that only 2 percent of “elite” scientists identify themselves as evangelical Christians.

That’s why the mainstream media appear to be giving Hayhoe “the big push” to establish her as the environmentalists’ ambassador to the U.S. evangelical community, which is estimated at 20 million people. Hayhoe media exposure includes an appearance on Showtime’s TV series about climate change, “The Years of Living Dangerously,” and inclusion in Time magazine’s 100 “Most Influential People in the World in 2014.”

Most recently, Hayhoe was featured in a puff piece for the left-wing MotherJones.com with the revealing title, “How To Convince Conservative Christians That Global Warming Is Real.”

The article explains that Hayhoe is being given the spotlight treatment because “millions of Americans are evangelical Christians, and their belief in the science of global warming is well below the national average. And if anyone has a chance of reaching this vast and important audience, Hayhoe does.”

What’s been absent from any of the media’s coverage of Hayhoe is any discussion of how she reconciles her (presumably) conservative religious belief in the sanctity of human life with the fact that some of her climate research work and activism is being underwritten by philanthropic foundations that are also investing heavily in “the culture of death.”

For instance, Hayhoe serves as a science advisor for Climate Communication, which – according to its website – is “a non-profit science and outreach project funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the ClimateWorks Foundation.”

That should raise a few eyebrows among evangelicals.

According to DiscoverTheNetwork.com, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund financially supports Planned Parenthood – as well as far-left groups such as Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, the Tides Foundation, and the United Nations Foundation.

The other major sponsor of Hayhoe’s group – the ClimateWorks Foundation –– lists three philanthropic foundations as its primary funders, including the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

One of the main goals of the Hewlett Foundation, according to its website, is to make grants to organizations that “promote family planning and reproductive rights in the United States, and to support full access to reproductive health services, abortion services, and effective sexuality education.”

The Packard Foundation appears to have a similar goal. According to DiscoverTheNetworks.org, the group funds the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), Planned Parenthood, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and Population Connection (formerly known as Zero Population Growth).

In the case of these foundations, it makes sense that their anti-climate change activism is intertwined with their promotion of the abortion culture. If one buys into the argument that human activity is destroying the planet, then the main way of combating climate change is not by building wind farms and solar panels, but by reducing the number of humans on the planet.

That view is anathema to most evangelicals, who view abortion as the murder of innocent babies.

It’s not clear how Hayhoe feels about being in an alliance with pro-abortion groups (and the mainstream media doesn’t appear eager to ask her). Nor is it clear how she will convince her fellow evangelicals to support an environmental agenda that – if followed to its logical conclusion – will lead to an expansion of the “culture of death.”

Hayhoe appears ready for her media close-up, as her glossy personal website suggests. But whether she can withstand the scrutiny of her associations remains to be seen.

Authored by Ben Velderman

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