Hayhoe and Farley Explore Christian Response to Climate Change

Dissecting climate change fact from fiction is at the heart of the new book, “A Climate For Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions” (FaithWords, October 2009), by authors Katharine Hayhoe and Andrew Farley. Releasing Oct. 29, the book offers a unique and practical perspective on this fiercely debated issue, delving into the very real possibility of how changes to the earth’s temperature could affect life on this planet.

Global warming is one of the hottest scientific and political issues today, and yet, we all find ourselves asking:

  • It’s freezing outside – where’s global warming now?
  • Climate is always changing – how do we know this isn’t just a cycle?
  • Why should Christians care about global warming when we know the world won’t end that way?

Married team Hayhoe, scientist and Nobel Peace Prize-Winning U.N. panel expert, and Farley, pastor and author, have the perfect mix of backgrounds and expertise to lay out the case for global warming. In order to lay out the reasons why believers and non-believers alike should take action, the authors address common objections such as, “isn’t carbon dioxide a good thing?” and “is the sun responsible for most of our warming?”

In “A Climate for Change,” Hayhoe and Farley write, “It’s not about blue politics or red politics or any kind of politics. It’s about thermometer readings and history. It’s about facts and figures. It’s about reality. And that’s what we want to explore with you in this book.”

Intense weather, heat waves, droughts, rising sea-levels, famine and severe storms are all possible byproducts of a warming planet, with devastating consequences.

According to Hayhoe and Farley, “those with fewer resources and those who live in more fragile circumstances are most vulnerable, as climate change threatens their homes, their livelihoods, and even in some cases their very lives.”

While the Bible doesn’t dictate how Christians should respond to global warming, it does give an indication of how others should be treated.

“‘Love God, love others, and remember the poor.’ This was the unwavering mandate of the early church more than 2,000 years ago. And this is our solidly biblical motivation for caring about climate change today and how it is already affecting real people,” write the authors.

Hayhoe and Farley argue that as Christians, and good neighbors, the faith community should give the topic of climate change fair consideration. Given the effects the documented rise in global temperatures is already having on our world, it is important to take action now before it is too late to prevent much greater change (or: more severe impacts?).

While there is quite a bit of hype about going “green,” Hayhoe and Farley offer common sense ways each person can lower their carbon footprint – a person’s day-to-day impact on the environment – including:

  • Changing out manual thermostats for new programmable units. This will conserve energy, and can save almost $200 a year on electric bills.
  • Changing out light bulbs for fluorescent bulbs (CFL). If every U.S. household replaced just one traditional bulb with a CFL, the result in reduction of electricity use would be equivalent to taking nearly 1 million cars off the road.
  • Turn off your computer and TV at night. If every home and business would set their computers to automatically turn off when they weren’t being used, about $4 billion worth of energy would be saved each year: enough to power all of Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

Such sensible tips show that if each person does their part, it is possible to make a real difference in curbing climate change and preventing the worst of its impacts.

A Climate for Change” (FaithWords, ISBN: 978-0-446-54956-1) releases nationwide on Oct. 29. For additional information, visit

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NOTE TO EDITORS/PRODUCERS: For more information about “A Climate For Change,” please visit To arrange an interview with Katharine Hayhoe or Andrew Farley, please contact Julie Shutley at 972.267.1111 or via e-mail at [email protected].

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