A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions by Katharine Hayhoe, Andrew Farley

What in the world can two evangelical Christians from West Texas teach Americans about global warming? A lot, it turns out. In A Climate for Change, the authors tactfully and forcefully make the case to skeptical conservative Christians that (1) climate change is real and (2) Christians should be working in this issue for myriad faith-based reasons. 

Katherine Hayhoe and Andrew Farley are spouses teaching at Texas Tech here in my beloved Lone Star State. You may have heard of Farley because he has written several well known books, including The Naked GospelMy sense, though, is that this is really Hayhoe’s book. She’s a professor of geosciences and, more relevantly, a contributor to the Nobel Prize-winning Integovernmental Panel of Climate Change. I found out about this book because of some magazine interviews that she had done, and was I was impressed with her background. I’ve been trying to get her book for years, but it’s hard to find. Eventually, because it’s out of print and there’s no Kindle version, I had to borrow it through an interlibrary loan program. I’m glad I did. It was a depressing and action-inspiring read. I’d recommend it to any person of faith who don’t understand what climate change is.

I’ve never been a climate change denier because I typically defer expert issues to experts trained in their fields. If pretty much every professional agrees on something, I figure they’re right, or closer to right than I’ll ever get to. That being said, I have been a person with questions. For example, if we’ve had previous ice ages, and we’re not in one now, haven’t we had global warming before? Why is what’s happening now so bad? Are we sure it’s our fault? This book directly answers those kinds of questions, and several other questions and statements you may hear people bring up. The book presents a lot of dense information in an accessible way to to the layperson, and it also provides pages and pages of resources for further research.

Equally important for Christians, it explains through Scripture why Christians should not only care about climate change, but should actively work to combat it. (Spoiler alert: A lot of vulnerable people are those/will be those most impacted by climate change, and the church is told by God to especially look out for the vulnerable. Also discussed: The church is supposed to be stewards of Creation, not tyrants over it. Finally, we’re just supposed to work for good. The title of this post is a quote from the New Testament and is used in the book to sum up the book.)

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