Christians, Climate, and Culture: Relationships, Tensions and Resolutions

Friday, March 29, 2019 - Sunday, March 31, 2019

Goshen College, Goshen Indiana

The nineteenth annual Goshen Conference on Science and Religion was held on the campus of Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana, Friday, Marchh 29, 2019, through Sunday, March 31, 2019.  The speaker for the 2019 conference is Dr. Katharine Hayhoe.

Dr. Katharine HayhoeKatharine Hayhoe

Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist whose research focuses on developing and applying high-resolution climate projections to understand what climate change means for people and the natural environment. She is a professor and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, and has a B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Toronto and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from the University of Illinois.

More information about Dr. Hayhoe can be found here.

Lecture 1: Mitigate, Adapt, or Suffer: Connecting Global Change to Local Impacts (Public)

"We basically have three choices: mitigation, adaptation and suffering. We’re going to do some of each. The question is what the mix is going to be. The more mitigation we do, the less adaptation will be required and the less suffering there will be." — John Holdren

Climate change is evident in Iowa, throughout the United States, and around the world. Assessing its impacts on agriculture, water, and the economy is essential to setting sound national and global targets that minimize the costs and maximize the benefits of both adaptation and mitigation. Conventional wisdom, first codified in the UNFCCC’s 1992 agreement to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations, suggests impacts are expected to scale with atmospheric concentrations. Here, I explore the relationship between global temperature targets — typically expressed in degrees Celsius, from +2 to +4 --and projected future changes in a series of regional impact-relevant metrics, from drought to energy demand, to answer the question: To what extent do differences in global targets translate into differences in impacts on the Midwest?

Lecture 2: Christians, Climate, and Culture (Public)

Mounting scientific evidence clearly documents the risks posed by climate change to the poor, the needy, and other vulnerable populations, the very people Christians are called to love. As the scientific evidence builds, however, so does the vocal opposition to this evidence: in Canada, the U.S., Australia and even the U.K. Much of the disagreement comes from political and religious conservatives. Why is climate change so polarizing to these communities? What makes it so hard to comprehend and accept? Combining basic tenets of the Christian faith with recent findings from the areas of psychology, sociology, and climate
science, I will discuss potential reasons for these disagreements and the role that shared values may play in moving us forward past these barriers.

Lecture 3: To be announced (Limited to conference participants)