Wednesday, September 7, 2022

#251 / May I Introduce, Once Again...

... Dr. Katharine Hayhoe (pictured above). Hayhoe is an environmental scientist, focused on how best to rally effective action to combat global warming. Her latest book is called  Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case For Hope And Healing In A Divided World.
I first mentioned Dr. Hayhoe in a blog posting dated February 6, 2012. I have mentioned her since, too - twice this year; here's the third time! 

On February 7, 2022, I noted with approval Hayhoe's claim that, "Yes, our personal actions do matter, but they matter because they can change others." On March 8th, I referenced Dr. Hayhoe's claim that "our feelings of powerlessness stem from our failure to recognize that our individual (and thus very small) actions do, in fact, help change the world."
Anyone familiar with my blog postings will understand why I keep finding reasons to cite Dr. Hayhoe. Her affirmation that our small, individual actions can change the world - even with respect to an environmental emergency of planetary dimensions - is exactly the message I think we all need to hear.

In a New York Times' opinion editorial by Margaret Renkl, which appeared on July 28, 2022 ("How to Talk About 'Extreme Weather' With Your Angry Uncle"), I found that Hayhoe is also someone who understands my "Two Worlds Hypothesis." The highlighted statement, below, jumped right out at me, as I read Renkl's presentation of Hayhoe's views: 
Last month, I got the chance to sit down for an hour with Dr. Hayhoe, a professor of atmospheric science at Texas Tech University and the director of the Climate Science Center there. Dr. Hayhoe is also an evangelical Christian, and she has many ideas for how to connect the seemingly disjunct human ecosystems of science and faith. In fact, she was in Nashville for two reasons: to speak at the Christian Scholars’ Conference at Lipscomb University and — in connection with her role as the chief scientist of the Nature Conservancy — to meet with the staff of the Nature Conservancy in Tennessee.
This bilingualism underscores the way Dr. Hayhoe talks about how to talk about climate change, particularly within conservative communities. As she likes to point out, more than 70 percent of Americans believe climate change is happening. The vast majority are worried about it, too, understanding that it is harming the natural world and the human world alike (emphasis added).
Understanding that the "natural world" and the "human world" are, in fact, two different worlds, is of profound importance, the way I see it. Mostly, we live within what I (and Dr. Hayhoe) call the "human world," which seems to be all-encompassing. Because the human world is so all-encompassing, it is easy to overlook the fact that our human creations are built within, and are ultimately dependent upon, the "natural world" that we did not create, and which operates on the basis of laws that cannot be violated without profound penalty.

Global warming is just one example of how important it is to understand that the natural world has limits and laws which we must recognize and obey. You don't have to be an "evangelical Christian" to understand the truth of this perspective on our human position in the "Two Worlds" we inhabit. 

Failure to understand this "Two Worlds" principle will make it impossible for us to defer to the World of Nature when we must, and will make us fail to see that any and all of the human arrangements we have made can be changed.

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