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What would Jesus do (about climate change)?

jesus statueYou may remember Katharine Hayhoe as the climate scientist who wrote a chapter for Newt Gingrich’s book about environmental entrepreneurs, only to watch Gingrich throw the chapter in the trash and her under the bus. If so, you know one thing about Hayhoe (the climate scientist part) that her husband didn't know when they got married.

Improbable as it may seem, when Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech, married Andrew Farley, a linguistic professor and evangelical preacher, he didn't know what she studied. And she didn't know that he was a climate skeptic. Love, as a wise guy once said, is blind.

Over the succeeding years, Hayhoe and Farley debated the evidence, and, eventually, they proved the ancient proverb: In marriage, the woman is always right. Their experience even spawned a book geared toward evangelical Christians -- A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-based Decisions — and something of a secondary career track for Hayhoe: communicating climate science to churchgoers.

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Are we headed for a sudden climate disaster?

20th Century Fox
A scene from the movie The Day After Tomorrow, an ever-so-slightly hyped up take on "abrupt climate change."

Twenty years ago, scientists atop the Greenland ice sheet pulled up an ice core that both excited their curiosity and scared the pants off of them. They had discovered definitive evidence that Earth’s climate can change quickly, dramatically, and unpredictably, rearranging the planet’s energy balance and plunging Europe and North American into bitter, 1,000-year cold snaps. It wasn’t quite like they played it in The Day After Tomorrow, but it was damn scary nonetheless.

Though there is now ample evidence that our planet has seen dozens of these sudden climatic changes, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- the official, consensus-building arbiter of climate science -- rates the probability of humans causing another abrupt climate change in the next century as low: less than 10 percent. Still, a one-in-10 chance of pushing the climate over a cliff is enough to sober you up. Should we be as scared as those scientists were?

Read more: Climate & Energy