Katherine Hayhoe, The Interview: “..Much of This is Intended to Intimidate.”

January 24, 2012

The latest climate scientist to come under fire from the climate denial extreme is Katharine Hayhoe, Atmospheric Scientist at Texas Tech University.

After coming into the public eye as the author of proposed chapter on climate change for GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s forthcoming book, Hayhoe had her name and email contact published by the ever-cuddly Marc “climate scientists should be flogged” Morano, grand Wazir of the Sharia school of Climate denial.

Steve Valk, HuffingtonPost: 

The climate deniers are kicking puppies now.

That was my reaction when I heard that Katharine Hayhoe was being deluged with hate mail after stories surfaced that she had written a chapter on climate change for Newt Gingrich’s upcoming book, a chapter quickly dropped when conservative commentators began making a big fuss about it. Similar attacks have been leveled against MIT scientist Kerry Emanuel following his speech at a forum for Republicans concerned about climate change. The “frenzy of hate” he’s received include threats to his wife.

Anyone who has ever listened to Hayhoe would be as sickened as I was over the vitriolic attacks she has endured in the past week. Being both a climate scientist and an evangelical Christian, Hayhoe speaks to faith communities, explaining the science of climate change in easy-to-understand language and also offering the spiritual perspective on global warming: What would Jesus do about climate change?

I had the privilege to interview Dr. Hayhoe this past weekend at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, where the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise was conducting a workshop and Town Hall meeting entitled “Cures for Climate Confusion”. (web video of the public Town Hall meeting here)

I wish to thank the organizers, Andy Hoffman of the Erb Institute, and the Union of Concerned Scientists, for graciously, and inexplicably, welcoming me when I arrived somewhat, uhm, unexpectedly, to the gathering.

More on Medieval enthusiast Marc Morano below:

38 Responses to “Katherine Hayhoe, The Interview: “..Much of This is Intended to Intimidate.””


  1. Ahem. About Katherine Hayhoe. Remember her? The climate scientist whose 100 pages of work was first sought, then rejected on political grounds? The one who received threats and intimidation? The one that some of her evangelical friends stranded? Then there is the death threats to Michael Mann. And the list goes on. There is no sense in responding to doubts of this kind of thing when the police have been brought in. There is no sense in responding to doubts when the police are investigating the hackers who stole university emails. Its like talking to the black knight with all limbs cut off, who calls you a sissy for not fighting. My favorite is the ministry of silly arguments Python routine. That’s what its like arguing with deniers.


  2. […] Peter Sinclair’s interview with Katherine Hahoe:  https://climatecrocks.com/2012/01/24/katherine-hayhoe-the-interview-much-of-this-is-intended-to-intim… Posted in Faculty Op-ed | Tagged carbon, Climate Change, Erb Town Hall, UCS | Leave a […]

  3. prokaryotes Says:

    Great interview, the world needs more religious people to stand up against environmental destruction and rising vulnerabilities, caused by fossil energy consumption.


  4. SciAm confirms…the ‘net can be a nasty place (and especially so for women).

    This doesn’t mean we should tolerate, let alone “understand why” it happens. This means we should consider the strong possibility that the topic at hand (climate change) might have nothing to do with the threats that have made their way to Ms Hayhoe.

  5. NevenA Says:

    The ‘strong possibility’? After Hayhoe was smeared by the usual extreme right pundits (to get at Gingrich) and her mail address and everything was posted online by violence facilitator Marc Morano? Are you kidding me? Strong possibility?

    A much more interesting subject would be the question why you want there to be a ‘strong possibility’? Why the knee-jerk defense?

  6. guylacrosse Says:

    The lack of civility on the part of deniers only lowers their credibility. If you have a good case for something you don’t need to use intimidation. Attacking women is especially despicable. Why doesn’t the media cover it, you know do something right for a change?

  7. Steven Raine Says:

    @ ^ guylacrosse : Well, there has actually been *some* media coverage of climatologists recieving death threats and hate mail for doing their jobs and warning us about Human Induced Rapid Global Overheating. (HIRGO)

    Not enough perhaps but it has been mentioned a little in the media. As an online (eg. Google) search will reveal.

    (Not sure whether we can post links here or I’d include some examples for you.)

  8. otter17 Says:

    * Dr. Hayhoe indicates that the current spat of threatening emails she received were intended to intimidate her related to the work she does.
    * A few reporters were allowed to see a sample of those emails and confirm Dr. Hayhoe’s assessment.
    * These emails come after an uptick in negative publicity on talk radio and other outlets such as Climate Depot. Climate Depot posted several negative articles about Dr. Hayhoe throughout December and early January, posting her email address on the 30th of December.
    * Other climate scientists have indicated that they have received threatening emails related to their work and its implications.

    This means we should consider the strong possibility that the topic at hand (climate change) might have everything to do with the threats that have made their way to Dr. Hayhoe.

    Either that, or Dr. Hayhoe and the witnesses that read her emails are lying.


  9. […] Katherine Hayhoe, The Interview: “..Much of This is Intended to Intimidate.” […]


  10. […] whether to engage with the public. “I think that there is no question that much of this is intended to intimidate,” Hayhoe explained to Climate Crocks’ Peter Sinclair in a video […]


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: