Nelson Series– “Telling the Story of Climate Science: What New Science Tells Us and How to Talk About It,” Katharine Hayhoe

February 6, 2023 Add to Calendar

5:15–7 p.m.


Shanahan Center, Auditorium
320 E. Foothill Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711


Human emissions of greenhouse gases now overwhelm the influence of natural drivers on Earth’s climate. How will our energy choices and resulting emissions affect temperature and precipitation, extreme events, sea-level rise and more, over this century and beyond? What are the implications for meeting the targets of the Paris Agreement and avoiding dangerous change? And what about the potential for surprise, as we push the climate system harder and faster than any time in human history? Hayhoe will highlight key results and new science from the fourth U.S. National Climate Assessment, explain how climate change is affecting the U.S and share her thoughts about communicating this information to a variety of audiences. There will be time at the end for questions from the audience.


Katharine Hayhoe develops and applies high-resolution climate projections to evaluate the future impacts of climate change on human society and the natural environment. She has published over 125 peer-reviewed abstracts and publications and co-authored Downscaling Techniques for High-Resolution Climate Projections: From Global Change to Local Impacts (Cambridge University Press, 2021), and served as lead author on key reports for the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the National Academy of Sciences, including the Second, Third and Fourth U.S. National Climate Assessments. Her TED talk, "The Most Important Thing You Can Do About Climate Change: Talk About It" has received nearly four million views, and her new book (September 2021) is Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World.

Hayhoe is a Paul Whitfield Horn Distinguished Professor and Endowed Chair in Public Policy and Public Law in the Public Administration program of the Department of Political Science at Texas Tech University. She is also the Chief Scientist for the global conservation organization, The Nature Conservancy. She has a B.Sc. in physics and astronomy from the University of Toronto and an M.S. and Ph.D. in atmospheric science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and has been awarded honorary doctorates from Colgate University, Trinity College, and Victoria College at the University of Toronto.

She is an Oxfam Sister of the Planet and currently serves on a number of advisory boards including the science advisory board for the Environmental Resilience Institute at Indiana University, the scientific research advisory council for Engie, the international advisory board for the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, the sustainability advisory board for Netflix, and the advisory board for the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.

In 2019, Dr. Hayhoe was named to Foreign Policy's list of 100 Global Thinkers for the second time and received the United Nations Environment Programme's flagship award, being named Champion of the Earth in the category of Science and Innovation.

Dr. Bruce J. Nelson ’74 Distinguished Speaker Series

The 2022–2023 Nelson series, “Climate Storytellers,” will explore the power of storytelling to promote conversations about climate change and to inspire climate action. We know that the impacts of climate change are already bringing great harm to the most vulnerable in our societies. We are all beginning to experience the effects of a warming planet in heat waves, fires, droughts, and extreme weather events. We know that the scientific consensus is clear: emissions from industrial activity are to blame. And yet political action to reduce emissions and to prepare for our future feels frustratingly slow. Publishing increasingly comprehensive scientific reports isn’t working. Neither is language and imagery designed to induce fear and panic.

The speakers in this series are doing something different. Drawing on a range of experiences and expertise in the sciences, arts and the humanities, each of our speakers will share how they use storytelling as a powerful tool of climate communication. We will learn how different kinds of stories can reach different audiences, with the goal of inspiring climate justice and climate action.