Happy Earth Day!

Top climate scientist visits Utah to share some hope on climate change

This Earth Week, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, one of the world’s top climate scientists and communicators, visited Utah to share inspiration, and make a simple request: let’s talk more about climate change.  Seven in 10 Americans believe climate change is happening and 6 in 10 are worried about it. Yet more than half of Americans rarely—if ever—talk about climate change with their friends and families. In polarized times, these conversations aren’t always easy.  But Hayhoe stresses that despite our differences, there is much more that unites us. “To care about climate change, you only have to be one thing, a human living on planet earth, and we’re all that,” says Hayhoe.

As part of her visit this week, Dr. Hayhoe joined local fourth graders on a field trip to The Nature Conservancy’s Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve and shared tips for kids on how to start constructive conversations about climate change.  The field trip was the first time since 2020 that Utah students were able to return to the preserve as part of TNC’s Wings & Water program, which had been sidelined by the pandemic.  During her visit, Hayhoe recognized that many young people nationwide are worried. They are experiencing climate change in a way that past generations did not. Here in the West, they are living with dangerous air quality, increasing droughts and more damaging wildfires—and they see iconic local places, like the Great Salt Lake, in peril.

Dr. Hayhoe’s mission in Utah this Earth Day is about finding hope—and helping people of all ages start climate change conversations that connect us instead of dividing us. Honest, one-one-one talks are vital first steps to action, on an individual and then a community level.

Katharine Hayhoe serves as The Nature Conservancy’s Chief Scientist and the Political Science Endowed Professor in Public Policy and Public Law at Texas Tech University.  She hosts and produces the PBS Digital Series, Global Weirding, and has been named to numerous lists including Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and Fortune Magazine’s World’s Greatest Leaders.

This Earth Day, take a few minutes to watch Katharine Hayhoe’s TED talk, “The most important thing you can do to fight climate change: talk about it,” which has nearly 4 million views.