Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, Leading Climate Scientist, at The Progressive Forum April 19

Program: Mitigate and Adapt--Or Suffer: Planning for Climate Resilience in Houston’s Post-Harvey World

Dr. Katharine Hayhoe
Photo credit: Artie Limmer

One of the world’s leading climate scientists, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, will appear at The Progressive Forum on Thursday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m. Hayhoe has been named among Time’s 100 most influential people, Foreign Policy’s 100 leading global thinkers, and Fortune’s 50 world’s greatest leaders. She is a lead author of the nation’s Fourth National Climate Assessment soon to be submitted to the President and Congress. The New York Times called her “…one of the nation’s most effective communicators on the threat of climate change and the need for action.”

The venue is Congregation Emanu El at 1500 Sunset Blvd. across the street from Rice University.  

Tickets are available at ProgressiveForumHouston.org, and at 888-695-0888 seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. General admission tickets are $70 each. Discount tickets for students with valid IDs and seniors 65 and over are $40 each. Tickets for reserved seats and reception with the speaker are $150. Tickets will also be available on event night at the door.

Randall Morton, president of The Progressive Forum, said, “We want to inform Houston’s public discussion on recovering from Hurricane Harvey with a top climate scientist, a perspective that’s been mostly unavailable, in my opinion. Hayhoe will address local measures for building resilience, not just global climate matters."

On December 13, 2017, The New York Times reported that two scientific studies linked Hurricane Harvey’s record rainfall to climate change. One study was published in Geophysical Research Letters whose co-author, Michael Wehner at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, said that rainfall was as much as 38 percent higher than would be expected in a world that wasn’t warming. Another study published in Environmental Research Letters by a coalition of scientists known as World Weather Attribution, found similar results, showing that climate change boosted rainfall by about 15 percent, since warmer air holds more water. Both studies found that climate change roughly tripled the odds of a Harvey type storm.

Katharine Hayhoe is a political science professor at Texas Tech University, Lubbock. She is director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech, part of the Department of Interior. She has a B.Sc. in physics from the University of Toronto and an M.S. and Ph.D. in atmospheric science from the University of Illinois. She has conducted local climate impact assessments for a broad cross-section of organizations, cities, and regions, from Boston Logan Airport to the state of California to Austin Water.

Her work has resulted in over 125 peer-reviewed publications that evaluate global climate impacts on cities, states, ecosystems, and sectors over the coming century. She served as a lead author of the Second and Third U.S. National Climate Assessments, reports published every four years in accord with an act initiated by President Bush in 1989 and mandated by Congress in 1990, called the U.S. Global Change Research Act (GCRA).

She has served on panels for the National Academy of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and many other professional organizations.

She is also the founder and CEO of ATMOS Research which “bridges the gap between scientists and stakeholders to provide relevant…information on how climate change will affect our lives to a broad range of non-profit, industry, and government clients….”

As a self-professed Evangelical Christian, she is also well known for bridging the gap between scientists and Christians. Together with her husband, Andrew Farley, a pastor of the Church Without Religion, she wrote A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions. She was named by Christianity Today as one of their 50 women to watch.  

About The Progressive Forum
The Progressive Forum served the community for its first nine years as the city’s largest speaker organization averaging a thousand people per event. After a hiatus of three and a half years, The Progressive Forum relaunched last fall by presenting Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, with plans for two to three lectures a year. The Progressive Forum is the nation’s only lecture series expressly dedicated to progressive values.

The history of The Progressive Forum includes national book launches for Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, climatologist James Hansen’s Storms of My Grandchildren, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s My Beloved World, as well as the autobiography of Lester Brown, Breaking New Ground. The Progressive Forum provided the film premiere of Fighting Goliath: Texas Coal Wars, introduced by Robert Redford who commissioned and narrated the documentary. Gloria Steinem celebrated the 30th anniversary of the National Women’s Conference in Houston. From government, The Progressive Forum presented U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and two Supreme Court Justices, John Paul Stevens as well as Sonia Sotomayor.

Past speakers related to climate change and the environment also include Jane Goodall, Edward O. Wilson, Richard Leakey, Jared Diamond, Sylvia Earle, Lester Brown, Bill McKibben, William McDonough, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Robert Redford, and others.

For more background on The Progressive Forum, go to ProgressiveForumHouston.org/about-us.