We’re blowing the party whistles at the latest news: TIME magazine selected climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, a bonafide evangelical Christian, as one of the world’s one hundred most influential people. It couldn’t have happened to a better person. Hayhoe’s honest-to-goodness awe-shucks demeanour speaks of alternatives to the intense and conniving office hound. There’s a different way to live. And she defies Lynn White’s 1967 essay that portrayed Christianity as the source of environmental evil (Alistar McGrath underscores White’s one problem in his The Reenchantment of Nature: he was unequivocally wrong. Anti-religious enlightenment thinkers spawned industrialism’s blow-the-mountaintop mentality).
I’ve talked with her once over the phone (full disclosure: I was on a conference call and I asked her a single question) and we’ve exchanged tweets, which shows I’m a shameless name-dropper. Suffice it to say that Hayboe doesn’t come across as someone who coveted this prize. I can hear her say, “Really?” or “You’re kidding!” when she first heard the news. She’s an unlikely hero.
Then again, unlikely heroes are best kind.