Two “pioneers” serving the weather and climate profession are profoundly changing the world says TIME magazine. It honored NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan and Texas Tech climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe in its “100 Most Influential People List” released today – largely due to their leadership roles on climate change.
Sullivan – a scientist and astronaut – has served as the head of NOAA since March. She has called on the agency to better leverage its “big data” to better understand climate change and our changing planet. Renowned astronaut John Glenn offers this flattering profile in TIME:
Kathy is not just an ivory-tower scientist. She was part of NASA’s first class of female astronauts, selected in 1978, and went on to fly three shuttle missions. She is the first American woman to walk in space and served aboard the mission that deployed the Hubble Space Telescope. That role in helping humanity look outward has not prevented her from looking homeward. The planet is suffering increasingly severe upheavals, at least partly a result of climate change — droughts, floods, typhoons, tornadoes. I believe my good friend Kathy is the right person for the right job at the right time.
Hayhoe describes herself as a climate change evangelist. In addition to publishing scores of scientific analyses on climate change and participating in major assessments, she has dedicated herself to communicating the risks posed by climate change to wide-ranging audiences. As an evangelical Christian, Hayhoe has proven a credible and trusted voice on science among those of faith. Most recently, she has gained stardom through her role in Showtime’s major documentary series on climate change “Years of Living Dangerously.”
Writes actor Don Cheadle about Hayhoe in TIME:
It’s hard to be a good steward of the planet if you don’t accept the hard science behind what’s harming it, and it can be just as hard to take action to protect our world if you don’t love it as the rare gift it is. For many people, that implies a creator. Katharine and her husband, evangelical pastor Andrew Farley, have authored the defining book for the planet-loving believer, A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions. I got to know Katharine as we worked on Showtime’s climate documentary Years of Living Dangerously. But we are all getting to know and benefit from her work.