Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, Star Of Showtime Climate Series, Makes TIME 100 Most Influential People List


Evangelical climate scientist Dr. Katharine Hayhoe has just been named to TIME magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world! A featured star on Showtime’s landmark climate series, “Years Of Living Dangerously,” Katharine joins such one-namers as Beyonce and Hillary — and Vladimir and Francis (the Pope).

Here is the TIME profile, by the Oscar-nominated actor Don Cheadle:

An environmental evangelist

There’s something fascinating about a smart person who defies stereotype. That’s what makes my friend Katharine Hayhoe — a Texas Tech climatologist and an evangelical Christian — so interesting.

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.

This is very timely recognition, given that Media Matters just reported that “over 85 percent of those quoted in the media about climate change are men.” Let’s hope the recognition by TIME helps Katharine achieve the much higher media profile she deserves.

If you want to get to know Katharine better, Climate Progress’ Kiley Kroh has an extended profile here.

You can also see Hayhoe and Cheadle featured in Episode 1 of the Showtime series on YouTube here.

With segments like that, it’s no wonder the landmark climate series has been getting terrific praise like, “the most important television series ever.”

Several other reviews of the series have been equally positive:

  • “Unexpected, character-driven stories … [the] suspenseful pace of a globe-trotting action-adventure blockbuster”–L.A. Times
  • “… a compellingly fresh approach to showing the importance of climate hazards to human affairs”–N.Y. Times
  • “… an often breathtaking visual style … the first two episodes [are] gripping”–Business Insider
  • “… a strong work of documentary journalism, with richly shot and compelling stories”–Time
  • “A nonfiction thriller you won’t want to miss”–The UK Guardian

The final weekly-viewership ratings have not been fully tallied by Showtime yet, but when all the numbers are finally in — from online, live viewing (during the multiple airings), DVR, and On Demand — the total will easily exceed 1.5 million. The video of episode one has been viewed 444,000 times on YouTube already. As you can imagine, the number of people who watch it live Sunday night at 10 p.m., which are the ratings that groups like Nielsen traditionally report, are a rather small fraction of total viewership on a premium channel like Showtime. It does appear that “Years” compares very favorably to other comparable documentary series.

Tune in Sunday (or anytime next week) for Episode 3, featuring Chris Hayes in Staten Island during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, in perhaps the most powerful of all the episodes that have aired to date. That episode also features climatologist Dr. Heidi Cullen, as well as climate expert Dr. Kim Cobb. And you can watch Katharine Hayhoe again in Episode 4 on May 4.

If you want to congratulate Hayhoe for making TIME’s list, tweet her @KHayhoe. All the “Green Heroes of the TIME 100” can be found here.