An evangelical scientist shows 'Full Frontal' how to talk to climate change doubters.

Fewer than half of Americans think climate change will pose a threat to their way of life within their lifetimes.

They should hear about Tangier Island.

The island, located in the Chesapeake Bay off the coast of Virginia's mainland, is quite literally sinking into the sea. Since 1850, its land mass has decreased by two-thirds, and scientific estimates suggest that within the next half century, it'll be completely uninhabitable.


Tangier Mayor James Eskridge insists that the real issue is erosion. Appearing at a CNN town hall with former Vice President Al Gore, Eskridge asked why he hadn't noticed any signs of rising sea levels — even as his island sinks into the sea.

On Tangier Island, however, Esktridge's view is far from uncommon.

"Full Frontal With Samantha Bee" correspondent Allana Harkin recently traveled to Tangier Island.

Along the way, she learned a few techniques for having productive conversations with climate change doubters.

Many of Tangier's residents are evangelical Christians, a group that is made up of some of the statistically least likely Americans to believe in man-made climate change. Some residents interviewed rolled their eyes at Harkin when she stated that she believed in things like climate change and evolution, and others suggested that even if climate change is real, it's fine because they'll be raptured away.

A Tangier resident named George has no interest in hearing what Al Gore has to say about climate change. All images via Full Frontal With Samantha Bee/YouTube.

Unable to get through to residents using conventional arguments, Harkin turned to Dr. Katherine Hayhoe, a climate scientist and evangelical Christian, for help.

"Just saying, 'Oh, God will take care of it' or 'It doesn't matter,' is actually a profoundly un-Christian perspective," said Hayhoe — who has a positive track record of getting through to doubtful evangelicals on this subject — in the segment. "In the Bible, it says God will destroy those who destroy the Earth."

When Harkin asked what steps she could take to convince those who dispute climate science on the basis of religious grounds, Hayhoe highlighted the importance of listening, not just lecturing, and asking for their stories.

"Rather than coming and in and saying, 'I know,' 'I'm gonna tell you,' 'You listen to me,' the place to start is by sharing from the heart: What is it that we have in common?"

Katherine Hayhoe delivers a talk on rebutting climate change denial among evangelicals.

With Hayhoe's advice in mind, Harkin revisited the first group, and, well, it went sorta kinda OK!

This time, instead of challenging their entire worldviews, Harken tried a different tactic. "Let me throw this out there, and we'll let it land. We won't even have to discuss it," Harkin said. "What if climate scientists are actually doing God's work?" The room was stunned into silence. You could practically see the exact moment the walls of distrust started to come down.

Addressing the question in a way that made sense with their view of the world elicited a stunned, thoughtful silence and some nods from the group. "He works through everybody," said one man. "Yeah, He can work through them," said another, nodding.

Harkin moderates a discussion among Tangier residents.

Though the segment ends without any converts to the side of truth, science, and not standing by as their island disappears forever, Harkin and the Tangier Island residents had an important conversation that could signal the first steps in saving the island from the effects of climate change.

Watch the "What's Happening to Tangier Island" segment from "Full Frontal With Samantha Bee" below.

True

This year, we've all experienced a little more stress and anxiety. This is especially true for youth facing homelessness, like Megan and Lionel. Enter Covenant House, an international organization that helps transform and save the lives of more than a million homeless, runaway, and trafficked young people.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is Delivering Smiles this holiday season by donating essential items and fulfilling AmazonSmile Charity Lists for organizations, like Covenant House, that have been impacted this year more than ever. Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a charity of your choice or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

With vaccine rollouts for the novel coronavirus on the horizon, humanity is getting its first ray of hope for a return to normalcy in 2021. That normalcy, however, will depend on enough people's willingness to get the vaccine to achieve some level of herd immunity. While some people are ready to jump in line immediately for the vaccine, others are reticent to get the shots.

Hesitancy runs the gamut from outright anti-vaxxers to people who trust the time-tested vaccines we already have but are unsure about these new ones. Scientists have tried to educate the public about the development of the new mRNA vaccines and why they feel confident in their safety, but getting that information through the noise of hot takes and misinformation is tricky.

To help increase the public's confidence in taking the vaccine, three former presidents have volunteered to get their shots on camera. President George W. Bush initially reached out to Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx to ask how he could help promote a vaccine once it's approved. Presidents Obama and Bill Clinton have both stated that they will take the vaccine if it is approved and will do so publicly if it will help more people feel comfortable taking it. CNN says it has also reached out to President Jimmy Carter to see if he is on board with the idea as well.

A big part of responsible leadership is setting an example. Though these presidents are no longer in the position of power they once held, they are in a position of influence and have offered to use that influence for the greater good.

Keep Reading Show less
True

This year, we've all experienced a little more stress and anxiety. This is especially true for youth facing homelessness, like Megan and Lionel. Enter Covenant House, an international organization that helps transform and save the lives of more than a million homeless, runaway, and trafficked young people.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is Delivering Smiles this holiday season by donating essential items and fulfilling AmazonSmile Charity Lists for organizations, like Covenant House, that have been impacted this year more than ever. Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a charity of your choice or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

Anne Owens and Luke Redito / Wikimedia Commons
True

When Madeline Swegle was a little girl growing up in Burke, VA, she loved watching the Blue Angels zip through the sky. Her family went to see the display every time it was in town, and it was her parents' encouragement to pursue her dreams that led her to the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017.

Before beginning the intense three-year training required to become a tactical air (TACAIR) pilot, Swegle had never been in an aircraft before; piloting was simply something she was interested in. It turns out she's got a gift for it—and not only is she skilled, she finds the "exhilaration to be unmatched."

"I'm excited to have this opportunity to work harder and fly high performance jet aircraft in the fleet," Swegle said in a statement released by the Navy. "It would've been nice to see someone who looked like me in this role; I never intended to be the first. I hope it's encouraging to other people."

As Swegle's story shows, representation and equality matter. And the responsibility to advance equality for all people - especially Black Americans facing racism - falls on individuals, organizations, businesses, and governmental leadership. This clear need for equality is why P&G established the Take On Race Fund to fight for justice, advance economic opportunity, enable greater access to education and health care, and make our communities more equitable. The funds raised go directly into organizations like NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, YWCA Stand Against Racism and the United Negro College Fund, helping to level the playing field.

Keep Reading Show less

Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down...in the most delightful way.

There are certain songs from kids' movies that most of us can sing along to, but we often don't know how they originated. Now we have a timely insight into one such song—"A Spoonful of Sugar" from "Mary Poppins."

It's common for parents to try all kinds of tricks to get kids to take medications they don't want to take, but the inspiration for "A Spoonful of Sugar" was much more specific. Jeffrey Sherman, the son and nephew of the Sherman Brothers—the musical duo responsible not just for "Mary Poppins," but a host of Disney films including "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," "The Jungle Book," "The Aristocats," as well as the song "It's a Small World After All"—told the story of how "A Spoonful of Sugar" came about on Facebook.

He wrote:

Keep Reading Show less