Although she’s technically Canadian, atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe might understand America’s polarized attitudes toward science better than anyone. Her bona fides have serious range: she is co-director of the Climate Science Center and a political science professor at Texas Tech University, CEO of a climate-impact consulting group, creator of the myth-busting Web series Global Weirding and an electric-car-driving evangelical Christian. Self-described as “on the fringes of many tribes,” Hayhoe is equally adept at presenting to church groups and speaking on panels alongside people like Barack Obama and Leonardo DiCaprio. As a result, she has become one of the most lauded and sought-after climate communicators in the country—and the recipient of much hate mail. Hayhoe spoke with Scientific American about the war on facts and the forces driving climate skepticism. Edited excerpts from that conversation follow.