NEW CANAAN — G. Warfield “Skip” Hobbs, IV is a self described conservative Republican. Since 1982, he has worked closely with oil companies around the world as a private consultant.

But his political affiliation and his work with fossil fuels do not preclude his unwavering belief that climate change is real, and that humans have played a role in accelerating the process. And he wants people to know about it.

“The greatest economic, social, political and security challenge of the 21st century will be dealing with and mitigating the impact of climate change,” said Hobbs, a former president and trustee of the New Canaan Nature Center and a geologist by training.

Hobbs will present “The Future of Planet Earth: A Changing Biosphere - Humans and Global Stewardship,” on Thursday, April 20 at 7 p.m. as part of the New Canaan Nature Center’s Earth Week celebration.

In addition to Hobbs’ lecture, the Nature Center will host a weeklong series of events leading up to Earth Day on April 22, including a Spring Clean Up Day on Tuesday, watershed, rock and soil-themed activities on Wednesday and Thursday and a “Spring Peepers Hike” on Saturday.

More Information

For more information on the New Canaan Nature Center’s Earth week programming, visit newcanaannature.org or call 203-966-9577.

According to Hobbs, his free presentation — which he also recently delivered at Wesleyan University and will be repeated in May in Washington, D.C., before the Council of Scientific Society Presidents —will focus on ways in which humans can limit their impact on the climate

“We need minerals, we need oil and gas to basically provide our standard of living. But how do we do this in a sustainable way?” Hobbs said. “Climate has always changed through geological time, but it’s changing at a rate that’s unprecedented through greenhouse gas emissions.”

Hobbs believes it is especially important to raise awareness now, given the current presidential administration’s refusal to acknowledge climate change and its potential impacts, despite increasingly clear science supporting global warming.

“The scientific community is horrified. We’ve entered the post-fact era in terms of government denial of what is very strong scientific evidence,” Hobbs said.

“We have a lot more data about human impact on climate, a lot more data about how the climate is changing. We get more and more information, our models become more accurate. But we’re not dealing with models, when we talk about melting of the Arctic Ocean ice and melting of the permafrost in Alaska. That’s happening.”

justin.papp@scni.com; @justinjpapp1