Global Warming Beliefs by Religion – by lpetrich

This subject straddles science, politics, and religion, so it can be difficult to classify.

Jesse Galef, a guest contributor to Hemant Mehta’s blog Friendly Atheist, has posted How Does Religion Contribute to Views on Global Warming? drawing from this recent Pew Forum survey.

From the graph:

Who Yes-HA Yes-NP Yes-DK No ???
Total US population 47 18 6 21 8
Unaffiliated 58 11 6 18 7
White mainline Protestants 48 19 6 19 8
White non-Hispanic Catholics 44 20 6 22 8
Black Protestants 39 36 5 15 5
White evangelical Protestants 34 17 7 31 11

The abbreviations of the positions:

Yes-HA Yes, because of human activity
Yes-NP Yes, because of natural patterns
Yes-DK Yes, but don’t know cause
No No
??? Mixed evidence / Some evidence / Don’t

The connection is likely in what other beliefs they are likely to have alongside their religious beliefs.

White evangelicals tend to be Religious Right, and global warming not happening is a big part of right-wing Political Correctness. Right-wingers regularly make “Algore” into some great villain, and they insinute that the idea was invented by left-wing enemies of the American people who want to deprive us of our precious SUV’s and reduce us to a Third-World standard of living.

As to black Protestants, they tend to be poor, and they may thus find it difficult to believe that we are powerful enough to do something that can significantly warm our planet.

It’s interesting that the Unaffiliated are the most likely to believe that human activities cause global warming. Since education and the more fundie forms of religion have a clear negative correlation, that may be a result of their greater education.

There is a nonreligious demographic that is likely to be skeptical about global warming: right-libertarians. But from that poll’s results, there are not enough of them to make much of a difference.


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