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Faith, Morality and the Environment

Faith, Morality and the Environment

We are pleased to release a new report: “Faith, Morality and the Environment: Portraits of Global Warming’s Six Americas.”

In recent months, we have witnessed an evolution in public discourse on global warming. Typically discussed in the news media solely as a scientific, environmental or political issue, global warming is now being reframed as a moral and spiritual issue by religious leaders – most notably by Pope Francis. Americans are now hearing – often for the first time – that global warming will have severe impacts on the world's poor; that it violates divine dictates on the treatment of nature; and that it requires a concerted response from all nations in the name of social justice and God's will.

To explore Americans' receptivity to a moral framing, in Spring 2015, before the Pope’s encyclical and visit to the U.S., we assessed the religious and spiritual values and beliefs of Global Warming's Six Americas, six groups within the American public with very different views on global warming. 

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Voters Prefer Candidates who Support Climate-Friendly Policies

NEW POLL: AMERICAN VOTERS IN BOTH PARTIES PREFER CANDIDATES WHO SUPPORT CLIMATE-FRIENDLY POLICIES
Conservative Republicans Alone in their Opposition to Climate Action

A new national survey finds that majorities of registered Democrats, Independents and liberal and moderate Republicans want climate action, will vote for candidates who will support it and represent the mainstream of American voters. The survey also finds that conservative Republicans’ views are often different from the rest of American voters.
 

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Do Americans understand that global warming is harmful to human health?

Do Americans understand that global warming is harmful to human health?

Global warming has significant negative consequences for human health, with some groups at greater risk than others. The extent to which the public is aware of these risks is unclear; the limited existing research has yielded different findings. Our new peer-reviewed paper describes Americans' awareness of the health effects of global warming, levels of support for government funding and action on the issue, and trust in different information sources. We also investigate the discrepancy in previous research results based on open- versus closed-ended questions.

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Americans Support an International Climate Agreement in Paris

The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference opens in Paris on November 30. In preparation for the negotiations, each country was asked to submit their own national action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and over 90% have done so, including the United States. President Obama is now going to Paris to press for an international agreement to reduce global warming. What does the American public think?

In our recent national survey, we asked Americans about the U.N. Summit in Paris, how much the U.S. and other countries should do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and whether the U.S. should only act if other countries do. Most say an agreement is important and countries should do more about global warming.

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Finding Common Ground at the Thanksgiving Table

Finding Common Ground at the Thanksgiving Table

Talking about global warming with those who think it is not happening can sometimes be awkward or frustrating, especially at the holiday dinner table. However, there are often more points of agreement than we may realize.

To provide some guidance on constructive ways to talk to people with opposing climate change viewpoints, we analyzed the Yale AP-NORC Environment Poll, a survey conducted among the American public (ages 18 and over) by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research late last year.

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More Americans Perceive Harm from Global Warming, Survey Finds

More Americans Perceive Harm from Global Warming, Survey Finds

We are pleased to release the first report from our latest national survey: Climate Change in the American Mind: October 2015. This report details results from our latest national tracking survey about global warming beliefs, risk perceptions, conversations, perceived ethical dimensions, and the impact of Pope Francis on American views of global warming.

Here are a few interesting findings. Since spring 2015, the number of Americans who think global warming will cause harm has increased substantially. More think global warming will harm them personally (42%, +6 percentage points since spring 2015), people in the U.S. (56%, +7 points), people in developing countries (61%, +9 points), and future generations (70%, +7 points).

Majorities of Americans say global warming is a major environmental (69%), scientific (62%), or agricultural issue (56%). About half consider it a major health (49%) or economic issue (47%). Fewer consider it to be a major moral (24%), poverty (17%), social justice (17%), national security (14%), spiritual (8%), or religious issue (7%).

The number of Americans who say they discuss global warming with family and friends at least occasionally increased by 9 percentage points over the past six months, from 26% in spring 2015 to 35% in fall.

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