With Pope Francis now on U.S. soil, what can be said about Americans’ receptivity to his moral entreaty to act now to limit climate change? Our research indicates the American public – Catholics and non-Catholics alike – will be receptive to the Pope’s message.Audiences Attitudes & Beliefs Values & Religion Format Climate Notes Projects Climate Change in the American Mind Tags Values / Religion Topics Audiences Beliefs & Attitudes
Values & Religion
Among Republicans, Catholics More Likely to Believe that Global Warming is Happening and Support Policies to Reduce It
On June 18th, Pope Francis released a much-anticipated encyclical—one of the most significant forms of communication within the Catholic Church—on climate change. In September, the Pope will visit the United States, where one in four Americans are Catholic, and address the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).
Our research has shown that, in general, Republicans are less convinced that human-caused global warming is happening and less supportive of climate and clean energy policies than are Democrats. We have also found that American Catholics are more likely than other American Christians to believe global warming is happening and to be worried about it
In this Climate Note we investigate whether or not there are differences in global warming beliefs, attitudes, and policy preferences between Catholic and non-Catholic Republicans. Overall, we find that Catholic Republicans are more convinced that global warming is happening and human-caused, and are more worried and supportive of climate policies, than are non-Catholic Republicans. These differences between Catholics and non-Catholics are unique to Republicans; that is, we see far fewer differences between Catholic and non-Catholic Democrats and Independents on these issues.
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Today we are releasing results from our latest national survey, conducted in March 2015. Nearly two-thirds of the American public (63%) currently think global warming is happening, a percentage that has remained relatively stable over the past five years. Similarly, the percentage of the public who think that if global warming is happening, it is mostly human caused (52%) has also remained relatively unchanged.
One reason these numbers have been stable in recent years may be because most Americans are simply not hearing or talking about the issue. Our survey finds, for example, that only 40% of the American public says they hear about global warming in the media at least once a month and only 19% hear about it at least once a week. Further, only 16% say that they hear people they know talk about global warming at least once a month, with only 4% reporting they hear other people talking about it at least once a week.Attitudes & Beliefs Policy Support Risk Perceptions Trust Values & Religion Format Reports Projects Climate Change in the American Mind Tags Energy Risk Surveys Values / Religion Topics Beliefs & Attitudes Politics & Policy Support
Our latest national survey finds that majorities of American Christians support a range of policies that would help reduce global warming:
• Tax rebates for people who purchase energy-efficient vehicles or solar panels (83% of Catholics, 80% of non-evangelical Protestants, and 74% of evangelicals, respectively)
• More research funding into renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power (81%, 81% and 73%)
• Regulation of carbon dioxide (the primary greenhouse gas) as a pollutant (74%, 75% and 72%)
• Requiring electric utilities to produce at least 20% of their electricity from wind, solar, or other renewable energy sources, even if it costs the average household an extra $100 a year (67%, 68% and 60%)
According to the survey, most American Christians believe global warming is happening and support policies that can help reduce it. We also find that most believe ‘God expects people to be good stewards of nature, which is not only here for human use.’Values & Religion Format Reports Projects Climate Change in the American Mind Tags Demographics Energy Values / Religion
This summer, Pope Francis, who leads 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide, will issue a papal encyclical on climate change. An encyclical is a letter that sets church doctrine on critical issues and is one of the most important forms of communication within the church.
Early indications are that he will define climate change as a fundamentally moral and religious challenge for the world. Pope Francis will then separately address the General Assembly of the United Nations and a joint session of the U.S. Congress in September in the lead-up to this year’s critical UN climate negotiations in Paris.
What do American Catholics and other Christians currently believe about global warming, how worried are they, and do they support policy action?
To answer these questions, we conducted a special analysis on our recent nationally representative survey conducted in the fall of 2014. Overall, we find that Catholics – 24% of all American adults – are more convinced that global warming is happening, are more worried, and are more supportive of policy action than other Christians.Values & Religion Format Climate Notes Projects Climate Change in the American Mind Tags Demographics Values / Religion
On Friday May 9, 2014, YPCCC Director Anthony Leiserowitz was a guest on NPR's Science Friday, in the week of the release of the 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment, to discuss Americans' responses to climate change. Other guests were Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and Sheril Kirshenbaum, Director of the Energy Poll at the University of Texas. Listen to the segment here.
Find out how Americans think about and value climate change in the 21st century.
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A new national study in India finds six distinct groups within the Indian public that respond to the issue of climate change in very different ways. These "Six Indias" include:
- The Informed (19%)
- The Experienced (24%)
- The Undecided (15%)
- The Unconcerned (15%)
- The Indifferent (11%)
- The Disengaged (16%)
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Millions of Indians are observing changes in their local rainfall, temperatures, and weather, report more frequent droughts and floods, and a more unpredictable monsoon.Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Consumer Behavior Energy Use / Conservation Health International Surveys Knowledge / Climate Literacy Media Policy Support Risk Perceptions Sustainability Trust Values & Religion Vulnerability & Resilience Format Reports Projects International Attitudes & Behavior Tags Energy Health International Knowledge Media Studies Risk Surveys Values / Religion Vulnerability Topics Behaviors & Actions Beliefs & Attitudes Climate Impacts Politics & Policy Support
A special report, Politics & Global Warming: Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and the Tea Party reports how the members of each political party respond to the issue of global warming. The Tea Party has become an important new player in American politics, so this report for the first time separates their views on global warming from the traditional political categories of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Policy Support Politics / Elections Risk Perceptions Trust Values & Religion Format Reports Tags Risk Values / Religion Topics Behaviors & Actions Beliefs & Attitudes Politics & Policy Support