Search below for resources covering the intersection of climate engagement, social science and data analytics.
Have a resource you want to share?CONTACT US
In the US, adults under 40 are considerably more likely than their elders to express concern about the issue and attribute it to human activity. Overall, two-thirds of U.S. younger adults say global climate change is an extremely or very serious problem, compared with roughly half of those ages 40 and older (52%), according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. There are similar age gaps among evangelical Protestants, even though both younger and older evangelicals are less likely than Americans overall to express concern about climate change. Evangelical Protestants under 40 are more likely than older evangelicals to say climate change is an extremely or very serious problem (41% vs. 31%). And 42% of evangelical adults under 40 say the Earth is warming due to human activity, compared with 28% of evangelicals ages 40 and older. However, just 5% of U.S. adults under 40 are both highly religious and concerned about climate change, compared with 9% of those ages 40 and older.
This post includes climate and environment headlines, data points, and key takeaways from recent public polls - including new polling on climate change as a national priority, new polling about offshore wind energy among Americans in coastal counties, and new polling about the impacts of people’s religious views and partisanship on their climate attitudes.
Responsibility for the Earth is part of many U.S. Christians’ beliefs, but so is skepticism about climate change. The new survey finds that about three-quarters of religiously affiliated Americans say the Earth is sacred. An even greater share (80%) express a sense of stewardship – completely or mostly agreeing with the idea that “God gave humans a duty to protect and care for the Earth, including the plants and animals.” Two-thirds of U.S. adults who identify with a religious group say their faith’s holy scriptures contain lessons about the environment, and about four-in-ten (42%) say they have prayed for the environment in the past year. Half or fewer people surveyed in all major Protestant traditions say the Earth is getting warmer mostly because of human activity, including 32% of evangelicals. However, on average, people who are less religious tend to be more concerned about the consequences of global warming. For example, religiously unaffiliated adults – those who describe themselves as atheists, agnostics or “nothing in particular” – are much more likely to say climate change is an extremely or very serious problem (70%) than are religiously affiliated Americans as a whole (52%).
Most Americans say the Earth is sacred, is our only home and that God gave humans a duty to protect and care for it. Six-in-ten Americans say that holy scripture contains lessons about the environment (58%), and they appear to hold nuanced views about what some of those lessons are. While two-thirds (66%) say God gave humans a duty to protect and care for the Earth, including the plants and animals, a smaller majority (54%) say God gave humans the right to use the Earth, including the plants and animals, for humanity’s benefit – and nearly half (48%) hold both these views. Three-quarters of U.S. Christians say they believe Jesus will return to Earth one day, but far fewer (14%) believe it will be within their lifetimes.
Muslims and climate change: How Islam, Muslim organizations, and religious leaders influence climate change perceptions and mitigation activities
What role does religion play in climate change rhetoric? A growing body of literature has begun to link religiosity to climate change attitudes, but most of this research has focused on Christianity in the Global North. Muslims represent the second largest faith group worldwide, and a significant proportion of the Muslim population lives in countries or areas that are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Given the diverse experiences and backgrounds of Muslims across the world, it is not surprising to find that there is no universal perspective on climate change among Muslims. It is also the case, however, that the social networks that exist among religious organizations provide great opportunities to continue disseminate information and mobilize advocacy efforts around climate change.
Survey results suggest that many Americans in the less engaged segments hold values that are consistent with a moral or religious argument for climate action. The communication of a moral perspective on global warming by religious leaders such as Pope Francis may therefore reach segments of the U.S. public that have yet to engage with the issue.
Good article summarizing Pope Francis' influence, even beyond Catholics, and assessing several years of polling and surveys on Catholic beliefs on climate change.