Poll shows views on climate change vary along religious lines

This morning I joined WBEZ’s The Morning Shift live for a discussion of religion and climate change. We were specifically looking at the results of a recent survey by the Public Religion Research Institute and the American Academy of Religion, which showed that 39% of “White Evangelical Protestants” are climate change skeptics. For some of my thoughts on the poll and on the broader issue of religion and climate change, listen to this audio of the interview. Expect more thoughts in a post sometime soon.

For the record, the toughest question of the interview was, “For evangelical climate skeptics, what does God have to do with their position?” There is a short answer to that question, and I gave part of it out of respect for the question and out of respect for people who genuinely believe that Scripture or the Christian tradition contradicts climate science. However, the long answer would also suggest:

  1. That political affiliation, race, and relations with the scientific community have a lot to do with how evangelicals of all sorts understand climate change. Indeed, the influence of these factors is as great as or grater than religious persuasion. 
  2. That religion also has a lot to do with the position of evangelicals who believe that climate change is real, serious, and manmade. It doesn’t only influence the “skeptics.”
  3. Also, from some of this poll and from other research, it appears that religion may have a greater impact on how serious we think climate change is and how we think it should be addressed than it does on whether we think it is real.

But more on that later. For now, here’s the interview.

Poll shows views on climate change vary along religious lines

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