White mainline Protestants aren’t sweating climate change

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Michelle Boorstein of The Washington Post writes:

A new poll released Friday shows major differences between faith groups on topics including concern over climate change, whether natural disasters are a sign of biblical end times and how deeply connected they feel to nature.

White evangelicals are the most skeptical of climate change and the most likely to say recent natural disasters are a sign of “biblical end times.” Hispanic Catholics are, by faith affiliation, the most concerned about climate change, along with religiously unaffiliated Americans and black Protestants.

The poll by Public Religion Research Institute also indicate that white mainline Protestants are among those least concerned about issues of climate change, as the graphic below makes clear.

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In addition PRRI found:

Close to half (46%) of Americans say that the earth is getting warmer and that these changes are primarily the result of human activity. We characterize this group as climate change “Believers.”

One-quarter (25%) of Americans believe the global temperature is rising, but say the change is due to natural fluctuations in the earth’s environment or are uncertain about its cause. We describe this group as climate change “Sympathizers.”

Finally, more than one-quarter (26%) of Americans say there is no solid evidence that the earth’s temperature has been rising over the past few decades. We call this group climate change “Skeptics.”

Is this another issue on which people refuse to acknowledge the validity of overwhelming scientific evidence because they are under the misguided impression that it necessary undermines their faith? Or are other factors at work?

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