(Crossposted at Friendly Atheist)
The Pew Forum is a reliable source of interesting surveys. This most recent one shows how strongly various religious groups believe that global warming is occurring and if so, whether the warming is caused by humans or not.
One number that does puzzle me is the 36% of Black Protestants who believe the Earth is warming, but due to natural patterns and not human activity. It’s twice that of the US population as a whole, and triple that of the unaffiliated. Why would that be?
But otherwise, the findings don’t surprise me. The most likely group to believe that humans are causing a global warming? Those unaffiliated with a religion, at 58%. Those least likely? The self-identified White evangelical Protestants, at 34%.
I’m guessing there are confounding factors – White evangelical Protestants are more likely to live in the South, so perhaps it’s their geographic location that causes them not to believe the Earth is warming instead of their faith. It’s a classic correlation vs. causation conundrum.
But I don’t think we can dismiss the notion that faith affects people’s environmental views. Not when we have examples like Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) who read from Genesis in a congressional hearing and proclaimed that “The Earth will end only when God declares it is time to be over. Man will not destroy this Earth, this Earth will not be destroyed by a flood.”
On the other hand, we have to ask: why are these Hong Kong Christians building a full-scale replica of the ark?