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Posted June 18, 2015

Pew survey: 71 percent of Catholics believe in global warming

Soli Salgado | Jun. 16, 2015 Eco Catholic
Francis: The Environment Encyclical

A new survey by Pew Research Center [1] shows that U.S. Catholics are slightly ahead of the curve compared to the general public regarding climate change. And like the rest of the country, views among Catholics can be largely predicted by political partisanship.

While 68 percent of the general public said they believe that Earth is warming, 71 percent of all Catholics do. When broken down by political parties, factions among Catholics have a clearer rift: 85 percent who identify themselves as Democrats agree that the Earth is warming, with 72 percent of independents and about half of Republicans (51 percent).

Figures drop, however, when asked if they believe that warming is a consequence of human activity. Less than half of the general public thinks so (45 percent), similar to all Catholics (47 percent). More Catholic Democrats believe humans are the cause (62 percent), but less than a quarter of Catholic Republicans agree (24 percent). These numbers closely resemble those who believe global warming is a very serious problem: 46 percent of the general public agrees with that notion, while 48 percent of all Catholics do (an additional 26 percent saying it is "somewhat serious").

Of Catholics, roughly six in 10 Democrats believe warming is a serious problem (64 percent), as well as almost half of independents (49 percent), and less than a quarter of Republicans (24 percent). And 22 percent of Catholics say there is no solid evidence that Earth is getting warmer.