The difference between white Catholic views and Hispanic views on global warming is like night and day.
The Pope has become, in America at least, a controversial political figure. Somehow, Pope Francis’ message of absolute love and respect for all humans and the planet on which they live has managed to be dissected into a political agenda, which has caused discomfort, and in some cases, outright anger from many conservatives in the United States. Many of Pope Francis’ messages are far more liberal, and certainly more morally loud than his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.
Recently, the Pope has also addressed the issues of climate change in an encyclical that was released in June, putting out a spiritual call to action for the world to look at its practices and question ease of the moment over long term survival on this planet. Many of his comments left many Catholics uneasy, particularly right-wing American Catholics, as it questioned the morals of many of their political values against the tenets of their faith.
Pope: Climate change is a thing. Oh, and you should help those less fortunate than yourself. Christians: Catholics are dumb.
— ❤Baybdoll❤ (@_Baybdoll) September 24, 2015
The Public Religion Research Institute conducted a research survey with many American Catholics about their views of climate change ahead of the Pope’s encyclical, in partnership with the American Academy of Religion. Together, the PRRI and AAR published a story on the PRRI’s site with the five key findings that the results of their research survey made clear.
What makes the PRRI / AAR’s key findings genuinely interesting is that the piece is written in a way that focuses only on the data, resulting in an unbiased viewpoint that allows the reader to make their own conclusions as to what the cause of these findings might be. Each of the findings compare the responses from white Catholics to Hispanic Catholics, resulting in some very interesting and telling statistics about not only the views of American Catholics on climate change, but also the differences between the Hispanic and white Catholic communities in America.
The five key findings that PRRI and AAR found as a result of their detailed survey were:
1) White Catholics are twice as likely as Hispanic Catholics to say climate change is NOT happening.
2) Hispanic Catholics are more likely to express concern over the severity of climate change.
3) Hispanic Catholics are about three times more likely to believe they’ll be personally impacted by climate change.
4) Hispanic Catholics are much more likely to hear about climate change in church.
5) Hispanic Catholics are far more likely to believe there is scientific consensus about climate change.
Across the board, white Catholics in America were far more skeptical of everything surrounding climate change and the scientific nature of it than Hispanic Catholics in America.
The PRRI and the AAR also published the overall results of their full study and survey on climate change from November 2014. These results can be found here.