Regional Differences in the Relationship Between Religious Adherence and Belief in Climate Change

Authors: Richard Bohannon*, Metropolitan State University
Topics: Religion, Environmental Perception, Regional Geography
Keywords: geography of religion, climate change, religious adherence, united states
Session Type: Guided Poster
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Roosevelt 3.5, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download


This study looks at the geography of religion and belief in climate change in the United States and asks whether religious influences on belief in climate change are tied to regional geographic trends. Multiple studies have looked at the relationship between religious adherence and belief in anthropogenic climate change in the U.S.; for instance, white evangelicals are less likely to believe in anthropogenic climate change (compared to the national average) whereas Buddhists and Jews are much more likely to believe in it. Other studies have looked at the geographic distribution of beliefs about climate change at different scales. This study uses two existing county-level datasets derived from large-scale surveys: data on beliefs about climate change developed by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, and religious adherence data compiled in the 2010 U.S. Religion Census sponsored by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies. This study uses multiple GIS-based spatial analysis techniques to combine and compare these datasets, parsing out significant regional differences in how religious adherence correlates to climate change. The present research focuses of two Christian traditions – white evangelicals and Roman Catholics – selected because of their wide geographic dispersion across the country.

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