Much of the existing scholarship on climate change uses religiosity to measure the effects of religion on climate skepticism and results in inconsistent findings. Drawing on insights from the study of religion and environmentalism more broadly, we suggest that scholars should seek a deeper understanding of religion’s impacts by considering the influence of specific religious beliefs on perceptions of climate change. We further contend that researchers should consider how these factors shape attitudes within and between segments of the public who hold varying positions on climate change. We test these contentions using a novel sample of 1,000 self-declared “climate skeptics” in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. We find that, among skeptics, specific religious beliefs are more strongly associated with a range of selected climate/environmental attitudes (i.e., conspiracy ideation, trust in climate science, pro-environmentalism, emotions about climate change) than is religiosity. We discuss these findings and their implications for future scholarship.
Haltinner, Kristin, and Dilshani Sarathchandra. 2022. "Beyond Religiosity: Examining the Relative Effects of Religiosity and Religious Ideation on Climate Skepticism (a Research Note)." Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 37(3): Article 1. Available at: https://egrove.olemiss.edu/jrss/vol37/iss3/1