Religion

Most White Evangelical Protestants Believe Bible's 'End Times' Cause Natural Disasters

| by Michael Allen

According to a new poll, the majority of white evangelical Protestants believe that recent natural disasters are not caused by climate change, but are actually signs of the "end times" predicted in the Bible.

According to the "Religion, Values, and Climate Change Survey" by the Public Religion Research Institute, only five percent of Americans think climate change is the most important issue.

The survey found that 22 percent are worried about lack of employment, 18 percent are concerned about the wealth disparity between rich and poor, 17 percent say health care is the biggest problem, 13 percent cite the federal budget deficit, 10 percent noted immigration and 9 percent are mostly focused on the cost of education.

39 percent of white evangelical Protestants were skeptical that climate change exists, despite the overwhelming science.

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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which represents mainstream scientific opinion, recently noted that scientists believe there is a 95 percent chance of man-made global warming, noted The Economist.

However, 77 percent of white evangelical Protestant believe that recent natural disasters are caused by Biblical “end times,” not climate change.

A new study by the Nature Climate Change recently found that scientific evidence of global warming is not likely to change the minds of conservative climate skeptics.

Aaron McCright, a sociologist at Michigan State University who authored the study, told Mother Jones that actual temperatures have less effect on people's opinions about climate change than their political party affiliation, which McCright called  "one of the strongest predictors."

According to McCright, Republicans are far less likely to believe that warmer temperatures were caused by man-made climate change than Democrats.

McCright added that Democrats are likely to believe that local temperatures are warmer than Republicans do.

Sources: Mother Jones, Nature Climate Change, Public Religion Research Institute, The Economist / Image Credit: Daguenther