The Francis Effect = +10-20% on Climate Change

After Pope Francis’ recent visit to the United States following his issuance of an official Papal position on global climate change, at least one survey indicates he exerts a powerful influence on the opinions of Americans of every political persuasion. In a before-and-after poll conducted for the Center for Climate Change Communication, the Pope gave climate change an 8-point bump across the nation, from 51% who said they were very or somewhat worried to 59%. Catholic opinion was influenced even more strongly, with the worriers going from 53% to 64% while mainstream (non-Evangelical0 Protestants also shifted upward in double digits from 47% to 57%.

The only group to report a relatively small increase in concern over global climate change after the Pope’s pronouncements and his visit to the U.S. were evangelical Christians, who went from 39% worried to 43% worried, remaining the only identified religious group that doesn’t take climate change seriously.

Chart of public opinion before and after Pope Francis' comments on climate change. (Center for Climate Change Communication)

Chart of public opinion before and after Pope Francis’ comments on climate change. (Center for Climate Change Communication)

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