This from a new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute of 1,018 U.S. adults, including a segment by cell phone. There's a CNN version of the story here.
The good news, if there can be any good news? Six-in-10 Americans think the recent weather is a function of climate change. Some people, it seems, took science class.
It's a rather long breakdown of results, so take your time to work your way through them. There's also a pdf of the results. A few high points:
- Three-fourths of respondents think "there is solid evidence" the world is warming.
- Six-in-10 link such global warming to human activity.
- But 39 percent also agree "natural disasters are a sign from God."
And the next question really gets at the crux of differences between religious beliefs and the environment. People were asked which statement they agree with more, whether God gave us complete rights to use animals and nature to benefit humans first, or whether God wants us to "live responsibly" with animals, plants and resources not necessarily just for human benefit. Thirty-eight percent believe nature is there for our benefit, 55 percent think it's there for us to nurture and maintain. The difference, of course, comes down to whether you accept a literal interpretation of the Bible. In fact, much of the results above can be traced to that.