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Catholics believe in climate change, study says

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Posted at 9:13 PM, Apr 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-10 21:17:54-04

While Catholics may lean conservative, they are believers in climate change and in taking action to prevent it, according to new research.

“Overall, we find that Catholics – 24% of all American adults – are more convinced that global warming is happening, are more worried, and are more supportive of policy action than other Christians,” the study said.

Catholics were also more likely to believe in global warming (70 percent) than Americans as a whole (66 percent). Non-Catholic Christians (57 percent) were the least likely to believe in it.

Most American Catholics identify as politically conservative or moderate. About one-third identify themselves as Republican.

Pope Francis is expected to release an edict this summer to urge action on climate change. More than 1 billion people identify as Catholic, worldwide.

Most Americans — Catholics included — are misinformed about scientific views on global warming. A majority said they are unsure of scientific views on climate change or said there is substantial disagreement among scientists.

Rather, nearly 9 in 10 scientists said they believe that climate change exists and is caused mostly due to human activity, according to a 2014 poll.

The study was conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and interviewed 1,275 adults.

Gavin Stern is a national digital producer for the Scripps National Desk.

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