Evangelical source changes evangelical minds on climate

Around one-quarter of Americans identify as evangelical Christians and a majority of this group reject man-made global warming. Now a study shows that being presented with clear factual information endorsed by a trusted – evangelical – source can change the minds of climate sceptics.

That source was Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University, US, and an evangelical Christian. Hayhoe is well known for outreach work where she communicates the facts about climate change, explains the impacts and tackles many long-held misconceptions. If addressing an evangelical audience, Hayhoe provides a Christian perspective and highlights the difference between faith and science.

“I don’t believe in climate change, and I never have because it is not a religion,” says Hayhoe, who was one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2014. “As a scientist I look at the data and the facts and they are clear: climate is changing, humans are responsible, the impacts are already serious, and there are solutions if we act now.”

So are evangelical Christians more receptive to changing their minds if the facts on climate change are presented with a Christian perspective? And does the presentation have to be given by a fellow evangelical Christian? To answer these questions, Katharine’s father Doug Hayhoe from Tyndale University College and Seminary in Canada, Mark Bloom from Dallas Baptist University, US, and Brian Webb, from Houghton College, US, measured how much people’s opinions shifted after listening to Katharine Hayhoe give a presentation on climate change.

Click here to learn what they found!