Can religiosity predict cultural climate beliefs?

From Dr. Judith Curry’s Climate Etc.

Posted on April 17, 2020 by curryja

by Andy West

Probing the relationship between religiosity globally, and cultural beliefs in the narrative of imminent / certain global climate catastrophe: Post 1 of 3.


The main narrative of catastrophic climate-change culture (CCCC) contradicts mainstream (and skeptical) science. Yet widespread lack of belief in / commitment to CCCC across many nations cannot stem from rational consideration, because national publics simply aren’t climate literate enough for rationality to gain any meaningful grip upon the issue (plus the narrative itself claims an impeccable science pedigree). It’s much more likely that most disbelief stems from Innate Skepticism (ISk).

As described here, ISk is very different to rational skepticism. It is an instinctive reaction against invasive alien (to established local conditions) culture, or major over-reach by a dominant local culture. Given that CCCC is a relatively new culture sweeping through societies, it will trigger ISk in many people, who will then resist its narratives of catastrophe and salvation. Whether or not individuals do get triggered into ISk, depends upon their prior long-established cultural values. So, this means we can probe THE PROPOSAL that globally, ISk is indeed the primary driver of bulk public skepticism about CCCC, via of all things the religiosity of nations. If so, we can also predict CCCC beliefs using religiosity.


For nations, I plot against religiosity the answers to survey questions which are the most affirmative / supportive / concerned about climate-change issues. I attempt to cover as many nations as possible, the limitation being a large enough survey of attitudes on climate-change covering plenty, where most of the same nations also have a common measure of religiosity available. Also, nations in various world regions and of different faiths (Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist etc.) are needed for a truly generic picture. To help attain this width of cover, I build my own very straightforward religiosity scale by combining public surveys on same that probe from different angles (this increases robustness and minimizes bias effects).

There are two main categories of climate survey questions (as for surveys generally). Questions are either reality-constrained, or unconstrained. The former forces respondents to consider their answer in the light of other prominent real-world / reality issues, most typically by asking participants to say which X out of Y issues are the most important to them (e.g. 1 out of 10, or 4 out of 12 or whatever), of which one is a climate-change issue or just ‘climate-change’ alone, and the others are completely different (important) topics. The unconstrained questions are open-ended, and don’t do this. When expecting answers that are driven by cultural responses, these two types typically give very different results. This post focuses on the unconstrained side only. Responses for reality-constrained questions, are dealt with in the next posts.

Regarding the unconstrained climate survey questions, I use a September 2019 YouGov survey (full pdf) of attitudes on climate-change issues for 28 countries spread across world regions. Of these I can match 26 from my religiosity scale, which do indeed cover world regions and faiths.


The above survey features a significant number of questions / options, providing for various tests against religiosity including the responses that should not correlate. Indeed, as this survey isn’t designed to probe for cultural alignment to climate catastrophism (inclusive of hope of salvation), while it happens to contain questions that should invoke a very dominant cultural response, there are also many that produce weaker responses. For the latter, one wouldn’t expect to see a simple linear relationship with religiosity (albeit this doesn’t exclude some relationship). So for instance, “The climate is changing and human activity is mainly responsible”, will not invoke a dominant cultural engagement (and correlation). Many responders could answer this affirmatively without being emotively committed to climate catastrophism’s core tenets (i.e. a high certainty of imminent catastrophe yet with the concurrent hope of salvation). The question is effectively a technical one too, which weakens emotive response (albeit this doesn’t mean that rationality would necessarily rule instead).

The detailed interaction between CCCC and the mainstream faiths is mixed. Strong public endorsements are backed by very lack-luster action and very little true exchange of core narratives, such as occurs for a strong alliance of cultures. There is alliance, but a weak, surface one. This should nevertheless be enough to disable ISk about CCCC in religious believers for unconstrained questions; even approval ‘by default’ should be sufficient for this. So, this means that higher national religiosity should correlate with higher affirmative scores for those climate survey questions which do very dominantly engage belief in CCCC narratives. The next section assesses the first question that should demonstrate correlation.

[Note: for sound reasons explained later, the US shouldn’t conform to the Section 1 proposal; I included it nevertheless to confirm this is so, because otherwise there’d be something wrong with the theory].

Attitudes on ‘Personal Climate Impact’ versus Religiosity

“How much of an impact, if any, do you believe climate change will have on your life?” This is a great question for cultural correlation, because narratives of CCCC strongly emphasize impact on everyone, rich or poor, any nation, albeit the poor have less means to mitigate impact. Plus ‘your life’ matches the relative imminence (in fact ‘happening now’) also stressed by the narrative. Only a minority of elderly believers might expect to miss out on personal impacts. Featuring a personal angle also increases the emotive response. The total responses for ‘a great deal’ charted against religiosity, are below.

The first thing to notice about this graph is the stretched ‘S’ shape of religiosity undershoot (LHS) / overshoot (RHS) from trend, which I return to later. Then also, that two of the nations which stray the most from correlation (and from others, i.e. are opposite to that ‘S’ shaped straddle) are my expected exception of the US, and (very much!) Vietnam. Elsewise, correlation is good. [Chart 2xy in SI datafile].

It is hard to over-emphasize just how unusual the US is compared to other nations regarding the social psychology of climate-change. This is due to cultural belief / opposition on the issue neatly aligning to an existing very high polarization (i.e. on many other issues) of political parties, which afaik occurs nowhere else. As within the US religion itself also has a partisan lean (both Reps and Dems are majority religious parties, but with significantly more, and more fundamentalist, believers supporting the former), the religious and climate-change domains have a more complex entanglement. The US also appears to have by far the most research into attitudes on climate-change, which unfortunately helps to make this highly unusual scenario (for nations globally) look like a norm. The Supplementary Information has far more information on this, including links to prior analysis of the US and ways to perceive how it should sit in these types of graphs.

While communism in Vietnam has moved hugely from its classic position of decades ago, especially regarding economics, the system survives in far more than just spirit and with unbroken threads such as idealism wrt its crucial role in throwing off French and US control / influence, plus single-party political power and propaganda. Regarding the exercise here, this not only means a very likely biased-low measure of religiosity (which is monitored and frowned upon), but a strong cultural belief especially in the older population, which isn’t religious but secular. If that secular belief is also aligned to CCCC, or at least doesn’t oppose it, the sum of (actual) religiosity and secular strong belief, could make Vietnam act like a highly religious country in terms of disabling ISk about CCCC for most of the population – maybe!

The exceptional US and Vietnam are thus removed from further analysis, leaving 24 nations (r=0.92). [Their data remains in the SI datafile – use delete / undelete row to see charts with these out or in].

Attitudes on ‘UN Power to Combat CC’ versus Religiosity

The next responses measured are the affirmative ‘a great deal’ to the question: “how much power, if any, do you think each of the following have to combat climate change?” Sub-option: “International bodies (e.g. the United Nations)”. This question moves away from core existentiality, yet still invokes some fear and hope. Likely, participants will respond in respect of attitudes to the only example organization given. And the UN elite aided by older generation NGOs, have written their org indelibly into the catastrophic climate-change narrative as the orthodox priesthood (despite more fervent nouveau prophets like XR and Greta) plus originator of solutions (via coordination of science / policy and pressuring nations to comply).

This measurement also demonstrates a robust correlation, ‘r’=0.89. Although more ragged, the ‘S’ shaped straddle about trend is also present; clearly, this is a common feature. As this question is less personal and emotive than the one producing Chart 1, a narrower ‘concern’ data-range with less signal-to-noise is an expectation, see the Supplementary Information as to why. Yet this result is nevertheless robust enough to regard as great support for my Section 1 proposal. [Chart 4xy in SI datafile].

However, an apparently new outlier here is Thailand. The SI notes a potential reason why Thailand may have a lack of faith in the UN, but it’s not a strong case IMO. Hence while staying aware, there’s no reason to grant Thailand ‘official’ exception status – it stays in the plots.

Attitudes on ‘Human Extinction’ versus Religiosity

While there’s an issue with the question on attitudes to human extinction, I figured this shouldn’t matter and responses should also correlate robustly. The issue is that, much like for religion, the core narrative for climate-change includes a fear of catastrophe and hope of salvation (via the touted dramatic emissions reduction). For a question probing into the more deeply existential, both of these aspects should really be invoked to capture a central swathe of believers. However, the relevant question asks only: ‘How likely do you think it is that climate change will cause the extinction of the human race?’ Not mentioning the hope / salvation aspect means picking up mostly the doomsters, the too late already brigades, for strong affirmatives. Yet while engaging a limited part of the belief spectrum, a sub-flavor as it were, responses for ‘very likely’ should still invoke strong cultural response, should still correlate.

While I wasn’t wrong as such – correlation didn’t dissolve (and there’s structure like Chart 1 and 2) – it’s much weaker. ‘r’ is only 0.61. I then realized that the very low responses range, as indeed I ought to have expected for a doomster-only core, pushes up the relative effect of measurement error. Something to be aware of; my cultural net needs to be kept wide. Nevertheless, this statistically significant correlation (p=0.0016) isn’t devoid of meaning. I guess one can say that even the narrow context of human extinction alone, just about scrapes through the cultural alignment / correlation test. [See Chart 3xy in SI datafile].

Climate-Change attitudes that shouldn’t have a simple relationship / correlation with Religiosity

Positive responses to ‘do you think that you personally could be doing more to tackle climate change’, shouldn’t particularly correlate with religiosity, because cultural belief in an imminent climate catastrophe won’t dominate responses. While the culture via various means including guilt invokes the sentiment of ‘doing more’, very many people who think there’s a climate issue but aren’t ardent cultural believers in catastrophe / salvation, will share such a sentiment. The Supplementary Information gives further reasons why cultural responses should be weak in this case. As expected, correlation is lost (‘r’= -0.17).

A question in the climate survey asks: ‘Which countries, if any, do you think have had the most negative impact on global warming and climate change?’ Followed by a list of 25 countries, where up to 5 can be chosen. This is a weakly CCCC-aligned question, which is to say it does not have a strong existential / emotive / personal engagement (excepting responses for the participants’ own nations), and is relatively objective in that responses ought to stem from the context of widespread and unconflicted knowledge about the sizes of national populations and economies. This doesn’t mean all answers will be correct, and indeed responses are scattered across all the 25 countries. But responses fingering any particular country whether right or wrong, say India, shouldn’t robustly correlate with religiosity. For the test case I used of India, this indeed proved to be the case.

See Charts F1, F2 in SI datafile. Note: as discussed in the third post of this series, there’s some revealing non-linear structure in both of the responses measured here. But an expected lack of strong correlation is all we’re currently concerned about.

Sharpening the picture

I investigated the ‘S’ shaped straddle that can be seen in charts 1 and 2 (and systemically throughout in fact). In summary, not only is this a feature of the religiosity scale in isolation, it isn’t due to the particular set of charted nations, also occurring with a completely different set (having religiosity cover, but not climate-survey cover). So, given religiosity against a dead-straight-line plots similarly, then whatever causes this shape (systemic self-assessment error is my main SI candidate), the underlying relationship of religiosity with CCCC is highly likely also linear. In which case, the ‘r’ values as noted above are indeed valid for the charted relationships.

The above means it’s reasonable to iron out this bias (whether indeed it’s due to self-assessment error or any other measurement issue) so we can better see the true relationship between religiosity and CCCC without it. SI provides detail. Chart 3 is the resulting picture for Chart 1 redrawn in this manner. [See 7xy in SI datafile. And Chart F7xy for the equivalent redraw of Chart 2. Plus footnotes 12,7,7a,7b].

Note: Because the ‘S’ shape straddled the trend fairly evenly, this exercise has almost no impact on r.

In preparation for the next post, I plotted the debiased versions of Charts 1 and 2 together, also reversing the X and Y axes (an alternate Y axis is used later for further data). It’s important to note that survey questions which are less emotive / existential / personal, (pink), i.e. less aligned to CCCC, give a lower gradient of responses with national religiosity than those for more aligned questions, (blue). As it’s only there to demonstrate this lower gradient, the pink series is muted to reduce clutter; another series will be loaded on later (plus note, Hong Kong and Taiwan are dropped as the next series doesn’t cover them). For theoretical trends having less and less gradient, a direct linear relationship eventually fades away.

I term the effect causing these trends ‘Allied Belief’ (ABel). They occur because the surface alliance between CCCC and religion (more about this in the SI), makes religious adherents feel comfortable with climate catastrophe narratives, as long as there are no reality constraints, thereby disabling their Innate Skepticism of CCCC. Blue does this more strongly than pink. This doesn’t happen for most irreligious people (more of these in irreligious nations).

Taking stock

The robust relationship depicted above doesn’t prove that the main cultural mechanism is the disablement of Innate Skepticism to CCCC. Alternate explanations for the correlation are possible, albeit given the nature of religion they couldn’t avoid a cultural dimension. The SI outlines a (weak, imo) candidate, and there may be others. However, I believe my case is strong, and it gels with further data in the next posts.

Notwithstanding such cautions / exceptions, via a simple relationship: Globally, can Religiosity predict Cultural Climate Beliefs? Well Chart 4 could hardly be more supportive of this. And even the ‘doomster only’ response scrapes the test. But… cultural effects are rarely intuitive. So for instance, if one assumes that nations in Chart 4 which have high levels of climate concern (and religiosity), are also those with more climate-change activism, and / or stronger / more emissions reduction policies, this is very wrong! The Scandinavian nations or the UK, say, at the left-hand side, score very high in both these areas, and Europe generally scores more than the higher religiosity nations on the right-hand side. So, do climate surveys not reflect reality? What is going on?

Well, it turns out that the surveys very much reflect reality. But there’s two strong relationships between CCCC and religiosity, which are very divergent and supported by two different types of belief. Of which this post demonstrates only the first. To get into the prediction game (of both beliefs and the behaviors they drive) we must also characterize the second relationship, which as hinted at the beginning comes from reality-constrained surveys. From which in turn, the apparent paradox above and others too, are explainable via the total cultural effects in play. So…

Admin notes

There are 3 posts in this series, all of which have the same style of Supplementary Information, which consist: 1) an expanded post, 2) a footnotes file, and 3) an Excel datafile. The text below is a streamlined post version, geared to get the concepts across more readily and uncluttered regarding side-issues, detail on methodology, intricate depth, path my exploration took etc. For folks who want more, the expanded post is ~4900 words. Be aware that the footnotes file, also having various external references, relates to the expanded post (though a couple are pointed at below). Likewise, all the chart IDs within the Excel datafile are numbered for the expanded post. However, all sources / data for the charts below can easily be found (I provided SI IDs in the text). The datafile includes various extra charts too.

Long version [ONE Extended Post]

Footnotes [ONE Footnotes]

Data file   [ ONE Datafile ]

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April 19, 2020 6:14 am

Genesis 8: 28

Michael in Dublin
April 19, 2020 7:07 am

I assume you meant Genesis 8:22.
“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

A Christian should view climate alarm in the light of the words of Jesus to his followers in Matthew 5:45
“(Your Father who is in heaven) makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

A Christian should see it as the height of arrogance for feeble and limited people to think they can engineer the climate of any country let alone the whole world. After all they believe in a sovereign, all-powerful Creator who is responsible for the pattern of day and night, seasons, germination and harvest – all that Genesis 8:22 speaks of.

Reply to  Michael in Dublin
April 19, 2020 9:28 am


S Baz
Reply to  DKR
April 19, 2020 12:43 pm

Deuteronomy tells us in no uncertain terms that the Creator is in control of climatic variation.

Reply to  Michael in Dublin
April 19, 2020 11:04 am

The Gospel reading for today included the story of the Disciple Thomas … famously referred to as “Doubting Thomas” … the ultimate “instinctive skeptic” Isk and simultaneously a “rational skeptic”. The Gospel teaches that Thomas said he would NOT BELIEVE in Christ’s resurrection until he could place his fingers in the nail holes of Christ’s hands and stick his hand in the wound to his side. Now that’s a bloody skeptic!

It is instructive that the Bible INCLUDES a serious, no nonsense skeptic (instinctive and rational) in the resurrection story. The Gospel account doesn’t fight or deny Thomas’s skepticism … but rather welcomes it and embraces it. The Gospel CELEBRATES (I would argue) skepticism in the outlandish, irrational, and counterintuitive, resurrection of Christ. The Bible … God … if you believe … does not dismiss skeptics as “deniers”. Rather it teaches that for anything to be “believed” … it must stand up to skeptics and skepticism.

If catastrophic, man-made, Global Warming is to be “believed” it must allow, nay … welcome … skeptics. It must offer bloody PROOF of its central tenets. I was BORN a skeptic. Perhaps because my mother was from “The show me State” I was born with what I would term … a HEALTHY skepticism about … well … everything. If someone promises me a guaranteed 15% return on their Bernie Madoff inspired investment scheme … they will bloody well show me HOW they can make such a guarantee. Math. And the actual investments. The CAGW pushers do no such thing. They offer FALSE computer models that never quite measure up. Smoke and mirrors. And worst of all … they hurl derision at skeptics like me. I DO have Faith, that provides a tempering of my innate (and rational) skepticism … but in order to capture my Faith … you must FIRST accept and answer my skepticism. You must take my skepticism seriously.

Alan D. McIntire
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
April 19, 2020 7:11 pm

Your reference to Matthew 5:45 reminded me of a poem:

“The Rain, it fallleth on the just
And also on the unjust fella;
But chiefly on the just because
The unjust hath the just’s umbrella.” – Charles Bowne

Reply to  Michael in Dublin
April 20, 2020 1:05 pm

Michael in Dublin
“A Christian should see it as the height of arrogance for feeble and limited people to think they can engineer the climate of any country let alone the whole world. ”
There is a small crack in your argument… the world is warming, there is no doubt about that. You can wave your hands, sing and pray all you like, but it wont change thermometer readings. So if it ain’t us causing the warming… then who or what?
I consider it the height of stupidity to assume our actions wont have consequences. The Lord gave us this planet not only to enjoy, but also to look after.

M__ S__
April 19, 2020 6:14 am

Maybe it’s the worship of government’s absolute power that is a good predictor.

Reply to  M__ S__
April 19, 2020 7:30 am

Yeah, there is much anti-religion that just comes full circle.

Reply to  M__ S__
April 19, 2020 7:45 am

Nope/ Roger Scruton made an incisive comment – it applies to Marxism but its might as well be any Left Moral Issue like Climate change:

“It is not the truth of Marxism that explains the willingness of intellectuals to believe it, but the power that it confers on intellectuals, in their attempts to control the world. And since…it is futile to reason someone out of a thing that he was not reasoned into, we can conclude that Marxism owes its remarkable power to survive every criticism to the fact that it is not a truth-directed but a power-directed system of thought.”

Like Marxism, Greenism captures people who like to think they are smarter than they really are – egotists – who think that they should be in charge instead of stupid plebs, and democracy is a hindrance because there are too many plebs. Who just gaven’t read the right books/articles etc… Typically a half baked scientist who has rote-learnt his subject and trusts other scientists because not to trust them would render his own efforts to absorb received wisdom null and void. And yet go to PhD holders in STEM subjects where by definition they have had to think beyond what is the received wisdom, and scepticism rears its head.

The difference between a first rate and a third rate brain is that a first rate persons refers to another’s work to illustrate his point while the third rate uses it to validate his position.

Argument from authority is the typical hallmark of a wannabe scientist with physics envy.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Leo Smith
April 19, 2020 8:06 am

Great comment
I agree it feels psychologically valid
It’s why there is no reasoning

Doug Huffman
April 19, 2020 6:34 am

Some of US are becoming more sophisticated in our logic, first Epistemological Trespassing and now Innate Skepticism. Hoo Rah!

Waiting … waiting … waiting for nothing to happen, at the command of our elects.

Find the meme source for viral Race To The End (Chariots of Fire) by Tracy Huang. If the world has become sullen, this might lift your spirits. Well, heck, here it is … I apologize for the advertising overhead that YT has tagged on, surely due to the viral popularity.

R Taylor
April 19, 2020 6:44 am

Average annual temperature in the cities where the respondents live is easier to quantify than religiosity, and I suggest it would show about as strong a correlation to concern about “climate change”.

Jeremiah Puckett
Reply to  R Taylor
April 19, 2020 9:47 am

Are you sure average annual temperature for a city is easy to quantify? Has the data been altered? Collected correctly? As the city expands, is the temperature even valid? Does that temperature reflect the energy absorbed by the concrete jungle then released or does it reflect the natural environment? Have temperature records been completely removed as outliers that don’t correspond to an agency’s agenda? There are so many questions that can be asked.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  Jeremiah Puckett
April 19, 2020 2:45 pm

I think he’s saying that a nonsense list of data points can be equated to religiosity with equal ease.
Probably a case of “correlation = truth”.

April 19, 2020 6:48 am

A good predictor might be how many hands the person is holding out to receive other people’s money.

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  DocSiders
April 19, 2020 7:24 am

Maybe per capita wealth (and education) is a factor? Sometimes, the more wealthy, the less reliant on religion? Also, religion can teach how one interprets the relationship between humans and nature – which can vary w/ the brand of religion.

Reply to  Farmer Ch E retired
April 19, 2020 7:49 am

No, the criterion is a belief in authority and moral narratives.


Liberal: Look don’t you believe in social justice and all people being treated equally?And the world being riun by those most fit to do it?
Conservative: Actually, no.

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  Leo Smith
April 19, 2020 8:15 am

Leo – I see huge hypocrisies w/ social justice. First of all, one must assume that equal money creates equal happiness and equal contentment. Secondly, Liberals and Conservatives both buy imports at Walmart, Kohl’s, Bass Pro Shop, Amazon, Apple, Tesla (batteries & parts), etc. off the sweat of foreign labor that has no say in trade deals or government intervention. They just do or die. How just is that for justice?

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  Farmer Ch E retired
April 19, 2020 2:50 pm

Social Justice assumes everybody is equal, and wants to work.
Communism forces everybody to be equal, and work.

AOC’s Green New Deal also guarantees everybody a job, even if you don’t want one. Guess which camp she’s in?

Reply to  Leo Smith
April 19, 2020 4:21 pm


If it was as simple as “belief in authority and moral narratives”, how do you explain the conflict between those who believe in the authority of government and the narrative of social justice…… and those who believe in a God who commands respect for objective truth and the moral narrative of personal responsibility.
“Ifa man does not work, he shall not eat.”?

April 19, 2020 7:16 am

The term “religiosity” must be defined very broadly. I live in Vietnam and am actively involved in the very small Christian community. Catholicism and Buddhism were the primary religions in Vietnam before the advent of communism. Communism essentially wiped out all organized religion. Today the practice of Buddhism or any Christian religion is extremely limited. A form of ancestor worship is very widespread. I’m assuming “religiosity” includes this form of essentially secular worship.

April 19, 2020 7:25 am

Of course. Been saying this for ages. Original sin, the tree of knowledge (industry), personal sacrifice to appease the ‘god’ (Gaia). ‘End of the world is nigh’, extinction, and of human society.

They are all the same. CC is just the new religion.

Alan D. McIntire
Reply to  Matt_S
April 19, 2020 7:20 pm

Correct: The AGW religion also has “indulgences”- called “carbon credits”
They refer to those who no longer hold their catastrophe views as “heetics”- a religious , not a scientific, term:

And of course they have adopted the Apostle Paul’s language, referring to those who don’t adhere to their religion as “deniers”.

Steve Case
April 19, 2020 7:30 am

So I got as far as this:

Regarding the unconstrained climate survey questions, I use a September 2019 YouGov survey (full pdf)…..

And these were the lead off question on the full pdf of the survey:

Which countries, if any, do you think have had the most negative impact on global warming and climate change?

Do you think that your country could be doing more to tackle climate change, or is it already doing as much as it reasonably can?

And do you think that you personally could be doing more to tackle climate change, or are you already doing as much as you reasonably can?

They might as well have asked, “Have you stopped beating your wife?”

So I stopped reading there, no sense reading the rest of an article based on bullshit. Why is it bullshit? Because the authors of the survey assume you regard climate change as a problem when it is not. The people pushing it are the problem.

Besides that, at 27 pages, the stupid survey was way too long.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  Steve Case
April 19, 2020 7:51 pm

One of my pet hates with surveys is the two-way question.

Have you stopped beating your wife, or will you continue?

April 19, 2020 7:32 am

You have to laugh.

The elephant in the room is that climate BS is simply recognised by people who are smart enough to realise they are stupid, but not stupid enough to believe when their legs are being pulled.

The people who fall for the climate narrative are typically well educated but not well educated enough. They are mesmerised by the pseudo science and trust in the morality.

Total plebs are more wont to look at you funny and say ‘well in that case give me your coat’

Reply to  Leo Smith
April 19, 2020 11:53 am

There is NO automatic connection between “education” and common sense. It is quite possible for an “academic” to read a novel … answer all the questions about the facts and details of the book on a test and receive a top grade … but have NO IDEA what the themes the author was presenting. No idea of the MEANING of the book.

Similarly, math and science can be performed … but lacking the intelligent (common sense) interpretation of the data … ALL the data (as in – NOT the cherry-picked COVID-hysterical “projections”) … must be analyzed and put into proper context.

Oh my!!! the oceans are rising at an accelerated RATE! NYC will be flooded! Uh … but what about the temporary “storm surge”? What about the simultaneous “King tide”? Oops … lacking common sense … and ALL the DATA … the “educated” class completely miss the TRUTH.

Further … I completely agree with Peter Thiel who likens a contemporary college degree to the “religious indulgences” of the Pre-Reformation Church. A PAYMENT which conveyed social status and religious absolution. A college degree today is similar, in that the vast majority of them are just an expensive admission “ticket” for a government job.

Reply to  Leo Smith
April 20, 2020 3:51 pm

“The people who fall for the climate narrative are typically well educated but not well educated enough. They are mesmerised by the pseudo science and trust in the morality.”

I think the pushovers typically “highly educated” but also “not learned”. They may have learned many “things”, i.e. read the book so to speak. But were not taught or ever learned how to test what they have read through logic, mathematics, philosophy(including morality), observation, experimentation. Also how to detect statistical lies.

Reply to  Philo
April 20, 2020 4:30 pm

In the 2007 ish three of my four girls in high school were all subjected to Al Gore’s Fertilizer Fest movie 3 times in one week in 3 different classes. They survived with a functioning minds. Many others weren’t educated but propagandized.

April 19, 2020 7:34 am

Cold countries not worried, warm countries greater concern. Is there correlation to average local temperature?

Gary Wescom
April 19, 2020 7:42 am

Near as I can tell, the USA was dropped from consideration because the religiosity scale did not match up with the study’s assumptions. I suspect it was because environmentalism in the USA is effectively a religion. That would mean that both the political left and right contain people with high religiosity but with different views on climate change.

Rich Davis
April 19, 2020 8:24 am

Not very impressed with this posting. Some observations.

I think that when you remove some data-points as “outliers”, the rational justification for the practice is the assumption of gross measurement error. Yet the author instead provides additional speculative hypotheses that he asserts as true and does not question the accuracy of the data, yet excludes the inconvenient data-points.

As R Taylor pointed out, a rough eyeballing of the chart seems to show a strong correlation with average temperature. One need not exclude the US or Viet Nam as “outliers” (concern vs T)

How does one account for the supposedly very low concern about CCCC in countries such as Denmark, Germany, and the UK with their popularly-elected governments’ profligate waste of public funds on rainbows-and-unicorns energy schemes or their even more insane programs for net zero emissions? Or the moderately higher concern in the US, with the somewhat more rational approach outside of the left coast and New England?

In my view, the countries (and US states) with the least practice of their traditional religions are the most prone to tithing and purchasing indulgences for their imagined sins. It is logically consistent to believe that some catastrophe will not have much effect on one personally, while feeling obligated by moral principles to mitigate the disaster out of concern for others.

Having rejected the concept of sin, at least with regard to cherished hedonistic practices, they nevertheless still seem to need a way to judge themselves morally superior by their works (eg sorting recycle, shopping with reusable bags, eschewing plastic straws, and other sacramentals of their new replacement religion). Apart from the pope and Nancy Pelosi, which of the virtue-signalers pretend adherence to any traditional religion?

As St. Augustine wrote in the 4th century:
Fecisti nos ad te, Domine, et inquietum est cor nostrum donec requiescat in te.
Commonly translated as “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you”. My point, in other words, is that it is in human nature to believe in religion. If one religion is abolished, human beings must adopt another. There are NO low religiosity cultures.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Rich Davis
April 19, 2020 8:38 am

Or as GK Chesterton is purported to have said: “When a man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing, he believes anything.”

Reply to  Rich Davis
April 19, 2020 9:14 am

Watching the environmental movement evolve from legitimate environmental protection (e.g. Love Canal, leaded gasoline, etc.) to feel good environmentalism that satiates the same human psychological needs for many as traditional religions, it is evident that enviro-climate worship is now an established religion.

April 19, 2020 8:50 am

The most basic emotion is fear.
This is the result of our consciousness which originates in our fantasy.
Humans add “why” to everything which causes uncertainty.
Humans permanently are aware that they do not understand their environment.
God is the awareness of ignorance.
Religion is the firewall against these existential fears.
However, due to secularization heaven has come to earth.
The firewall has collapsed opening the gate to false prophets.
We notice canonization of nature. (God the father became Mother Earth)
This passed the moral compass from the church to the environmental organizations.
The environmentalists however are bad clergyman.
Instead of repairing the firewall they exploit human fears as a profitable business model.
Environmental organizations may present views and directives for life without the need of justification, just like the church.
Read more:

Bro. Steve
April 19, 2020 9:19 am

Show me a person who says he isn’t religious, and I’ll show you a person with a religion who doesn’t think it really is one.

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  Bro. Steve
April 19, 2020 9:47 am


John Mann
April 19, 2020 9:25 am

“How much of an impact, if any, do you believe climate change will have on your life?”
Am I just getting old or is this question ridiculous?
How would any person answer this question?
Does it mean that I can finally grow a certain paniculata hydrangea without it dying every time we have a cold Winter and Spring? I would like that.
Does it mean that I can watch the glaciers plow dirt into NYC on TV. (An upside maybe?)
Is the idea of climate change more dangerous to me than the reality of climate change, whatever that actually might be?
Physicists don’t know anymore what reality actually is so we have a problem there.
Same with religiosity. Faith goes in different directions: blowing up buses, loving your enemies, or doing mathematics.
Climate change, based on the number of claims from people with hair on fire about it, is happening now. I have not noticed anything.
Will I be paying more for palm trees than hydrangeas?

April 19, 2020 10:06 am

No comments yet about doing regressions, correlations, “r values” on percents?
I’m 120% skeptical.

Reply to  Toto
April 19, 2020 6:06 pm

Graphs 1 & 2 show an attempt at linear correlation. Both should have been analysed with logistic regression and K-Means.
Graph 3 shows a plot of residuals. I’m not sure what this plot is meant to show. Residual plots from a line of best fit shouldn’t look like this at all. Usually it would point to data poorly fitted to a straight line.
Graph 4 is the only one which shows some linear correlation.
Religiosity is such a loaded term that I fail to see how or why it should be used to analyse anything.
This is a bad article!!

Robert of Texas
April 19, 2020 11:18 am

I don’t know about your religiosity, but mine requires frequent sacrificial rites whereby I stab fresh tortillas over an altar and pray for cooler, wetter weather every summer here in Texas. Sometimes I even stain the alter with freshly taken spicy salsa. But the gods never listen…They apparently do not care for Texican food rituals.

As for the U.N… pffffffft!!!!!!! That’s what I have to say about the U.N.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
April 19, 2020 12:17 pm

The Progressive Church offers human sacrificial rites for social (e.g. selective-child) and medical (e.g. cannibalized-child) progress under the Twilight (e.g. conflation of logical domains) faith, Pro-Choice (i.e. selective, opportunistic) religion, as advised by mortal gods and goddesses. It’s forward-looking to the past.

April 19, 2020 11:19 am

Of course. If you believe in the religious doctrine of the greenhouse effect, you will most likely believe alarmists.

But if you are inoculated, you will be reasonable.

April 19, 2020 12:18 pm

Well, I read the paper, and didn’t understand it. I read it again, and understood it even less. I read it a third time, and decided that Andy West’s submission was a couple of weeks late. Or, maybe he’s trying to imitate Alan Sokal. Or even – the catholic Gahd forbid! – satirizing Christopher Monckton.

“How much of an impact, if any, do you believe climate change will have on your life?” The author says it’s a great question, but I don’t agree. My immediate response would be “What exactly do you mean by ‘climate change?'”

If they mean “climate change caused by increasing human use of fossil fuels,” I’d say, “I’m not sure, but I’d expect a moderate warming, if it happens, to be beneficial.”

If they mean “the effects of political policies put forward in the name of ‘combating climate change’,” I’d say, “they’ll kill our economy. And me. And you.”

Disclaimer: I rejected Christianity at the age of 16.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  Neil Lock
April 19, 2020 8:13 pm

I read several paragraphs, and like you, I re-read those same paragraphs several times trying to understand what the Hell they were saying. I drew a blank as well. No way on earth could I get through the entire report.

They never seem to identify what “religiosity” is. I’m sure everybody here can think of 20 different things that could be called religiosity, but what is this report talking about?

Bill Powers
April 19, 2020 1:04 pm

After the first couple of paragraphs, judith’s post, I decided it was too deeply philosophical and unnecessary intellectual. I have immense respect for Ms Curry’s work but in my opinion it is unnecessarily deep diving.

Here’s why. In the U.S. the predominant population age group is still Baby Boomers. In the 60’s and 70’s they inadvertently provided the Woodie Wilsonite Progresswives the energy to push onward and upward toward socialism because of Vietnam and a major influx of college educating complete with the pseudo-intellectual gum flapping indoctrination about the benevolence of Marxist theory blah, blah, yada, yada.

But we are also at an age where we have seen it all before. Weatherwise. Droughts, Violent weather, Severe Winter, Severe Summer, all giving way to moderation of each respective season in subsequent years and back again, were a discernible cyclical nature exists in the natural order. Natural Variation of climate,

Many also remember living with inadequately heated houses in winter and sans air conditioning for the summer and hot sticky nights ensconced before a fan. Some even remember power outages in summer with high heat and humidity and hand powered fanning. Oh to sleep perchance to dream. But No.

Now, while some of us where educating in college to avoid Vietnam we discovered during some brutal winters that the “Experts” were predicting the coming ice age and we had only the Library, Time, Newsweek and ABNBCBS for 1/2 hour in the evening to keep us apprised of the advancing glaciers. This encompassed our research as no internet was available and computers were things housed in air conditioned ballrooms by Govenments, Colleges, and Major Corporations.

so we graduate, get jobs and we go about our lives and 3 short decades later a bunch of “Chicken Little’s” with an endless array of communication channels and the power of the government funded UN bureaucratic organization called the IPCC are barking about end of days because man burns fossil fuel to, blessedly warm and cool our homes and drive prosperity.

Now politicians are demanding that we not ask questions, rather we need to fall in line, because the Science debate was over (questioning first whatever happened to the scientific method) and that 97% of scientist agree without every explaining Who took the survey, when they conducted it and who was allowed a voice in the voting process, So, that brings up the questions: when did government/education base science abandon contentious questioning and when was truth decided with majority voting?

So I would call it age and experience not religiosity that drives ISK. I have spent an inordinate amount of time deprogramming the 21st Century public school graduates by questioning the facts of their CAGW “Beliefs.” By asking them to answer some basic questions i steer them towards a more scientific position of skeptism.

But then, i could be labeled a denier which would put me in the unfortunate position to prove a negative. Slander and libel are such ugly human traits. When practiced by governments it becomes tyranny. The bureaucratic intellectuals (an oxymoron) have a 97% phantom consensus on their side and the power of the bureaucracy to silence my debate.

charles nelson
April 19, 2020 1:36 pm

As someone who was brought up in a devout religious context I have always recognised that Warmism was a secular substitute for religion. Right down to its fanaticism!

April 19, 2020 1:51 pm

First question.
Is the author properly sceptical regarding their own understanding of religion?

In other words, is their assumed measure actually fit for purpose? Has it been tested and does the phenomenon have the assumed effect?

A properly sceptical viewpoint would account for two observed phenomena.
1. The historical association between scientific development (the investigation of reality) in a culture heavily influenced by a religion that directs people toward objective truth.

2. The obvious and abject failure of those cultures that are institutionally anti-religious. IE, those that fail to maintain a reasonable scepticism regarding the ability of human beings to create a perfect society.

Any clear-eyed observation will show that “religion “ is so broad in both definition and effects as to be useless for this metric

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  PeterW
April 19, 2020 8:19 pm

Lets also ask those same questions while looking at the history of science.

Much of science throughout history was funded by the Catholic Church. Partly because they had the money, they wanted the influence, and they wanted to turn lead into gold.

Much science was and is invented and discovered by religious people. How does that sit with their “religiosity”?

Mike Dubrasich
April 19, 2020 1:59 pm

Yet another case where a “study” is made that looks like science but is nothing of the sort.

The resultant variable is answers to an opinion poll. Such are notoriously unreliable for a host of reasons: opinions are impermanent, the questions are loaded, people lie, etc. etc.

The explanatory variable is not an actual metric:

I build my own very straightforward religiosity scale by combining public surveys on same that probe from different angles (this increases robustness and minimizes bias effects).

Calling something “straightforward”, “robust”, and “unbiased” does not make it so. A “religiosity scale”? Give me a break. And again we have “surveys” which are unreliable.

Indeed the explanatory variable, religiosity, is undefined, subjective, and is not measurable at all.

No other possible explanatory variables were considered, such as per capita GDP, average IQ, science education, general ignorance, propensity to accept authoritarian propaganda, desire for handouts from “rich” nations, political subservience, or a slew of others.

Yet the author, a putative “scientist”, draws cause-and-effect conclusions from this mishmash of junk science.

This is how junk science is done. This is how nonsense masquerading as science gets promulgated. This is why “climate change” is not actually science-based at all.

April 19, 2020 3:11 pm

I searched the article and its link for a non-arbitrary, quantitative, relatively exclusive definition of “religiosity” with some semblance of self-consistent units. I found none.

Without that, a discussion of the quantity’s relationship with anything is meaningless. Even looking for correlations is fraught with underlying cross correlations and indicative of nothing except what the analyst chooses to find in the resulting tea leaves. Exactly what it looks like the author intends to analyze.

April 19, 2020 3:38 pm

We have several friends who are devout Atheists and believe in the fictitious CCCC fantasy very fervently as well as quite religious friends who can clearly see through the whole specious CCCC nonsense. I think that there could be a significant correlation between common sense and disbelief in CCCCC. For many belief in CCCC is in itself a religion.

April 19, 2020 5:01 pm

I’m an outlier in the debate because I don’t see more than a fuzzy “we’re just to assume ” here that “catastrophic climate change” for the purposes of the study is Anthropgenic CO2 based Catastrophic Climate Change ? AGM for short.

I’m a Christian, and a Catastrophist in a geological sense (before the term was known) but in a scientific manner. I see the Glacier striated rocks, and kettles in the rocks in my Great Lakes homeland. And I can see by the harmonics in the temperature graph of the last million years that we are in the sweet spot for a sudden rapid temperature plunge that sets us on a path into the next ice age. And that sudden plunge seems more and more like it was and will be decadal, not millenial.

I don’t fit in the stereotype because I believe A-CO2-GM is prairie fertilizer.

Reply to  sendergreen
April 19, 2020 5:49 pm

oops AGW … I have an annual general meeting in the near future AGM

April 19, 2020 6:10 pm

Religiosity is a poor classification. It’s like saying “people who drive.” It doesn’t tell you anything about a person’s philosophy. On the other hand, what kind of a car a person chooses is very telling.
So, then, what kind of religion? You can’t lump Christian denominations together. Catholics and Progressives are Democrats, global warming activists, against the wall, globalists. Evangelicals and fundamentalists are Republicans, patriotic, climate skeptics or indifferent, favor the wall, and insular. Nobody appreciates being cubbyholed, but if you see any value in generalizing people based on their faith, there you go.

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