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PLoS One. 2015 Aug 6;10(8):e0134868. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0134868. eCollection 2015.

Religion Does Matter for Climate Change Attitudes and Behavior.

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School of Management and Marketing, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia; Institute for Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia.
School of Accounting and Finance, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia.


Little research has focused on the relationship between religion and climate change attitudes and behavior. Further, while there have been some studies examining the relationship between environmental attitudes and religion, most are focused on Christian denominations and secularism, and few have examined other religions such as Buddhism. Using an online survey of 1,927 Australians we examined links between membership of four religious groupings (Buddhists, Christian literalists and non-literalists, and Secularists) and climate change attitudes and behaviors. Differences were found across religious groups in terms of their belief in: (a) human induced climate change, (b) the level of consensus among scientists, (c) their own efficacy, and (d) the need for policy responses. We show, using ordinal regression, that religion explains these differences even after taking into account socio-demographic factors, knowledge and environmental attitude, including belief in man's dominion over nature. Differences in attitude and behavior between these religious groups suggest the importance of engaging denominations to encourage change in attitudes and behavior among their members.

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