Can religiosity predict cultural climate beliefs?

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.

Introduction

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.

Method

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.

Expectation

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 ]

 

168 responses to “Can religiosity predict cultural climate beliefs?

  1. Thank you. A brilliant and creative piece of work. One for my library of citations and quotations.

    • Thanks, much appreciated. Stay tuned for more…

      • Andy, I’m no fan of Jared Diamond, but why do you focus on religiosity, when Figure 1 shows so egregious and unsurprising a correlation of local climate and climate change concern?

        The hotter nations are, the more cause thay have to worry about AGW, and the colder the less their concern with warming. The correlation you have graphed relates more to latitude and temperature than the decline of Lutheran church attendence in chilly Scandinavia or rising Islamic ardor in the steamy Persian Gulf

      • Russel:
        1) As noted at the end, the next post introduces the second of the two relationships between CCCC and religiosity. In this very different relationship (over 48 nations) from reality-constrained questions, the least concerned nations are at the ‘hotter’ end, and the most concerned nations at the ‘cooler’ end. This apparent paradox relative to the relationship here, is explained by cultural mechanisms. Stay tuned…

        2) Even in this post, Temp does not correlate except very crudely for left and right halves (referencing Chart 4). So for instance, Temp trend for nations from Singapore rightwards, is flat, whereas religiosity (and climate concern) still rise together on RHS of chart. On LHS for instance, Oz is a huge exception to nations around it.

      • Russell Seitz

        I noticed the outliers too,– and their cultural correlation as entrepreneurial free ports and fossil fuel exporters.

        Let us see how well, or not, parts 2 & 3 explain Part 1’s failure to mention the obvious up front.

      • Hmmm… this shot looks much wider still. If you think ‘entrepreneurial free ports’ are explanatory for the robust correlations shown, please expound.

      • Russell Seitz

        Andy West | April 20, 2020 at 5:16 am ”
        “Russell: If you have specific issues with the data or analysis, state them.”

        The main issue is selective citation that borders on the comic:
        Your data set covers less than 14 % of the nations in the world.

        The whole continent of South America has disappeared Africa has been sawn off at the Egyptian border, China has gone missing along with 170 nations encompassing half the population of the world.

        Where did you say you sent this screed for peer review ?

      • Russel: The relationships hold for those regions / nations / faiths in which it is measured (excepting Vietnam). As it happens, the second relationship (next post) approx doubles up to about 48 nations. Limit in this post is the width of available survey cover. But why on Earth do you believe I have to measure the whole world?

      • Andy asks; “why on Earth do you believe I have to measure the whole world?”

        Because both ” religiosity” and ” cultural beliefs ” are global.

        Andy asserts the “Limit in this post is the width of available survey cover.”

        Really, Andy, what do you think cultural anthropologists have been doing for tha last century? Limiting their researche to jusr the countries you pick?

        The obtuse is strong in this one.

      • Hmmm… so you quietly converted to a fringe skeptic? Climate is global too, but though even in modern times coverage of large areas of the globe has been and sometimes still is poor or missing for various parameters in various areas, this does not mean that assessments regarding the globe have been, or now are, invalid. Of course, there are those that argue this is the case. The areas not covered are projected from the rest, but remain unknown in practice until validated. Ditto here. The sample within this post covers from different world regions a wide variety of political systems, philosophies, ethnicities and Faiths (Christian including Cath and Prot, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhist). From which one can project a global rule valid for anywhere that doesn’t interrupt the 2-way cultural dance of CCCC and Religiosity (US has a 4-way dance, and something like a powerful one party state suppressing religion will also break the rule). However just like above, this remains a projection for unaddressed nations until measured.

        “Because both ” religiosity” and ” cultural beliefs ” are global.”
        “Really, Andy, what do you think cultural anthropologists have been doing for tha last century? Limiting their researche to jusr the countries you pick?

        Goodness me. This has no relevance whatsoever. Your stance is that *every study* which included ‘religiosity’ as a main component, or indeed any that studied ‘cultural beliefs’ of any type, would be invalid unless they have addressed the entire world. This is a ridiculous position to take. And you completely miss the point on width of available cover – ideally it needs *the same* study to cover many nations, so we know the methodology is constant. While composites can be put together, unless the question-wording / method happens to be almost identical (this does happen sometimes, as some questions are quite simple and there’s only so many ways to say them, plus some templates are shared), this introduces a significant source of error and / or much work in trying to levelise the surveys. A single survey in the next post covers very many nations.

  2. Pingback: Can religiosity predict cultural climate beliefs? — Climate Etc. – NZ Conservative Coalition

  3. I’m surprised no mention of the Right Wing Authoritarian personality in this article, as while that personality is only moderately correlated to religiosity ( in most cases anyway although Southern White Evangelicals have been measured at alarmingly high percentages – 80% exactly the percentage of evangelicals that voted Trump, more on that later) the RWA personality is highly correlated to climate change denialism.

    Judith seems to be on a roll with exploring other science domains lately so maybe she will consider a little look see into this wildly waving red flag

    • Bruce, see the paragraph starting: ‘ It is hard to over-emphasize just how unusual the US is compared to other nations regarding the social psychology of climate-change.’ and much more on same in the SI attachments. The US is excluded for these reasons. The same principles apply, but indeed both religion and Climate Change are entangled in the deep right / left polarisation within the US, so a targeted analysis is required to navigate this more complex and unique local situation. (Some prior material on this is linked). Globally, simpler relationships apply, as the data shows.

      • Andy, surely you will know that this targeted analysis you mention has been done in spades for decades, all with little controversy or ambiguity in the scientific findings. Did you see my post below? What exactly is your experience in this field of analysis?

      • Bruce, it’s been done in spades in the US (as noted highly exceptional to the global situation), and much less so in individual nations, of which not much tied together, plus has a completely different focus. I recommend Dan Kahan to start with for the US, as he best captures the polarization issue that links Rep/Cons, Lib/Dems, CC and religiosity plus other factors that align with said polarization. Meanwhile the huge focus in the climate-change / religiosity inter-sectional literature more generally, is how to get the main Faiths on-board with promoting climate policy. This focus is itself acknowledged in the literature (I refer to one of the most comprehensive papers in the SI on this plus other aspects, and a couple of other papers I think). Unfortunately this focus, which also sucks efforts into a deep-dive of practical aspects per faith, means that the much more basic relationships don’t even seem to have been addressed. Questions about me won’t help you; look at the data, look at the analysis. (In fact this is better; you can’t prejudge based on what world-views you might think I have). If you see issues, pipe up loud and strong.

      • “Questions about me won’t help you; look at the data, look at the analysis. (In fact this is better; you can’t prejudge based on what world-views you might think I have). If you see issues, pipe up loud and strong.”

        This statement is spectacularly disingenuous. If I need heart surgery, questions specifically about you as a surgeon are of paramount importance, specifically because “looking at the data and analysis” is unreliable for anyone but those who are specifically skilled.

        This is incredible. Judith Curry has got to “pipe up here, loud and strong” of she has any professional ethic at all.

      • Bruce: False comparison. Why do you think anyone is doing heart surgery here?

        We are discussing the science of culture. Specific to CC and religiosity in this case. I’m sure that’s far more interesting to everyone here, including you, than the topic of Andy West.

      • Don’t be deliberately obtuse. I’m sure you are familiar and can recognize metaphor and analogy, communicator that your are so if so, as i point out your deflection is deliberate and disingenuous.

        Just answer the analogous question. Don’t worry, I’m not trying to Trap you with any “gotcha”, I am merely being directly analogous. God almighty are you really that lacking in courage? I’ll give you that much credit for now, which means your are being cleverly deflective.

        answer it

      • Bruce: Yes, I am indeed capable of recognising an entirely inappropriate metaphor.

        “answer it”

        You mean ‘am I a recognised social scientist’. Why no, not even in the slightest. Would you like to talk about the subject now, or does this mean you will automatically rule out the data and analysis?

    • Right Wing Authoritarian
      Southern White Evangelicals
      climate change denialism

      I can see we are making progress. I guess the word of the day is innate skepticism. Seems a real thing.

      “Michael Shermer lists a subset of clues such as nervousness, excess control, apparent rehearsal, consistency of a story over time, plus the increased likelihood of such clues manifesting when the subject is under cognitive load. Added to which can be weightings derived from the level of intimacy and trust. Hence to assess doubts about the veracity of the concept, domain knowledge is not required.”

      A saw this guy on Rogan’s podcast. Better marketing than 25 years of climate activism from numerous NGOs.

      It’s Okay to be a skeptic. Call names, I don’t care.

  4. I’m not comfortable with your exclusion of USA and Vietnam after the first chart. Your reasons seem to have a post-hoc component – especially for Vietnam. I’m also a bit dubious (only a bit) about lumping all religiosities together, because in many places religion is not a real choice, it is used as a mechanism of (dictatorial) government, the extreme religion being communism which in some cases makes all other religions illegal. I think you didn’t rate communism as a religion but as a secular belief. Sorry, but I don’t see a real difference.

    Sorry to sound so negative, but I actually do really appreciate your post (genuine thanks), and I look forward to the next ones. Maybe(?) an extra segment with the USA and Vietnam included, and communism rated as a religion – it would be interesting to see what difference if any that made.

    One more point: The first chart seems to show a massive correlation between islam and belief in climate change, and a similar correlation between economic development and belief in climate change. Examining those correlations more carefully might influence your conclusions??

    • Mike, Vietnam is post-hoc, but not the USA. There’s much more on the latter within the SI attachments, and the US appears to be easily the most highly researched country on climate-change attitudes, all of which says (per answer to Bruce above) that it *cannot* conform to the simpler rules that I figured should operate more or less universally elsewhere, so set out to see whether this was so. Indeed, it does appear to be so. As noted in the text, I initially included the US to ensure it *did come out wrong*, otherwise I’d have a problem. It’s true I didn’t expect the exception of Vietnam, on the other hand I never even thought about it until it popped up wildly different. I think my provisional explanation is reasonable, but for sure it would need work to prove what the (more complex) cultural situation is in Vietnam, and given the likely paucity of data, I’m probably screwed on that. A third country that I already know will likely break the rules is China, due to CCP culture and attitude to religion. But even measuring religiosity in China to start with due to these issues is a major acknowledged problem anyhow, plus very little climate-survey data there too afaics.

      There is more on religion and elite attitudes in Post 3, but more generally I too wasn’t sure whether differences between faiths / regions would make the picture too mushy. I figured to just let the data tell me, and it says that all Faiths behave the same. There’s a relgio-regional analysis in one of the upcoming charts covering all the main Faiths, and more info on same. This and some discussion in Post 2/3 also covers economic factors, which has an interesting but secondary effect in the big picture. The SI info for Post 1 & 3 also covers IHDI, but not enough room in the main text for this. Islam doesn’t behave differently, but anyhow you first need to see the other big relationship (not covered here) between CCCC and religion.

      Extreme political regimes as secular cultures (and hence driven by similar mechanisms to religion) is an interesting topic. But this series is about the cultural aspects of public climate-change attitudes (i.e. another secular culture) and the relationship to religion. Have to stay focused! My provisional reasons for Vietnam’s exception remain indeed unproven.

      Please stay tuned, and dig into the attachments…

      • Curious George

        “The exceptional US and Vietnam are thus removed from further analysis.” That’s a proven method to prove anything. Why don’t you take a climatologist’s ingenious idea and adjust instead of excluding.

      • George, per the post text I knew the US was an exception before starting, so included it initially to show that it *wouldn’t* comply. Which is the case, and otherwise there’d be something wrong with the theory. So it’s a plus-point, not a problem. Vietnam is clearly miles out from all the other nations, I doubt I have any way to prove or disprove my provisional explanation for exception. Exception doesn’t mean forget; clearly, it remains an issue for the theory unless the explanation can be verified.

  5. Geoff Sherrington

    Stopped reading when faith in future salvation was mentioned.
    Belief systems harm science.
    Beliefs in afterlife and so on are for people poor in thinking ability and for those who are easily led.
    As a hard scientist, I have doubts that one can even make valid graphs from the data shown. Geoff S

    • My curiosity is not as great as yours, Geoff. I got an inkling of that from the title and stopped there.

      • So like Geoff, you don’t want to understand how the catastrophic climate-change public belief system works? (much of which can be seen via it’s relationship to religiosity across nations). Why? Isn’t this exactly what we need to understand in order to pursue an optimum path to reversing the harms of such a potent system? It is held together by emotive fairy-tales, but the impact of those on populations aren’t mystical, they’re eminently understandable.

      • At this time Andy, “CAN RELIGIOSITY PREDICT CULTURAL CLIMATE BELIEFS?” is of less than no interest to me. Who sits around and worries about this? I will give the answer to your question: Nobody cares.

      • Don, I’m trying to help you see something that may help you. It may not feel like that and I probably won’t succeed. But we don’t ‘need’ religiosity as a predictor of climate-change cultural beliefs, it’s just that if it could be shown to work, that tells us a huge amount more as to how the cultural beast that is CAGW belief actually works. And you’re right folks don’t care about this very much at all, which is no doubt part of the reason why that beast is still rampaging around to it’s hearts content (metaphorically speaking). Later posts say from this cultural prediction which countries have most XR and Children’s strike presence and why, and even why the most EV sales come where they do. These things are not a magic bullet, but they are well worth knowing. and if people cared about them more in the past, maybe we wouldn’t be where we are.

      • Don Monfort, I read thru the Jacobsen thread at Brandon’s blog. You were right. I was so focused on Brandon’s errors, that I missed you had proved Jacobsen was lying.
        A later discussion with MJ on Twitter had him trying to talk past other discrepancies, like when I asked him how Canadian hydro fits in.

    • Geoff, ‘Belief systems harm science.’

      Of course they do!

      But it is also science that tells us exactly how they work and how they do their harm. This series is part of understanding exactly these things. Rather than attribute the effects to ‘poor thinking’, we should look at the data which helps us understand how such things work. And which data says there is a much deeper and more universal problem than poor thinking. Why on Earth would we not want to understand how these things work?

      All the data / method is included in the attachments, it’s very straightforward stuff; if you have specific issues I’ll be happy to address them.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Andy,
        If you are going to use “science” methods like statistics, you need input data that pass certain scientific requirements. For example, stats is about taking a representative sample from a population of numbers. What population is represented by the numbers you use? You seem to use guesses about the portions of people in some countries who think in some ways about unquantified esoteric concepts unrelated to reality.
        Can you validly use stats to address metaphysical thoughts? Geoff S

      • Geoff,

        Valid point. See the expanded post and footnotes for the methodologies, and all charts with r/r2/p figures in the Excel datafile. The point about the correlation / significance figures is that they can help (without taking them religiously, no pun intended) assess whether indeed the populations and seen effects are valid in supporting a proposal of dependence. Plus, it is an extremely well-established principle that cultural leanings (religious, political, philosophical), can be culled statistically from populations and do represent real commitments to the relevant cultures being measured.

        Read footnote 3, 3a on religiosity scales and my straightforward one in particular. Notwithstanding self-assessment biases, the easiest way to find out what people think on religious / spiritual matters, is simply to ask them. The religiosity scale is a merge of results for “Is religion important in your daily life”, with the inverse of the opposite angle ‘not a religious person’ or ‘a convinced atheist’. The advantage of this method is that it involves no theological / Faith based detail, so scales pretty well across nations / faiths of all types. Nor does it matter in what way ‘important’ manifests to them for their particular experience; they have no reason to lie and ‘important’ (plus its opposite which helps reduce biases and noise) is sufficient to purpose. If you think matters religious can’t be measured in this way, you’ll need a fantastic alternate proposal for the very robust correlations with religiosity shown here ;)

    • Geoff, how dare you!

    • Yes

      Paraphrased, if someone does not “believe” that CO2 is the root of all environmental evil, they must be superstitious.

      So insulting in its’ smugness.

  6. I’m a bit puzzled. Who is this Andy West fellow? His “about ” page offers no hint to his actual skill in anything. Isn’t this supposed to be a blog site of some scientific integrity? If the topics are going to range all over hells half acre, isn’t it wise to demand some reasonable credentials for posting what purports to be “serious study” into something he calls social psychology?

    I mean, Judith Curry isn’t qualified to validate this stuff so….?

    Is this why the previous blog was an advocate for “epistemic trespass”?

    • “I’m surprised no mention of the Right Wing Authoritarian personality in this article, as while that personality is only moderately correlated to religiosity ( in most cases anyway although Southern White Evangelicals have been measured at alarmingly high percentages – 80% exactly the percentage of evangelicals that voted Trump, more on that later) the RWA personality is highly correlated to climate change denialism.”

      Are you one of them psuedo psychologists from New York City?
      No wonder you are puzzled. You are not very bright.

    • Bruce, if you’d like to actually address the data and analysis, I’ll be happy to respond to your questions.

      • See above. I think I can spot plenty of potential error in your analysis ( did you control for geo climactic zones / latitude / economic) but as stated above, you really can’t conclude anything if you do not control specifically for Right Wing Authoritarianism within, as others have noted, specific religious sects and denominations.

        I repeat, If Judith Curry is going to maintain some sort of credibility for the product of this blog, she has to involve some means of validation and no, “epistemic trespass” cannot validate squat.

        Look at it this way, would you (or Judith even better, as presiding judge) accept either this study or your expert testimony on this particular skill domain in any court of law as evidence in any litigation?

        Just answer that, if you’d be so kind

      • Bruce; Sorry, answered the one above before I spotted this one.

        Temperature, GDP and Democratic index were all non-starters, although in part you have to see the next post as to why for some, because there are *two* relationships between CCCC and religiosity, that anti-correlate. IHDI (better than HDI) is covered in the SI info for Post 1 and 3, but isn’t causal. GDP-per-Capita *is* involved, turns up as a secondary factor in the second relationship that is discussed within the next post.

        Per the post, the US attitudes you reference are not relevant as for sure the US will not conform to these rules, and I knew this from the start. As noted, it was in the initial graph to show that it *wouldn’t*, and indeed this is a control as that turned out to be the case. This non-conformance to the simpler global rules is indeed due to the Right / Left polarization (not just on religion as you imply, but many other issues).

        If you read the extended post and Footnotes plus scan the charts, you’ll see much more than the summary text here what was / wasn’t done. I didn’t save data on the non-starters though.

        Again you will see better after the next post, but the relationship here correlates with religiosity, and the next relationship anti-correlates. This matches expectations for the (explained) cultural mechanics, and occurs (outside the US, and Vietnam) in all countries of all political stripes and whether democratic or not and for all of the main Faiths (there’s also a religio-regional and faith based analysis in the next post).

        We’re not in a court of Law. We are evaluating the science of culture as specific in this case to the relationship between religiosity and cultural beliefs on climate-change (which is also to say, those beliefs which contradict mainstream science on the issue). And you are part of that too :) Admittedly, more will become clear at next post, but if you believe you have a valid point, how does this point fit with the observed data? (i.e. change my analysis) Or alternatively, how do you think this would mean the data is somehow inappropriate? [ the data / charts are extremely straightforward – I doubt there’ll be an issue understanding them – but if you don’t look you won’t know what you are challenging 0: ]

      • Andy, you seem, alas , to be following in the footsteps of Jared Diamond, whose shrewd response on being call out on his work’s blatent reductionism was to just run away.

      • Russell: If you have specific issues with the data or analysis, state them.

    • I’m a bit puzzled. Who is this Bruce Kay fellow? Maybe he has a gnawing subliminal sense that all those catastrophic predictions just aren’t in the cards. Then, what kind of idolatry is left?

    • Do you have the proven skill or not?

      Or if you prefer, are you entitled to “epistemic trespass” in your presumption of validation to the gullible public?

      Judith Curry, an actual professional with professional ethics, needs to pipe up here. I’lll leave you two to it for now, I’m going off grid for the weekend but I’ll be curious to see how you wiggle out of this one…. or ifJudth can defend the integrity of her blog

      • ‘are you entitled to “epistemic trespass” in your presumption of validation to the gullible public?’

        Hmmm…. ‘Have you stopped beating your wife?’

        I’m not now or ever presuming public gullibility or taking advantage thereof. The data and analysis outline cultural modes (also in direct conflict with mainstream-science position) on climate change, and their relationship to religiosity. They are there to discuss. If upon perusal of same, you have well-founded issues with the actual data or the logic-chain based upon that data, then present them. This is the way we can all progress.

      • Bruce

        If you’re worried about integrity, you should start with the hotspot of integrityfree zones, known as the climate science establishment. There is a lot more low hanging fruit there than anything connected with Judith’s integrity.
        Fifty years from now the establishment’s integrity will be shredded with derision. Judith’s integrity will be one of the few shining lights to endure from this entire period.

      • Why exactly do you think professionals have a code of ethics? Why do you think civil litigation is a thing? This is why, which any actual practicing social psychologist will tell you – the public is gullible. Any fraud will tell you the same thing.

        You are clearly way out of your depth, and it dosn’t take your admission of no functional skill to prove that. That wouldn’t really matter, after all that describes any bar room banter but this is not a bar room. Whether Judith likes it or not, this blog is considered a source of reliable knowledge. Any Senate science committee will tell you that, unfortunately.

        What Judith needs to consider, assuming she still subscribes to any professional ethics in retirement, is that “epistemic trespass” is essentially unethical by the first order of duty – do not miss represent your skill to an unsuspecting public. You can do that all you want to the House Science Committee ( they lack ethics) but you can’t do it professionally or in a court of law. There is a mechanism within this frame work for “trespass” but it does not involve transgressing the bounds of your epistemological skill: It is called “consulting”.

        So then…… is your own blog purporting to be any source of Knowledge to the gullible public? Or is it random bar room banter?

        choose one or the other and detail it in the “about” page. If it is the former do everyone an ethical favour and detail your CV as justification for expounding on and actually practicing “social psychology”. If you are merely a curious amateur then say so.

        ThenJudith Curry can protect the integrity of her own blog by considering this before posting your “curious” speculations and analysis on a subject she herself has no validation skills for…… nor damn near anyone else reading this.

      • Bruce, some clarification here regarding what this blog is about. My goal is to make people think – consider the evidence, think about how to draw conclusions, challenge their precepts, assess uncertainty and continually re-evaluate their conclusions. Sort of what I regard the scientific process to be. Blogs present a new technology and type of forum for doing this. In the process, we have developed an epistemic community of sorts at Climate Etc., with a range of perspectives. If you are looking for blogs (and scientists) that purport to be a truth factory, arbitrating the so-called ‘truth’ and enforcing manufactured ‘consensus’, there are other blogs that attempt do that.

        The ‘Etc.’ in Climate Etc. includes a broad range of philosophy, technical, sociological, political, economic and policy topics that relate to climate change. The public debate on climate change, and increasingly the scientific one, can’t be fully understood without considering these ancillary topics/fields.

      • “You are clearly way out of your depth, and it dosn’t take your admission of no functional skill to prove that. That wouldn’t really matter, after all that describes any bar room banter but this is not a bar room. Whether Judith likes it or not, this blog is considered a source of reliable knowledge. Any Senate science committee will tell you that, unfortunately.”

        Then ‘clearly’ this should be very easy for you to demonstrate, from the very straightforward data, upon which the logic-chain to explanations. So go for it :)

      • Your blog is a “go to” for everyone from Lemar Smith to Cliff Mass and as i have clearly pointed out you at least have a duty of care – again, assuming you have some residual professional ethic and respect for other sciences beyond your own – to clarify for the consumer, who largely have no better skill than you in “social psychology” or various other non climate sciences, to weed out those such as Andy west who are not just “talking about” a science but actually practicing it – as an amateur, with predictably amateur results.

        Again as clearly it can’t be stressed enough, a science you can’t validate no matter how much faith you put in epistemic trespass. If you insist a fiction writer is “entitled” to this sort of exposure and influence on the layman public, why don’t you at least bring on a guest expert, someone not inclined to epistemic trespass, to “peer” review his work before publishing it?

        I’m amazed that you are willing to disrespect other science domains this way. You owe 500 years of it at least that much

      • I respect the process of science, evidence and arguments. I don’t prima facie respect scientists or their turf.

        The reason my blog is a ‘go to’ is because it promotes independent thinking and a forum for evaluating evidence and arguments.

        Please enlighten us as to your own qualifications and expertise for passing judgment on my blog and the articles posted here.

      • As for you Andy and your repeated attempts to deflect into some sort of technical esoterica pissing match, my interest here is how you and by extension Judith Curry transgress perfectly reasonable professional ethics, something any tom Dick or Harry can understand, under guise of some weird sort of “epistemic Trespass” entitlement.

        I mean go ahead and try but if you know anything at all about expertise, the acquisition if it, and basic human cognitive error which any one actually familiar with social psychology would be, you at the very least would think twice.

        It dosn’t matter if I’m a grade behind Geta Thunberg. She is the general public as much as anyone. She is not expected to have any expert understanding of any science. What she should have available to her is at least some means of separating the wheat from the Chaff, which Judith Curry is now negligent of.

        Its really simple. Just write a header before the article: This man has no expertise in this subject. The truth, in other words

      • “…with predictably amateur results…”

        Well if you’d like to peruse the post / method and discuss the logic-chain to the results, that would actually be a really great contribution. Until then you haven’t demonstrated anything 0:

      • After all that, I’m pleased to see you take no issue with my observations other than that.

        I’ll leave it to and Greta Thunberg to spiral down your amateur rabbit hole arguing technical esoterica, one incompetent to another. From any amateur I wouldn’t expect anything more.

        From Judith Curry on the other hand, perhaps she actually approves of the House science committee means of vetting: The gut hunch.

      • Bruce: I haven’t commented on your ‘observations’ only because I think it’s important to remain positive. This leads to better productivity for all of the denizens here. Yet so far you argue only from the authority of science, while declining to take part in the process here. Regarding my efforts in this post / series, you shouldn’t believe a word unless it can be verified. Regarding the theories of those who may have great reputations and publishing record for whatever domain, we shouldn’t believe a word unless it can be verified.

      • There is some validity to what you say, Brucey. But you don’t have to get all hysterical about it. This is not likely to find its way into a House or Senate Science committee hearing. And it is no threat to the integrity and practice of real science. We are just killing time on this one, Brucey. Sporting events are closed down. Movie theaters , closed. Bars, not open for business. Its a blog post. Get over it.

      • Russell Seitz

        Judith, you might find it both edifying and amusing to contrast & compare this Andy West with the other one- the Andrew West who hosts and edits the Religion & Ethics Report on Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio National

  7. First, religiosity: I gave up God and religion in 1955, when I was 13, as I couldn’t reconcile it with my rational education. But I have practised Vipassana meditation since 1972, a non-sectarian technique taught by the Buddha, and my understanding and conduct are probably much closer to what one hopes that religions would foster than the vast majority of religious adherents. So where do I stand in relation to this survey?

    Second, “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?’” That is a question I cannot answer, (1) as it is badly worded – what is meant by a negative impact on global warming and climate change? And (2) as it implies that you accept that change will be net harmful, which I don’t.

    • First: “So where do I stand in relation to this survey?” See answer to Antonym at 4.23 am, and look at the attachments which show the questions that define this. Extremely simple personal assessment with no faith based details.

      Second: Yes, some of the questions are badly worded and also the issue of (2) is explicitly acknowledged in longer SI text. The point for both is that when searching for cultural not rational responses, such things tend to increase not decrease cultural response. Because ties to rationality and common knowledge that might help, are weaker still, so cultural attitudes come to the fore. As the series demonstrates further on, none of the responses to any of the questions covered are rational, they’re all cultural in nature. The question you note above, is examined in much more detail in a footnote of Post 3, with charts for answers ‘India’ and ‘China’. As can be seen rationality plays a small role even in this question, which is the most objective one in the whole survey.

      • P.S. Cultural analyses can say nothing about individuals, who can buck any trend, only statistically about populations.

      • “The question you note above, is examined in much more detail in a footnote of Post 3, with charts for answers ‘India’ and ‘China’. As can be seen rationality plays a small role even in this question, which is the most objective one in the whole survey.”

        Many thanks- the first reader to send this gem in to Pseud’s Corner at Private Eye deserves the customary ten quid reward.

    • jungletrunks

      Andy: “Cultural analyses can say nothing about individuals, who can buck any trend, only statistically about populations.”

      Ironically this statement is the key to understanding the fallacy of the religiosity premise you couch.

      I don’t buy your premise at all.

      It’s not only because globally I don’t believe cultural envy can be captured in polling; it’s not because I don’t see analysis that quantifies stereotypical assumptions in the religious demographic; I ignore these as moot from the 30k foot view, especially relative to U.S. culture. Essentially the methodologies you use are too tangential to the underlying question you’re trying to resolve.

      The substantive root to your query can be found in this question: Among “Right wingers”; what do Christians, agnostics, and atheists, all have in common? (born again Christians make up 51% of this 2009 demographic, which undoubtably has trended down to today.)

      The answer is that Right wingers possess a rugged sense of individualism and personal liberty; the founding stuff that rejects secular central authority, which is the basis for the U.S. founding to boot. Religion is a highly personal “individualistic” relationship; so while this may fit superficially to your model, it’s actually ancillary to your reasoning. Individualism is the discriminator, and it covers a broad swath of traits for what’s considered the American archetype.

      Better climate evidence, empirical, is still required for an individualist, and if presented it will be accepted; because individualists tend to be pragmatists. But for a collectivist, tactical methodologies that appeal to higher secular authority is either appealing, or invited for ideological motivated reasons; in other words, a believable model that appears to not be rigged, will suffice.

      From from 30k feet it’s clear that the equation you’re trying to unravel is more politically philosophical in nature, it’s about collectivist versus individualist sensibilities. You don’t reach the crux in your analysis, religion is an often used scapegoat for fundamentally more basic philosophy. Individualists by nature require more than collectivist overtures that utilize manipulative methodologies as proof as to why liberty must be curtailed for the good of the collective. That’s the size of it.

      Who are some of the contemporary figures of collectivism: Marx, Stailin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, Castro. Collectivists believe these icons will be perfected, Rightists? Enough already.

      • David Appell

        jungletrunks wrote:
        The answer is that Right wingers possess a rugged sense of individualism and personal liberty….

        Or so you think. But some of us see your “rugged sense” as greed, selfishness and thoughtlessness, about not caring who your actions affect as long as it benefits your personally and immediately.

        That’s what’s ending, and people like you will kick and scream about it until your dying days.

      • Jungletrunks: Thanks for your input 😊.

        “It’s not only because globally I don’t believe cultural envy can be captured in polling…”

        ‘Cultural envy’ isn’t being measured. Look at the data. Religiosity is plotted against affirmative responses on climate-change concerns. Very simple, very straightforward. Do you have any specific issue with the data on either axis? If not, then you agree with the series / correlation produced, and there must be some reason why this is so. I have an explanation – which of course is challengeable, but…

        Re Right Wingers and the US:
        Have you read the post – The US is specifically excluded because of the deep R/c – D/l polarisation that upsets the normal rule. The same principles can figure out the situation there, but it’s a 4-way cultural dance (R/c, D/l, CCCC and Religiosity), whereas just 2-way in the other nations charted (CCC, Reliosity). The US was only included at the start to show that it *wouldn’t* comply, which was the case, and there’d be something wrong with the theory if this wasn’t so.

        “From from 30k feet it’s clear that the equation you’re trying to unravel is more politically philosophical in nature…”

        Look at the data, say Chart 4. Religiosity versus affirmative response to climate-change questions, very robustly correlate across nations of all political stripes, with or without democracy, in different regions of the world and across multiple faiths (Protestant, Catholic, Islam, Buddhist, Hindu). In the next post, the second of the two relationships between CCCC and religiosity is introduced, with the net widening to 48 conforming nations covering even more variance in political / regional / faith factors. This covers a huge range of philosophical attitudes in settings highly variable across faiths and politics and essentially everything else.

        Your premise is that all of this huge conforming range is nevertheless just a proxy for something simpler (beneath religion). Given these religions also go back on millennial scales and predate all of our current left / right philosophies by a country mike, I think you’d need strong evidence for this. Notwithstanding which, that wouldn’t in any case erode by one jot that the climate concern responses *do* strongly correlate with religiosity – you’re just saying there’s a deeper explanation. I think that explanation may face even more severe challenge in the next post, as the second relationship between CCCC and Religiosity is very divergent to the one revealed here. The cultural explanation covers both, so must yours 😉. Stay tuned…

      • jungletrunks

        Andy, The juxtaposition of unreligious countries, to those that are near 100% religious, but that also mostly happen to be much poorer countries, on the one hand; and also how these latter countries have been educated on the subject of climate change sets-up a complex equation. For example, if attitudes in poor, predominately religious cultures are inclusive of a potential expectation for being recipients of redistribution money, it makes left / right political philosophies matter, regardless of what the responders personal politics are; no millennial context for religion, or politics is necessary for your question. Only one side wishes to facilitate expansive redistribution; these dynamics alone could render personal faith based societal answers to your questions moot, skewing the question you’re trying to resolve.

        The before is the rationale to my previous abbreviated question relating to the possibility of cultural envy, or perhaps cultural reward, which could skew how one would answer your questions. I was aware these concerns were not part of your process.

        I do believe there’s an attitudinal answer to your question more primal than religion, that is effected by politics and other emotive sensibilities, in varying degrees. There’s more I could have added to my prior post to add flesh to some of the reasoning. I’ll wait to see the rest of your story; I’m not sure why it’s being dished out piecemeal; you should have anticipated that a partial inconclusive essay would invite pushback.

      • Jungle, the factors you mention like poverty and education are encapsulated in IHDI. I did consider this, see the footnote on this in the post here, and there’s another section on IHDI in Post 3. Well known that IHDI correlates to religion, less so the simpler HDI, which I eliminated very early along with Temp (climate of countries), Democratic index and GDP. As noted above, the next post introduces the second relationship between CCCC and Religiosity (for which GDP-per-Capita is a secondary factor). This second relationship *anti-correlates* with the first. I.e. the countries most concerned in Chart 4, are least concerned in this second relationship. The problem with poverty or a dream of climate $ as explanation, is that it can’t explain this apparent paradox. But cultures create paradoxes like this all the time, and next post explains… Not to mention that even in this post, some of the countries don’t even have a significant left and right as they’re oligarchies.

        “I’ll wait to see the rest of your story”

        Cool, thanks.

        “I’m not sure why it’s being dished out piecemeal; you should have anticipated that a partial inconclusive essay would invite pushback”

        Well perhaps you appreciate a longer read to get your teeth into, but presenting 3x length of this post in one hit would probably result in much harsher feedback from many folks – ‘not going to read this!’. House style anyhow, and true for many blogs. Hasn’t Javier had 4 part series? There is some benefit to digesting a new concept at each hit too – and anyhow we’ve got some basics out the way in this exchange so we can hit the ground running at the next post 😊.

  8. Congratulations Andy for doing what social scientists rarely do: formulating an interesting hypothesis and testing it using the best data available. Not for you a bunch of correlations at the 0.5 level based on an opinion survey of a few dozen first year students. If you’d published this in a scientific journal you would have been ignored by the academic establishment, whereas by publishing it here you can be ignored by practically everybody in the world. Seriously, this is brilliant.

    Apart from the correlation with religiosity in your figure 1, there’s a massive correlation with … climate. All the countries scoring >35% climate concern are tropical or desert. All the countries scoring <20% are Northern Europe. There is no doubt a reason for a strong correlation between religiosity and climate, linked to tropical countries being largely pre-enlightenment. You can't think hard about the meaning of the universe at 35°C until you have air conditioning.

    • Hi Geoff, thanks for popping in.

      Your comments always appreciated. However your off-the-hip analysis will unfortunately run into a serious problem at the next post. As noted there are two strong relationships between CCCC and religiosity. The second one has the *lowest* climate concern in all the hot / desert nations. Stay tuned… :)

      • Look forward to seeing my analysis running into trouble. That’s what science is all about, especially social science (note to Geoff Sherrington, Bruce, Don and others.)

      • P.S. Worth noting also there’s no temperature trend from Singapore (your >35%) rightwards (…Chart 4, upwards for others). Flat. Whereas there’s definitely a religiosity (and climate-change concerns from unconstrained questions) trend. Don’t even need second post 0:

      • Oops, posts overlapped.

        Cool, Geoff : ) Unfortunately I never saved Temp data in the SI as it quickly fell apart, but it’s easy to find on the web thingy.

      • Thanks for the note, Geoff. I really needed to be informed of the importance of “CAN RELIGIOSITY PREDICT CULTURAL CLIMATE BELIEFS?” But the answer to the question is still, nobody cares. Well, maybe there are three or four exceptions. A lot of people sitting around in social isolation with time on their hands.

      • Don, see my 12:48 pm above :)

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Globally, simpler relation apply.
        So how do you tease out and treat the case of say North Korea where choice is enforced at one, versus USA where choice has led to at least 2 political parties? Did climate change cause this difference? Geoff S

      • Geoff S: ‘globally, simpler relation apply’ – which doesn’t mean other nations where local political culture is strong enough to interfere; indeed Vietnam appears to be such a case as the data showed. See the long version of the post / footnotes in which this situation is explicitly stated. I think it’s highly likely China wouldn’t conform too for instance (though indeed partly because of the situation there then is no religiosity data on the measure here anyhow). The reasons for upsetting the rule may also be different; in US because of the huge R/c – D/l polarization, but a powerful one party state with an enforced view (and say suppressing religious views also) will upset for different reasons. In next post the second of the two relationships with CCCC is introduced, with 48 nations complying. There’s nowhere near that many in the climate survey used for this post (which looks at unconstrained questions), despite it’s one of the widest I can find.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Geoff Chambers notes “That’s what science is all about, especially social science (note to Geoff Sherrington, Bruce, Don and others.)”
        Chambers, I have finished my employed science career and have undoubted runs on the board for science score. Perhaps the blog format is hindered by a need for brevity, so I will pardon your short remark.
        To clarify mine, I (and most or all of my colleagues) do not regard “social science” as a true science. It is a self-named appendage that plays around with sciency-type appartus like correlation coefficients to attempt to derive learning from mush. Have another read of some of the Lewandowski nonsense to reinforce this assertion.
        Andy West is attempting to take a field broadly named religiousity in which there is no shortage of ill-measured factors affecting its measurement, then trying to correlate it with an attitude to climate change, another field equally endowed with ill-measured variables. Any link between the two has a probability of being correlation without causation. Most of us know that you can get very high correlation between 2 straight, sloping lines whose correlation means nothing of interest.
        The measurement uncertainty of these inputs has to be rather high because of the described ways the inputs are created – maybe so high that a finding that emerges as a signal from the noise has to be suspect.
        My grasp of science is too poor to understand why this exercise, facing near-impossible odds because of data quality, was attempted. There is little scope for any outcome to be useful, because a finding is unlikely to change many personal beliefs in religion (which are separate from State-imposed beliefs) or any beliefs in climate change (if I read the intent of inclusion of climate change correctly).
        As a scientist, I am not interested in he said-she said data because of its lack of constancy and its triviality. With climate change, there has been a huge effort, particularly at some USA universities, to study the gossip about climate change (the “social science”), in parallel with over-paid effort at more universities to examine the physical science. The physical science study has been of such poor quality (with a few exceptions) that it negates any reason to understand the academic gossip about whether Jane Citizen is getting suckered in or not.
        The future solution is to emphasise the hard science behind climate change, to ask why so many predictions have not come to pass, why general modelling has not been accurate, why climate sensitivity studies have yielded diverse answers, why TOA balances are taken as gospel when their error margins are huge, ditto ocean temperatures, ocean pH studies … the list is long and most of the present answers do not stand scrutiny. There are too few scientists with the skills to scrutinise (Hi, Steve Mac.) with the detail required and to survive the chorus of ignorant censors. Geoff S

      • Geoff S: “Any link between the two has a probability of being correlation without causation.”

        Of course this is possible. But then the search has to be why they correlate without dependence or indeed what other factor caused both. Any such plausible explanations alternate to my proposal that you can put forward, are most welcome. Regarding signal to noise etc, this is exactly what stats helps us with, albeit in this case only the simplest r/R2/p are employed. But stats is not different whether it’s deployed for social populations or within physics or biology or whatever; very fortunately for us it has no concept of its own application and supports exactly the same concepts in every case. In the next post, the second relationship between CCCC and religiosity is demonstrated, which *anti-correlates*. The cultural explanation covers both relationships, any alternate proposition would have to do likewise.

    • Re “There is no doubt a reason for a strong correlation between religiosity and climate, linked to tropical countries being largely pre-enlightenment.”

      That assessment is wrong. The link is likely ‘climate’, and that may be evidenced from history, as the last 2k years seem to indicate. But first I make one distinction: that in ‘religion’ there are two opposite factors. There are those who are religious because it suits them and their aims, and those that are hobbled by it. Unfortunately religion has always been used as a weapon.

      Climate-wise, and as history seems to indicate, the RWP, MWP and possibly now, Northern Europe had the upper hand. The DACP about 600CE gave rise to Islam which swept into Europe. The history around the LIA saw great battles for the Med. The banners were Islam versus Christianity, but the underlying reasons were basic economies and possibly climate induced hardship. The climate cycle appears ~1000yrs or the Eddy. The ‘Today’ we are living it. In it all religion was likely an excuse, and the cause of extreme cruelty and hardship.

  9. No idea what your definition of “Religiosity” is, I just want to point out that Indian origin religions like Hinduism or Buddhism are into individual paths plus without Armageddon notions, contrary to the Abrahamic ones from the ME. The majority in India does put faith over science, just not climate science; it is them too who benefit from cheap intermittent finally,
    A vocal minority of middle class Eco copycats worship Climate Change based on faith in dominant Western science “priests”.

    • Antonym, ‘No idea what your definition of “Religiosity” is’

      Please see the attachments, where this is explained in detail. Essentially whether folks themselves (on a very simple question) think they are religious. Averaged with coming from the opposite angle, i.e. inverse of those who think they are not religious (including both angles reduces bias / noise). It does not include any theological details or practices or specific Faith-based dependency.

      • “Essentially whether folks themselves (on a very simple question) think they are religious. …… It does not include any theological details or practices or specific Faith-based dependency.”

        Doesn’t this leave you with a serious uncertainty as regards any answer to the question as to what the respondent is denoting with the word ‘religious’? And isn’t it of the utmost importance when aggregating data that the denotations of the data descriptors remain absolutely constant, otherwise one is adding apples to oranges?

      • Skepticus: When scaling across very different regions / societies and indeed major Faiths, there’s far more constancy by avoiding theological detail and proxies for being religious, such as going to church or praying or whatever, because all these vary with the above differences. Whereas to all persons, if ‘religion’, i.e. shorn of all these details, is ‘important’ to them, then it’s a pretty fair assumption that they are indeed a religious person (and the scale is crossed with the opposite angle too, per above). It doesn’t matter how their internal experience of that importance manifests, what each thinks their ‘religion’ means to them personally; from a cultural PoV they are emotively committed to faith. While no doubt the scale could be improved, look at the correlations in Chart 4, which are very robust indeed. It seems highly unlikely that an *improved* religiosity scale, would make these *worse*, and the trend runs the same through different faiths.

  10. cheap un-intermittent energy finally.

  11. > 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.

    Actually, there’s evidence in this. It does exist elsewhere, although not everywhere, and to varying degrees elsewhere. Given the importance of this question to your thesis) and it’s potential to be a confounding variable), it would seem to me you should investigate this question.

    • See footnotes in SI, which discuss albeit briefly the comparative situation in other countries. There is nothing like the strength of polarization aligned to parties (and by extension into the general public) as there is in the US. One of the nearest is Australia (see the note) where the fracture goes through the right (Liberal in Oz) side itself, and as discussed doesn’t result in anything like the same situation as the US (albeit in any country, the boundaries may shift over time and *could* replicate this situation in the future). That the data falls into line for all countries outside the US (except, big-time, Vietnam!) is supportive of the surface political situations. I only have a provisional explanation for Vietnam, as noted. Would need work to verify, and I doubt there’s the data to do it. Stay tuned for next post, which reveals the second of the relationships between CCCC and religiosity :)

      • > There is nothing like the strength of polarization aligned to parties (and by extension into the general public) as there is in the US.

        You’ve introduced an element – alignment to parties – which makes the US inherently different from many other countries that have a more complicated political party taxonomy.

        The important questions are with respect to (1) partisan identification (as opposed to party identification as in the US) and (2) political ideology. Those are not one and the same as party identification.

        There are strong signals of ideological orientation in the views among the public in other countries on climate change. Not as strong as in the US,and among somewhat different lines of association – but framing the question as one of a signal of party identification is the wrong question.

      • “You’ve introduced an element – alignment to parties – which makes the US inherently different from many other countries that have a more complicated political party taxonomy.”

        No. The US has a fundamental difference to other nations due to its heavy political polarization, which the public participate in, whether or not I write about it and whatever I write. The taxonomy of parties is not the issue. The strength of division and commitment of the public to the opposing cultural identities, is. (Which doesn’t mean I worded it best).

        So exactly…

        “Those are not one and the same as party identification.”

        “There are strong signals of ideological orientation in the views among the public in other countries on climate change. Not as strong as in the US,and among somewhat different lines of association…”

        Yet as noted in the Footnote examples countries, and more generically, indeed nowhere near as strong. Or a better word might be ‘bulk’, as some nations have strong presences that nevertheless don’t get bulk public alignment. Oz is one of the strongest others I know of (albeit the fracture is *inside* the right). I initially wondered therefore whether this would skew the data for that nation. But look at Chart 4; Oz looks perfectly happy on both pink and blue series (nations align vertically).

        Regarding the second of the two relationships between CCCC and Religiosity (next post), I introduce 48 nations that conform.

  12. It would be interesting to see similar analyses of topics where social scientists (who are 95%+ atheist/agnostic and politically liberal) are notably ant-science – like fracking, abortion, vaccines, GMO, and biological gender. But I doubt that will ever happen. Note that most of us who are in STEM areas tend to view social scientists as ‘poor country cousins’ and only a couple of steps above pseudo-science. Cheers.

    • Dan Kahan has looked at public attitudes (in the US only, I’m afraid), on most of these conflicted topics. His overall position is that cultural groups (so say Rep/Cons or Dem/Libs) support the science that fits with their worldviews, and resist the science that challenges their worldviews. But note, doesn’t test social scientists, only public samples. Sadly, his great blog where he often exchanged with folks on these kind of topics, has been closed for over a year. Even the ‘cultural cognition’ web address seems to have disappeared now.

    • David Appell

      Don Huebner wrote:
      It would be interesting to see similar analyses of topics where social scientists (who are 95%+ atheist/agnostic and politically liberal) are notably ant-science – like fracking, abortion, vaccines, GMO, and biological gender

      1. What give those percentages to social scientists?
      2. What is anti-science about any of the topics you claimed?

  13. Perhaps your analysis is overly complex. Strikes me there are two basic polar opposites: those who rely primarily on emotion; and those who rely primarily on logic and reason. More simply put, left side versus right side of brain. That is an underlying element of conflict that washes through society in a number of areas. Climate change is just one of a number areas of conflict.

    • Kellermfk, I think you have the categories right, i.e. rationality and emotion, but the data says that publics are essentially all subject to both. It’s on a *per-topic* basis. So someone who is say rational about climate-change, may be irrational regarding religion, or vice versa. And the same for any of the conflicted topics. The great majority of the world is still religious for instance, which like all cultures is based on emotive fairy-tales. The conclusion that the great majority of the world population must therefore not be rational generally (i.e. on other issues) clearly does not hold. And indeed until about 150 years ago essentially everyone was religious. What the data tells us here, is how one set of fairy tales (religion) interacts with another set (CCCC), although in practice this is only half the data. The other important half is coming in the next post.

      • Kahneman has some great insights about how we ‘believe’.

        We are all mostly irrational.
        Actual thinking requires a great deal of energy that might be wasted on matters that were resolved more efficiently by experience alone.

        We may not think it, but we tend to be always aware of what conclusions mean and tend to use reason, not to determine ‘truth’ but to bolster the case we have for a preferred conclusion.

        Reality usually tends to be mixed.
        Religion tends to be absolute ( all good or all bad ).
        Such simplification seems to exist with climate change.
        Most activists tend to religiously exclude plant and phytoplankton fertilization.
        What do I religiously tend to exclude?

        It’s possible that climate change from likely CO2 emissions scenarios could be harmful in some ways, but I honestly have a difficult time finding any that hold up to scrutiny.

  14. Alan Cannell

    Andy
    Interesting take. There are a bunch of other factors, though, that could influence the data.

    The countries that are less “worried” are colder, the worriers already are too hot. I live in the S of Brazil at 3000 ft (1000m) and most folk are not concerned about ‘warming’ (climate is too complicated for most). In the low lying parts or hot zones in Brazil the folk are more concerned.
    Politics is local.
    Secondly, countries with a low level of confidence in their own governments might favour international action more than places with a strong tradition in self-government.
    Italians have a notorious and deserved reputation for electing poor and self-serving governments which they then turn on. (Latins tend to be anarchists at heart). So they are not very concerned on a personal level, yet are happy to go along with more power to the UN.
    Finally, religiosity tends to correlate to level of education (in Brazil, the fundamentalist churches and rip-off pastors are always in the poorest and less educated communities). This also trends with the notion that governments should be paternalistic in nature. In the 90s you came across the concept of “Donar Nations” all the time in Africa – including the UN as well.

    • Alan. Thanks.

      “The countries that are less “worried” are colder, the worriers already are too hot.”

      See the replies to Geoff Chambers at 6:35am and 8:06am. You wouldn’t know this yet, but as mentioned at the bottom of the post there are *two* relationships of CCCC to religiosity, and the less concerned countries in the second relationship, are the warmest. Plus even for the relationship that is described here, Temp data doesn’t properly correlate, albeit it crudely aligns to left and right halves. Nor does GDP, Democratic Index, HDI. For IHDI, there is correlation but not causation, see Footnotes in this post and Post 3. For GDP-per-Capita there is secondary influence of the second relationship. Afraid you’ll have to wait until the second post to see ): Level of education (and other factors) are within IHDI. Other than than secondary GDPpC in only one half of the relationship, religiosity across all nations (excepting US and Vietnam) hold relationships with CCCC whether democracies or not, and of any political stripe and region.

  15. Jordan Peterson, and of course, many others point out that when Nietzsche wrote “god is dead”, it was not a triumph, but a lament.

    We are probably evolved to be religious in tribes of human past, perhaps led by an alpha whom we followed to lead us through the complex questions surrounding our survival. Whether they were right or wrong, it was better to be a part of the group.

    So when we dispense with one religion, we are evolutionaraly prone to replace it. Nietzsche evidently predicted the replacement of Christian god to the deaths of millions from other ideologies.

    And so it is with climate change. ( green prayers )

    Somewhere there was a “Lords Prayer” or “Apostles Creed” of climate change – anyone have a link?

    • “Whether they were right or wrong, it was better to be a part of the group”

      Yes. Ultimately group dynamics drives this.

    • David Appell

      Climate change, which is grounded in science, data and evidence, has nothing whatsoever to do with religion, faith, desires/needs.

    • Jordan Peterson @ Lafayette On Religion

      Jordan Peterson gives clearest description (that I’ve heard) of what he considers religious in answering student’s question,starting at 7:45 in above clip. To about 14 min

  16. Andy, I appreciate what you are trying to do, digging into the linkage between religious beliefs and global warming/climate change. Obviously, both involve leaps of faith, and it has. previously been noted how much environmentalism resembles the Garden of Eden myth.
    My concern is the pseudo-science of surveys. As one professor put, “Surveys are done to mold public opinion, not to measure it.” Certainly, there is some measuring done, but out of a motivation to achieve a public policy objective. Nothing unusual there, many (most?) surveys aim to arouse public interest and concern related to products or agendas on offer. Withe respect to CAGW, I have posted on the tricks employed in climate polling. See https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2018/07/17/the-art-of-rigging-climate-polls/
    Another post discusses how responses to such questions suggests the correlation is dominated not by religiosity, but by media messaging. See https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2019/01/27/climate-is-a-state-of-mind/

    • Thanks for the advice, Ron. And I’ll follow your links, but I’m already aware of such issues generically. The great thing about measuring cultural reactions though, is that they occur despite the many issues in surveys, and in some cases even better when rationality or logic is compromised or just fuzzy due to bad wording, because folks are ultimately reacting with their gut feel anyhow. Bear in mind that what I’m measuring from the responses to these simple climate surveys questions by crossing them with religiosity, is cultural reactions that were not being looked for by the survey creators; indeed they likely had absolutely no idea such even existed. And manipulation cannot bypass. And the results are hardly ambiguous or plucked from a vague cloud; the r values for both questions in chart 4 are around 0.9, which most social surveys would die for. In the second post you’ll see responses to reality-constrained surveys, which give very divergent results to the ones shown here, and those ‘communicators’ wanting to give skewed impressions often pick the best of what they want for their message from the nearest reality-constrained or unconstrained survey questions, which may also be tailored for fit by changing strength / emotive content. BUT… as you will see in post 2/3, ALL question types of all strengths produce responses that conform to cultural rules, which are made clear by plots against religiosity, and Tables in Post 2 and 3 categorise these response types, *none* of which are rational.

      • P.S. at quick first scan, your second link seems to be all about the US. Per my post text, the US doesn’t conform to the above rules because there is a 4-way cultural dance there, whereas in all the other countries charted above (after chart 1, where I include the US only to show it *shouldn’t* fit), it’s a 2 way dance (CCCC and religion). The 4-way dance (Rep/con, Dem/lib, CCCC, religion) can be analysed using the same principles, but is much more complex, and indeed the R/c versus D/l polarisation is the most dominant factor. And as you note there is huge scope to get what result you want, but in fact all of the results still conform to cultural rules. I don’t think anyone else has ever measured religiosity against climate-change attitudes across nations globally, or at least I’ve never seen anything with a significant number of countries or going for the straight jugular of ‘religiosity’ rather than some faith based or behaviour based (e.g. going to church) metric. The latter don’t scale across nations, but personal self-assessment of religiosity does.

      • PPS read your first link. Interesting, although fairly standard survey craft (where ‘crafting’ is the operative word 0: ). In truth it’s better to stick to the simpler questions for my purpose, because complexity usually means weaker-framing in terms of both cultural alignment and reality strength, so responses are split mode, culturally; some of these in Post 3. It appears to be the case generally, as with your Krosnick, that for culturally conflicted issues (such as climate change) at least, they don’t seem to know quite why it is their tricks really work, i.e. at the fundamental level rather than as surface arguments. The ultimate reason, as Dan Kahan would put it, is that people are responding not with rationality or ‘what they know’, but ‘who they are’, culturally speaking. Of course the wording needs to be evaluated for cultural alignment strength (as done in this post) or reality-constrained strength (next post), but the purpose here actually *is* to measure ‘who people are’, culturally; it’s what we want, so all such questions are fine :)

    • David Appell

      Ron: The understanding of manmade climate change does not require any faith or any leaps. Like all of science, it is based on data.

      But I can see how it might seem otherwise to people like you, who clearly don’t understand the evidence and science and don’t even try to. And to many of the other commenters here, who long ago decided not to deal with data and evidence in favor of their feel-good ideology.

      • David Appell

        Ron Clutz wrote:
        Look in the mirro when you say that David.

        I’ll compare evidence anytime you’re ready, Ron.

        OK? Go.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        DA,
        Climate research overall lost its status as a science when a bunch of enthusiasts attempted to redefine probability as a collection of personal views. Sadly, if classical, proper uncertainty had been used, few publications would have passed the proper tests showing there were valid signals emerging from mere noisy inputs.

      • The understanding of manmade climate change does not require any faith or any leaps. Like all of science, it is based on data.

        That’s not correct.

        If climate change is “what will happen in the year 2100?”, then there are no observations and the idea is not subject to testing or validation.

        This is similar to “what happens to us when we die?” which is similarly not subject to validation.

        Now, we might agree that the process of radiative forcing is somewhat subject to validation. We have somewhat independent measures of both atmospheric profiles and of outgoing longwave radiation. Every year can calculate outgoing longwave ratiation based on theory and test it against observations. We know that calculating based on current CO2 gives OLR close to observed ( versus half or double CO2 ) results.

        However, many of the “bad things” supposed to happen with “climate change” are not only not observed, but many times contradicted.

        Still the faithful congregate and proclaim their faith that one day they will happen.

        Climate change is very much a religion.

      • TE: Cite the data that says global warming isn’t happening.

        (I shouldn’t have to ask.)

      • TE: Cite the data that says global warming isn’t happening.

        Kahneman details how we tend to answer more difficult questions: what is the result of global warming?, with an easy answer to a different question: is there global warming?

        Of course global warming is happening.

        But this warming also correlates pretty well with increased increased biomass both on land and in the oceans, as well as human wealth, longevity, literacy, IQ, development and other measures of well being.

      • “…who long ago decided not to deal with data and evidence in favor of their feel-good ideology.”
        Feel-good idealogy. The opposite of that is guilt.

      • “But this warming also correlates pretty well with increased increased biomass both on land and in the oceans, as well as human wealth, longevity, literacy, IQ, development and other measures of well being.”

        What data says this?

        And what evidence says even more global warming is desireable?

      • Raagnar, yes, we should be guilty that we are rapidly changing the climate and altering ecosystems for uncountably many species.

  17. I couldn’t help thinking as I reviewed the “YouGov.Survey”, that the countries most likely to receive money from the rich, Western, greenhouse gas emitting nations are most likely to believe climate change is happening and is due primarily to the behavior of humans. On the other hand, the countries not eligible for gifts of money, particularly the Scandinavian countries like Norway, are not so much believers in the maliciousness of mankind.

    Hmmm. Food for thought.

    • 5255EHLD: A good thought. But stay tuned for the second post, where the second of two *different* relationships between CCCC and religion is revealed, in which the countries *most* wanting climate action are those Scandinavian ones, and the countries *least* wanting climate action are (largely) those poorer ones (although include the rich Arabic states too – because it’s actually religiosity that matters). This seems paradoxical to the results in this post, but is explained this is not so for the underlying cultural mechanics.

  18. Cos’ Jesus he knows me and he knows I’m right
    I’ve been talking to Jesus all my life
    Yeah Jesus he knows me, and he knows I’m right
    And he’s been telling me we’re all gonna fry in hell

  19. Roger Hallam. “A True Believer in Science”
    I think missing out on “Scientism” as another form of “Religiosity” is a serious omission

    Something Drastic Has To Happen” Roger Hallam | BBC HardTalk | Extinction Rebellion
    https://tinyurl.com/y5ra3s3p

  20. There is a fable that explains a great deal – “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” – it has fit the climate narrative since Al took it public. The climate narrative might also be seen as a form of religiosity….

  21. How do the opinions/actions about any complex phenomena held by large numbers of individuals with varying experiences and situations get reduced to a single point on a graph? Why not a blob?

    • A great question, although technically ‘trends’, not a ‘point’, of which there are more in the next post that are divergent from those in (say) Chart 4. My explanation is that culture (in this case the result of 2 cultures interacting, i.e. catastrophic climate culture and religion), and not rationality, drive responses. Whether right or wrong in this case, it’s a very well-known phenomenon, e.g. the strong trends picking up opposed US Rep/Cons and Dem/Libs (political culture in this case) on all sorts of issues. People of all sorts of experiences and situations nevertheless have attitudes that statistically correspond to the cultural memberships their committed to. The alignment to religiosity across nations of affirmative responses to climate change questions here, is indeed particularly strong; all the data is provided (and is extremely straightforward) so you can delve down and verify / challenge for yourself if you wish.

      • Andy: I recognize this is a broad ranging methodological issue. The underlying issue is the nature of the actual connection between the variables on the two axes. How does religiosity as defined interact with attitudes towards climate change? I worked with large scale surveys professionally for 30 plus years and I found that aggregate variables like gender and race tended to obscure or mask the underlying processes that actually drove behavior. Herbert Blumer’s classic article, ‘Sociological Analysis and the “Variable” ‘ captures my experience with these types of collective variables. IMHO, too much survey based research and analysis is the equivalent of the drunk searching for his keys under the street light.

        Two examples: We were asked by a global oil company to explore why so many high potential women turned down international transfers. The key answer turned out to have nothing directly to do with gender but with “spousal income”.
        We were asked to explore why there was so much conflict between the US and Swiss employees in a high tech test and measurement company. It turned out that it had little to do with ethnicity and national cultures but where the finance, marketing and R&D functions were located.

        Bottom line: I need to be persuade that countries are a meaningful unit of analysis for the question posed.

      • bother, answer mis-threaded, see 10:51am below…

      • Bernie –

        +1

  22. Your cautions are wise, but these are extremely simple questions (which helps) and the very fact that the correlation is very robust across world regions, very varied political cultures (with and without democracies), societies with radically different philosophies and attitudes to say gender (and practically everything else), hugely wide ethnicity, and all the major faiths including Christianity (protestant and catholic), Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism, is the best guarantee we could get that these other factors are not hidden cause. In this sense, nations are the best unit you can get, because any within nation measurement has far narrower scope on all these fronts. The next post shows the second (very different) relationship between CCCC and religiosity, for which 48 nations comply (more available in this case), and pushes the envelope even wider for all the places / situations the rule still works. Eliminated non-starters for involvement are Temp (climate of countries), Democratic index, GDP, and HDI. For IHDI, there is correlation but not causation (see footnotes for this post and Post 3), and GDP-per-Capita is a secondary factor in the second relationship per next post. There’s also a by faith and religio-regional analysis in the next post (with more depth in the footnotes).

    • Andy: Thanks for the gracious and full response. However, (there is always one), the robust correlation is part of the problem and may or may not prove anything. In the study of high performers and their willingness to transfer, the correlations with gender were very robust which is why they hid the more potent and far more operational variables. The finding led to a change in its relocation policies and practices to include spousal support with job searches and family income guarantees. Focusing on gender alone meant that there could be no meaningful solutions – a paradox, n’est pas?

      • Maybe, but if you can find any plausible candidates that would operate unchanged over all those different countries / regions / ethnicities / political systems / philosophies and Faiths, then by all means put it forward. (I ruled out a bunch of things that have measurable indices). However, finding such is very much harder still for you after the next post, because the second of the relationships between CCCC and religiosity *anti-correlates*. This seems like a paradox compared to the relationship shown here, but cultural mechanics can create such no problem, and it will be explained for this case (which is the interaction between CCCC and all the main faiths). I think you will find it hard indeed to find a hidden cause that both correlates and anti-correlates depending on whether the questions are reality-constrained, or unconstrained 0:

  23. Pingback: Can religiosity are expecting cultural weather ideals? – All My Daily News

  24. joe - Dallas

    The author is trying to demonstrate a correlation where no correlation exists.

    Perhaps the religous find the AWG to be ho hum, so it is ignored
    Perhaps the religous as a group recognize that nature is vastly more powerfull than man.

    • “The author is trying to demonstrate a correlation where no correlation exists”

      What is your issue with the data?

      • You are assuming a correlation based on evidence not in existence. Granted your study is social science.

        The best example of falsely attributing correlation I can cite is the “Ozone and Short-term Mortality in 95 US Urban Communities, 1987-2000”
        Michelle L. Bell, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3546819/

        This study is considered one of the gold standards for this type. Yet it is fraught with obvious errors leading to an erroneous conclusion on correlation.

        Your data in your study like the study cited above points to the correlation claimed, but are there other factors being ignored or discounted.

        Or are you starting with the premise / sterotypical belief that religious people are less scientific minded?

      • “Your data in your study like the study cited above points to the correlation claimed, but are there other factors being ignored or discounted.”

        Ah… so you didn’t mean after all that ‘no correlation exists’.

        “Or are you starting with the premise / sterotypical belief that religious people are less scientific minded?”

        Not in the slightest. This is nothing at all to do with intelligence or being ‘scientific-minded’. It is to do with cultural interaction and beliefs. The publics of all nations, of whatever religious / irreligious mix, are not climate science literate. This has no bearing on their intelligence or capability; it does mean they are *all* unarmed for the questions, which is likely a good part of why cultural modes dominate their answers.

        The next post in the series demonstrates the second of the relationships between CCCC and Religiosity, from reality-constrained questions, which this time *anti-correlate* with religiosity. Stay tuned. But this does not mean that religious people are more ‘scientifically-minded’ than irreligious people, just as the opposite is also untrue, and which nothing presented here says or even hints at whatsoever.

        Notwithstanding which, if you feel that other explanatory factors are being ignored, by all means raise them for discussion.

      • “The publics of all nations, of whatever religious / irreligious mix, are not climate science literate. This has no bearing on their intelligence or capability; it does mean they are *all* unarmed for the questions, which is likely a good part of why cultural modes dominate their answers.”

        And I keep listening to my Governor talk about the data. When he ran for his office, he believed the science or some such con about climate change. Climate science is this: Stuff you don’t understand. You can believe the science, and you still don’t understand it. So you aren’t doing science, but beliefs. And there is no super belief that gets a pass.

        The Beetles were more popular than Jesus. Only Jesus transformed and is still here and the Beetles are fading though at a slow pace. In 30 years they’ll only be Saints.

        Practice for the the climate change game was the death of religion. Which didn’t die. I like to think it didn’t die because of evolutionary advantages. But that’s far from a sure thing.

      • Ragnaar: ‘Which didn’t die. I like to think it didn’t die because of evolutionary advantages. But that’s far from a sure thing.’

        I’ve had those thoughts too!

      • Andy West:

        In the middle of one of the most successful nations, is our hard religious segment. Perhaps there is a role for each. Plan A, the old way. Plan B, the non-religious enlightened way. A balance. Yin and Yang. Yes, I’ve seen a lot of intellectual dark web videos. And shade to evolutionary causes over societal causes.

      • Yep, evolutionary causes for me too, though as you note the full equation is not likely to be straightforward.

  25. As usual, I am on some tangent:

    “Just as in the case for individual deception, there are various domain independent clues available for instinct to exploit in detecting the typical deceptions of a whole group (advocating a cultural consensus). All told these can invoke sufficient doubt, at least, for folks to withhold judgment regarding the truth of a promoted concept. Typically most adherents of a culture are honestly motivated, so the clues in section 4 aren’t useful. Relevant signs include that the group’s overall expression is: too coherent and coordinated (policing naturally occurs within emergent cultural consensuses), too certain (that which challenges a cultural consensus, including uncertainty, is belittled or bypassed), too forceful (e.g. suppressing other views), too emotive (positive passions as well as say fear and worry, these are how the cultural narrative gets iteratively selected in the first place), too arrogant (e.g. demeaning and / or demonizing dissenters), too universal (applicability of the concept across society, via tenuous connections, is exaggerated), too existential (potential threats exaggerated; becomes the bogeyman), and too associated with convenient belief23. Similarly to the individual case, familiarity and trust in the messaging sources will also weight the assessment.”

    What’s with the United States? People are ashamed of our innate skepticism of climate catastrophes. How many times have they said, Trump called climate change a hoax? Blasphemy. They are their own worst enemy. Some times on display here.

    Now consider the rest of the world? Why had their innate skepticism failed them on climate catastrophes? Not so bad is Australia and Canada. Russia could care less. And China is conning us. But as always, China is complicated.

    • Tangents are no bad thing :)

      Re US, if you know that text above, you know that Innate Skepticism may be apt or inapt. But indeed it does much more good than harm by preventing cultural takeover. As you imply it is not a thing to be ashamed of, it just ‘is’…

      Per Chart 4 above, irreligious nations on the LHS are doing pretty well for Innate Skepticism. But the next post shows a different pattern for the second of the relationships between Religiosity and CCCC. For sure China is complicated though, the culture of CCP and suppression of religions mean the religiosity lens is unlikely to see what attitudes are there, and dearth of data too.

      • And I think I heard that skepticism is evolutionary. Maybe not strictly so, but successful societies will be skeptical. The more successful one is at applying skepticism where needed, the more children they have.

        The lack of skepticism led to our renewables roll out. That has economic consequences. This bleep is free and good for us. Good rule of thumb, don’t believe that.

  26. The greenhouse effect is a religious proposition, because it’s definitely not scientific.

    http://phzoe.com/2020/04/08/do-blankets-warm-you/

    • Here in the US we are skeptical because it is either that or be destroyed by Demons From Hell.

  27. I think I get the importance of this, now. Inquire about the other fella’s religiosity and you will know what his irrational beliefs are regarding CCCCCC. Did I do enough Cees?

    But China is complicated, tho. Will part 2 reveal that China is a small exception to the Rule? Does China CCCCP’s suppression of irrational religiosity cloud our otherwise clear irrational religiosity microscope lens?

    Or, are we talking in vague and poorly supported generalizations to no purpose? At the rate we are going on part 1, the COVID lock up should be over sooner and we will have moved on from the greater but not as sexy issue of irrational religiosity.

    • We are skeptical of those saying the climate skeptics are clinging to their religion. As Donald Trump’s America is excluded from the the rest of the world, we seek to understand what it is that leads the rest of the world to believe in solar panels and Teslas for the well off.

  28. Bill Fabrizio

    Andy … I can only see, just barely, the blue on chart 4, the other colors being almost impossible to see. Maybe if you changed all three to a darker shade that might help?

    • Bill, the original charts are in the linked Excel file, in beautiful technicolor and the highest res you could need :)

      • Bill Fabrizio

        Andy, chart 4 in the post doesn’t seem to correspond to chart 4 in the excel file, line 98. Is there another chart 4? Or am I in the wrong spot?

      • Bill, as noted in the ‘Admin notes’ at the bottom, the Chart numbers in the Excel file correspond to the ‘Expanded Post’ rather than the text here (which is a summary post). The Excel file also has a lot more charts than are shown in either post. Sorry about this, just the way it worked out. And… I see that because the post boundaries changed a little between the summary and expanded posts, Chart 4 actually comes in the Excel file for the *next * post (as I say above ‘Simplified Chart 2yx from Post 2 SI’). Double sorry, you’ll have to wait until next time for the same chart with both series. Meanwhile, you can still see both series separately from 7xy (which is also chart 3 above) and F7xy. The X and Y axes are the original way around for both these; I swap them going forward as I load more series with secondary axis plus realised too better to have religiosity on X axis. Apologies for the complexity 0:

      • Bill Fabrizio

        No worries, Andy. You’ve got a lot on your plate with this one. It’s an interesting theory. I’ve had somewhat similar thoughts with religion and tendencies toward catastrophic social views, only within the USA and Protestantism, particularly the development from Calvinism through Unitarian/Universalism. Keep working hard.

  29. I think I get the importance of this, now. Inquire about the other fella’s religiosity and you will know what his irrational beliefs are regarding CCCCCC. Did I do enough Cees?

    But China is complicated, tho. Will part 2 reveal that China is a small exception to the Rule? Does China CCCCP’s suppression of irrational religiosity cloud our otherwise clear irrational religiosity microscope lens?

    Or, are we talking in vague and poorly supported generalizations to no purpose? At the rate we are going on part 1, the COVID lock up should be over sooner and we will have moved on from the greater but not as titillating issue of irrational religiosity.

    • Thank you Don, I’ll take this as a compliment :) Re China, it’s generally acknowledged that can’t get reliable religiosity figure anyhow. I guess titillation is not my forte ;) However, part 2 should come before the lock-down ends (3 more weeks in UK at least anyhow). Re ‘generalisations’, the relationship here is very robust correlation across nations of highly varied region, political system (including with / without democracy), ethnicities, philosophies, and Faiths (covering Christianity both Protestant and Catholic, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism). Most social studies would die for a r of ~0.9 for any quantity across far less variety than this; that few studies match ‘everything’ with simple rules, doesn’t make them inappropriate. The same *principles* can get purchase on any exceptions, the problem being one needs data on the untypical cultural setups, and likely more complex analysis too. Next post introduces the second of the relationships between CCCC and religiosity, very divergent to the first as shown here; got 48 nations in the net for that one. The lock-down is on my side here, you might get so bored you’ll be forced to read it, after the 734th attempt to get a ping-pong ball to land in your glass of beer after 6 bounces from the furniture.

      • They could lock me up in San Quentin solitary and I wouldn’t get that bored.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Andy,
        Is the dominant use of the English language in climate change research and reporting a confounding factor? Are translators a source of bias? I am doing the wrong thing by asking you this when I should be studying it and presenting you with useful further data, but I can’t raise enough interest in the subject when Tiger King on Netflix competes for time. Geoff S

      • Geoff, it would be a miracle if even a 1000th of national publics read any ‘climate change research and reporting’, if by that you mean anything remotely representing actual science. Probably less, nowhere near enough to dint the figures, anyhow. So the issue isn’t relevant.

        Publics are not climate literate. Their attitudes are generally formed from the TV / paper / media news, from political statements, religious leaders, current events, green business announcements, local NGO statements, word of mouth (friends, family, work colleagues), fave hot Twitterers / WhatsAppers etc etc. which typically promote narratives that directly contradict mainstream science, let alone skeptical science. Apart from stuff like the UN pronouncements (in its 5 or 6 nominated languages, I forget), which probably has local translations outside that sphere too, and do not present translation issues anyhow (is very simple statements typically), all of this will be in the local lingo. In the US (per post text, excluded from most of this analysis due to its polarization), there is a (lesser) skeptical presence of much the same quality (Fox etc), but this is much smaller elsewhere anyhow.

        I never heard of Tiger King, it looks…. strange 0:

  30. I appreciate this interesting subject and discussion. I wonder why the Netherlands does not appear here. Average height above sea level is another variable you might want to add to your list of factors.

    The polling examples by bernie1815 were interesting. (Hard to separate the wheat from the chaff on this blog). I would be interested in a gender perspective but I understand that one has to work with the data one has.

    • Thanks, rmdo. The Netherlands isn’t there simply because the main Climate Survey didn’t cover it. I’m trying to work mostly with single surveys that cover as many nations as possible, because this means there isn’t an extra source of error from having different question-wording / methodology between nations (which would be hard work to try and levelise). As it happens, the next post introducing the second of the relationships between CCCC and Religiosity, covers more, of which I use 48 and includes Netherlands. It fits about where one would expect from religiosity and GDP-per-Capita (which turns up as a secondary variable in the next post). I checked / ruled-out a bunch of other measurable indices, but not sea-level; at the next post you should see that there’s anyhow a severe difficulty for any physical thing like sea-level or Av Temp per country, being explanatory in any way.

      • I understand and look forward to the next post. (thank you for keeping them short and separate)

        It is easy to wonder about all the variables that affect a result especially if the results are inconvenient.

  31. When Dr. R.K. Pachauri (member of the India Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change) stepped down as director general of the IPCC (the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), he dropped the charade and explained a lot on his way out the door, admitting in his resignation letter that global warming isn’t science – it’s religion: “For me the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma.”

  32. Anyone been paying attention to the recent surge in global temperatures?