The Lasting Effects of Pope Francis’ Climate Change Edict

Read the full story in Pacific Standard.

Last fall, a study reported that Pope Francis’ much-discussed encyclical on climate change largely fell on deaf ears. Researchers from Texas Tech University found the appeal “failed to rally any broad support on climate change” among Americans, whether or not they were Catholic.

But newly published research suggests the pontiff’s call for taking care of the Earth has had a more subtle impact on American public opinion. It finds brief exposure to a photograph of the pope “increased perceptions of climate change as a moral issue.”

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