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Actions to address climate change thwarted by belief in biblical end-time prophecies

Actions to address climate change thwarted by belief in biblical end-time prophecies

The God Discussion has reported frequently on climate change and the scientific evidence that supports a warming planet, as well as the ramifications it is having on our water supply, vegetation and species.

As a nation, we are failing in our attempt to effect meaningful change, and this is due in part to the significant number of Americans whose religious beliefs include the earth having an expiration date, and one not too far into the future.

Research that has been done by Scientists David C. Barker from the University of Pittsburgh, and Scientist David H. Bearce of the University of Colorado has uncovered some startling, but yet completely expected results.

Belief in end-times prophecies is a motivating factor behind the apathy and even resistance to slowing down the change in our climate.

The report states,

“[T]he fact that such an overwhelming percentage of Republican citizens profess a belief in the Second Coming (76 percent in 2006, according to our sample) suggests that governmental attempts to curb greenhouse emissions would encounter stiff resistance even if every Democrat in the country wanted to curb them.”

The study completed by Barker and Bearce will be published in the June issue of 'Political Science Quarterly.'

In fact, the report reveals that when factors like political ideologies, affiliation with a particular political party and even an innate distrust of media, the effects that believing in an end-times prophecy has on the resistance to curbing climate change rose by twenty percent.

The study says,

“[I]t stands to reason that most nonbelievers would support preserving the Earth for future generations, but that end-times believers would rationally perceive such efforts to be ultimately futile, and hence ill-advised.”

Given the recent spat of anti-environmental legislation that is being presented, it is not difficult to understand the facts presented in the study.

One legislator, Illinois Republican Representative John Shimkus, stated in 2010 that his opposition to climate change was because,

“…the earth will end only when God declares it to be over.”

Shimkus is the chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy.

H/T to The Raw Story

About Al Stefanelli

Al is a retired author, writer and journalist. His books include "Free Thoughts - A Collection Of Essays By An American Atheist" and "A Voice Of Reason In An Unreasonable World - The Rise Of Atheism On Planet Earth." Al began writing in 1985, starting with the New York Times. In 1993 he joined a McClatchy newspaper, writing a weekly column for ten years. His writing continues to be widely distributed on the Internet and in print. He also produced and hosted a weekly syndicated radio broadcast from 1995 to 1998, and his work won a North Carolina Journalism award in 1998. Al is the former Georgia State Director for American Atheists, Inc., and served on the Board of Directors for "The Clergy Project." He is also a former Southern Baptist Pastor, having served two churches and as pulpit supply for three counties. Currently, he writes part time for The God Discussion, co-hosts the Internet radio programs, "The God Discussion Show" and "Reap Sow Radio." Al lives in the Atlanta suburb of Peachtree City, GA.
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