Countries Most at Risk Call Proposed Climate Agreement a ‘Death Warrant’
Lisa Friedman at The New York Times reports that environmental groups say the working draft of the COP28 final agreement falls short of what is needed to combat climate change. Their disapproval is based on the fact that the agreement only suggests that nations cut back on greenhouse gas emissions’ by 2050 instead of cutting fossil fuel use this decade. Global temperatures have risen by approximately 1.2 degrees Celsius over preindustrial levels; scientists say that beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius humans will struggle to adapt to rising sea levels, wildfires, extreme storms, and drought. PRRI’s 2023 climate change survey finds that just over one-quarter of Americans (27%) say that climate change is a crisis.
Protection from Discrimination, or the Right to Discriminate: Changing Public Perceptions of LGBTQ Rights and Religious Freedom
In a new Spotlight Analysis, PRRI Public Fellow Kelsy Burke, Ph.D. tracks the shift in perceptions of protecting religious freedom since the passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) thirty years ago to present day. In recent years, Burke writes, legal action and media coverage about religious freedom have revolved around conservative Christian opposition to laws protecting the rights of LGBT people. Using PRRI data from 2015 and 2023, Burke shows that while support for same-sex marriage and nondiscrimination protections have remained stable or increased over time, support for allowing religious business owners to be able to refuse service to gay and lesbian individuals and couples has also increased, especially among white Christians.
Before He Was Speaker, Mike Johnson Represented a Creationist Museum in Court. What That Reveals About His Politics
At The Conversation, William Trollinger writes about Speaker Mike Johnson’s previous legal work on behalf of Ark Encounter and the longstanding connection between creationism and Christian right politics. In addition to teaching that Earth is 6,000 years old, young Earth creationists have argued that teaching evolution is the “backbone” of a communist philosophy and can be blamed for immoral and violent behavior. In recent years, Ark Encounter has doubled down on these beliefs, rejecting global warming, social justice, and LGBTQ advocacy, convictions that Speaker Johnson shares. PRRI’s Politics of Gender, Pronouns, and Public Education report finds that white evangelical Protestants (78%) are the most likely to agree with idea that public schools are giving students harmful information.
Is Christian Entertainment Snagging a Bigger Share of the Box Office?
Hanna Seariac at Deseret News writes that streaming services and production companies that have poured millions of dollars into faith-based entertainment are seeing significant financial success. Seariac explains that heavy hitters in this space appeal both to a general audience as well as Christians. For example, episodes of “The Chosen” have been viewed more than 600 million times and the show’s combined social media following recently exceeded 10 million people. PRRI research finds that religion is less important to Americans’ lives than it was a decade ago, though the majority of Americans (67%) are Christian.