Climate Change Chatter Heats Up With Pope’s Visit

Vocativ used its deep web technology to monitor which social issue Americans have been most vocal about since Francis' arrival and here's what we found.

Sep 24, 2015 at 12:34 PM ET

In the 48 hours since Pope Francis’ arrival to the U.S., he has inspired a rush of chatter about political and social issues close to the hearts of many Americans.

Since he was elected in 2013, Francis has taken a stance on a number of hot-button issues including migration, climate change, inequality, gay rights, abortion and incarceration. Vocativ used its deep web technology to monitor which social issue Americans have been most vocal about since Francis’ arrival on Tuesday and the analysis shows that climate change is on the tip of everyone’s tongue, with immigration coming in second.

Americans appear to be in sync with the pope, who spent most of his time talking about climate change in his speech to Congress on Thursday morning, when lawmakers packed the House chamber to watch the historic address.

“Mr. President, I find it encouraging that you are proposing an initiative for reducing air pollution,” Francis said. These remarks come a day after the pope told a crowd at the White House South Lawn that “climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation.”

The topic of migration made a huge leap overnight on Twitter after a little girl nabbed a kiss from the pope on Wednesday and slipped him a note that asked him to support the legalization undocumented immigrants. Photos from the incident have gone viral and immigration reform backers are seizing on the opportunity to raise the profile of this issue. The topic amassed 7,000 tweets in the 24-hour period after Francis’ arrival, putting the issue in third place. But as of Thursday, the topic of migration surged to over 12,000 tweets that expressed a mix of support and criticism.