Du­el­ing re­al­i­ties? Age, po­lit­i­cal ide­ol­ogy di­vide Cana­di­ans over cause and threat of cli­mate change

The Southwest Booster - - FRONT PAGE - AN­GUS REID IN­STI­TUTE

With Canada’s place re­cently re­con­firmed among the world’s largest green­house gas emit­ters, the Trudeau gov­ern­ment finds it­self un­der in­creased pres­sure and scru­tiny in the wake of a United Na­tions re­port stat­ing this na­tion will fall short of emis­sion re­duc­tion goals.

But with just over one month un­til the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a fed­eral car­bon tax os­ten­si­bly aimed at re­duc­ing Canada’s car­bon foot­print, new pub­lic opin­ion data from the An­gus Reid In­sti­tute finds one-in-three Cana­di­ans skep­ti­cal about whether cli­mate change is a fact caused by hu­man ac­tiv­ity.

De­mo­graphic dif­fer­ences be­tween Cana­di­ans on age and po­lit­i­cal ide­ol­ogy largely drive dif­fer­ences on this quar­rel­some is­sue.

For ex­am­ple, 18 to 34-year-old Cana­di­ans ap­pear to carry a height­ened sense of grav­ity than older re­spon­dents re­gard­ing the threat from cli­mate change.

And while more than four-in-five past Lib­eral and New Demo­crat vot­ers be­lieve cli­mate change is a fact, (81 per cent and 85 per cent re­spec­tively), this drops to just one-third of those who voted for the Con­ser­va­tive party in 2015.

More Key Find­ings:

Half of Cana­di­ans (49 per cent) say that they have no­ticed sig­nif­i­cant changes to their lo­cal cli­mate. An­other 37 per cent say that they think they have no­ticed changes, but not ma­jor ones;

Nine-in-10 Cana­di­ans say that they be­lieve the global tem­per­a­ture is ris­ing. This slips to 71 per cent among past Con­ser­va­tive vot­ers and rises to near una­nim­ity among past Lib­er­als (95 per cent) and New Democrats (96 per cent);

While three-quar­ters of Cana­di­ans say that some­thing can be done to re­duce cli­mate change glob­ally, they are less con­vinced they, them­selves, can have an im­pact. Over­all, six-in-10 (61 per cent) say they feel they can per­son­ally help – this sen­ti­ment is high­est in Que­bec (80 per cent).

The full poll can be viewed at www.an­gus­reid.org/cli­mat­e­change-be­liefs.

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