Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

Canadians take responsibility for environment: poll

by Eve Savory, CBCNews.ca

If Canadians had their way, Canada would be a global leader on fighting climate change, winning praise and respect for its policies.

The latest Environics poll found 67 percent of Canadians want their country to be the leader or at least among the leaders. True to their “green” image, Vancouverites believed that more strongly than people anywhere else.

Almost half of Canadians – 44 percent - say the most effective way to show that leadership is to be a model country, one that sets an example for the rest of the world. Twenty-eight percent think the best way is through developing and sharing technology.

Canadians have come a long way since Environics started polling them on the environment in 1987. Dr. Keith Neuman said back then, a third of Canadians thought climate change, a.k.a. "global warming", was a good thing.
Now, he said, "we don’t even ask that question any more". With only one in ten Canadians a sceptic, both the questions and the answers have moved on. Neuman says you could see the shift in sentiment start last winter.

"People just know there is a problem that has to be addressed, we should be getting on with it, and they want to see something that satisfies them that it’s being taken seriously."

He finds it encouraging that there wasn’t much finger pointing – not a lot of the "it’s someone else’s fault" kind of thinking. And a majority – 57 percent - said that if cutting greenhouse gases hurts Western Canada’s economy the rest of the country should compensate those provinces.

What’s more, there was a willingness to take personal responsibility – and a growing understanding of the sources of the problem. When asked "Who are the biggest contributors?" to greenhouse gas emissions, 55 percent named industry and 53 percent named consumers.

On the downside, says Neuman, one in five couldn’t name any.

Nor is there much comprehension of where the impact will be most felt in Canada. Canadians answered children, seniors, the sick and the poor, in that order.

Only 11 percent mentioned Canada’s Arctic, where the impacts are already advancing.

Neuman’s personal take-away message is that people are ready for someone to do something, and the federal government may have missed a political opportunity when it announced a one percent cut in the GST in its mini-budget.

He thinks the smart move would have been to tell the public the government will get the lost tax back by putting a one percent tax on fossil fuels, and then will use that for the environment.

"The point is people are looking for something serious", he says. "It may have actually meant more to people to know there is actually a big shift on government action on the environment. I think that might have sold."

The poll was commissioned by the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation and Canada West Foundation for a conference on climate change that opens tomorrow in Calgary.

The survey was conducted by Environics with a representative sample of 2,006 Canadians (aged 18 years and older) between October 4 and 11, 2007. A sample of this size drawn from the population will provide results accurate to within plus or minus 2.2 percent, 19 times out of 20.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments

Roy Smith

These polls mean nothing, Canadians have no idea how trying to meet the Kyoto targets would lower their standard of living, punitive tax measures will not make any difference to global warming. The problem is China, India and Brazil, until they are on board you might as well forget it.

Posted November 15, 2007 03:38 PM

Tom Harris

Ottawa

There is a serious problem with this piece.

Quted is the statement: "With only one in ten Canadians a sceptic, both the questions and the answers have moved on."

This conflicts sharply with the finding of Ipsos Reid last year that 39% of Canadians think that recent climate change is "The effect of natural warming and cooling patterns that rise and fall over the course of centuries, one of which we are experiencing
now."

Posted November 15, 2007 07:07 PM

Bill

Toronto

Tom - I think these are somewhat different points. For example - I believe the earth warms and cools in cycles, but I also believe mankind is accelerating this warming through the use of fossil fuels, etc. So... the piece and the statement aren't necessarily at odds with one another.

Posted November 19, 2007 12:01 AM

Alex

Hamilton

Roy - To forget about the problem is not a proper answer. According to your statement, why should China feel a need to change until India and Brazil change? On your other point of lowering our standard of living - this is inevitable. Perhaps people need to live a life like that of a century and a half ago. If we live shorter lives because of it then perhaps its worth it in order for the human race to survive longer. What we are doing now to the planet could prove just as dangerous as the comet that wiped out the dinosaurs because we are harming not just ourselves but causing the extinction of other speicies.

Posted November 21, 2007 01:42 PM

Dave Burhoe

Calgary

My first comment is directed to Roy who says China, India and Brazil are the problems. The USA produces more GHG emissions than China, India and Japan combined. China's vehicle emissions standards are stricter than California's (the highest in the US). Brazil's vehicles burn 80-100% ethanol, which it grows, and has been proven to be FAR cleaner.
Alberta has by far the greatest GHG emissions in Canada bcause of coal-fired electricity principally. Alberta has initiated emissions targets and action palns to achieve through the office: Climate Change Central. Why would Alberta do this if it did not believe GHG is driving climate change?

Posted November 23, 2007 10:08 PM

Garet

Winnipeg

If Canada 9and the world) would just smarten up and go with nuclear power, we wouldn't have to worry so much.

Posted November 27, 2007 11:33 AM

andy

ancaster

look, global warming is happening, but who cares? once it gets so bad that it affects the rich peoples' money, then things will change, and although (because humans are slow to act) there will be huge changes to the climate and tonnes of damage, and many deaths, the human race will live on and adapt. any one of the following will drastically hurt the world (the arctic melt, increased greenhouse gases, desertification, deforestation, overpopulation, food shortage, extreme temperature fluctuation, ocean current changes, etc.) but all of them together...THAT's going to be interesting to watch!

Posted January 15, 2008 11:42 AM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez dies in boating crash
The Miami Marlins have confirmed that star pitcher Jose Fernandez has died following a boating crash off Miami beach early Sunday.
Russian actions in Aleppo 'barbarism,' not counter-terrorism, says U.S. ambassador at UN
Russia's actions in Syria amount to "barbarism," not counter-terrorism as Moscow insists, Samantha Powers, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said on Sunday.
Yisrael Kristal, oldest man in the world, prepares to celebrate bar mitzvah he missed as a boy
It's a celebration that usually happens when a Jewish boy turns 13, but Yisrael Kristal never had a chance to have a bar mitzvah when he turned that age in Poland during the First World War, so he's having one 100 years later.
more »

Canada »

Calgary Stampeder Mylan Hicks dead after nightclub shooting
Calgary Stampeder Mylan Hicks is dead after an early morning shooting incident outside of a night club in southwest Calgary, the team has confirmed.
Royal visit: Where to find Prince William and Kate in Vancouver
The royal tour of British Columbia continues today as Prince William and Kate make their way to Vancouver.
New Gordie Howe's ashes laid to rest in Saskatoon
This morning Gordie Howe’s ashes were laid to rest at the base of his statue at SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon in front of friends and family wearing Howe's No. 9 Detroit Red Wings jersey.
more »

Politics »

Analysis Canada showing Haiti some tough love
Canadian officials say Haiti has abused the goodwill of international donors by failing to respect the results of an election they paid for. And Canada is warning the island nation not to expect help to continue if things don't change.
Canadian taken hostage in Libya
Ottawa has confirmed that a Canadian is among three people taken hostage in Libya earlier this week.
Kathleen Wynne OK with health funding strings — depending on how tight they're tied audio
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says she's not opposed to the government attaching strings to new funding in the forthcoming health care accord, it just depends on how restrictive they are.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Chris Martin rock Global Citizen fest
Rihanna ran through her pop and R&B hits, Eddie Vedder partnered with Chris Martin and Kendrick Lamar was enthusiastic and energetic during his hour-long set at the Global Citizen Festival in New York.
Bill Nunn, Do the Right Thing and Sister Act actor, dead at 63
Bill Nunn, a veteran character actor whose credits ranged from the Spider-Man movie franchise to such Spike Lee films as Do the Right Thing and He Got Game, has died.
Pippa Middleton's account hacked, thousands of photos stolen
London police say they are investigating the reported hacking of the iCloud account of Pippa Middleton, younger sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, and the alleged theft of 3,000 photographs.
more »

Technology & Science »

Fuel cells set to power up the drone industry video
Drones have been used for years by military organizations for intelligence gathering, surveillance, reconnaissance and striking targets. But their widespread use in commercial applications is only just starting to take off thanks to key advances in drone technology.
How to protect yourself after the Yahoo email hack, whether you use Yahoo or not
If you have a Yahoo email address, or ever had one in the past, you could be affected by a massive hack of half a billion accounts. Here's what you can do to protect yourself.
Elephant ivory trade under scrutiny at upcoming wildlife conference
The fate of the elephant hangs in the balance this weekend as the international body that regulates trade in endangered species gathers in South Africa.
more »

Money »

Analysis Waiting for OPEC: changing circumstances and new possibilities — maybe
An informal gathering of OPEC this week is widely expected to produce no substantive changes. So why are oil markets paying so much attention?
Analysis Our uncomfortable ride with central bankers who can't take us home again: Neil Macdonald
The world's central banks responded to the Great Recession by printing money. Lots of it. The practice drove down interest rates to nearly zero, robbed savers of return on their investments and rewarded those who live beyond their means. Things were supposed to return to normal eventually. Well, don't count on it.
Bad news, brunch fans: The Marketplace consumer cheat sheet
Miss something this week? Don't panic. CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Live World Cup of Hockey: Sweden vs. Europe video
Watch live now as Sweden meets Team Europe for the right to play in the World Cup of Hockey final.
Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez dies in boating crash
The Miami Marlins have confirmed that star pitcher Jose Fernandez has died following a boating crash off Miami beach early Sunday.
Calgary Stampeder Mylan Hicks dead after nightclub shooting
Calgary Stampeder Mylan Hicks is dead after an early morning shooting incident outside of a night club in southwest Calgary, the team has confirmed.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »