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Climate Change Issue Engaging Canadians

Aug 16, 2012 07:29 AM EDT
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Canadian population seems to be aware and want to know about the effects of climate change. 

This came out during Insightrix research that conducted an online poll of more than 1500 Canadians across the country and it focused on where they stand on climate change.

Respondents were asked to choose from a number of given options whether climate change is occurring partially due to human activity and partially due to natural climate variation, or the reason for the drastic climate change is the inconsiderate human activity, or climate change is occurring due to natural climate variation, or climate change is not occurring at all; or not sure.

The survey that was released on Wednesday showed that nealry 32 percent of Canadians consider human activity to be a prime reason for the climate change while 54 percent think both human and natural causes are to be blamed, 9 percent think only nature is responsible, and 2 percent think climate change is not happening at all.

"Having such a high percentage attributing the cause of climate change to both human activity and natural variation is an especially interesting result because it shows that there isn't a consensus in Canada about the causes of climate change," said Briana Brownell, the lead pollster on the survey, which was conducted for IPAC-CO2 Research Inc., a Regina-based centre that studies carbon capture and storage.

The researchers made sure that they accumulated opinions about the cause of climate change from different regions.

"It's reassuring that the number is so low," said Prof. John Smol, a global warming expert at Queen's University. "Certainly the science has been in for a long time, so it's a little discouraging how slowly the science seems to have been translated into public policy and public opinion. But at least we're going in the right direction."

The survey highlighted Prairie respondents as they were least likely to believe that climate change is occurring due to human activity and have disconnected from the growing causes of the climate change. On the other hand the residents of Quebec, Atlantic Canada and British Columbia strongly believe that climate change is occurring. Nealry 44 percent of Quebec respondents, 34 percent of Atlantic Canadian respondents and 32 percent of those surveyed in British Columbia believe that climate change is occurring due to human activity. While Alberta and Saskatchewan have a count of 21 percent while Manitoba show 24 percent.

To the researchers surprise the survey also showed that more than half of the respondents believe Canada will still be using fossil fuels for electricity after 2050.

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