Conservatives more likely to consider climate change an 'unproven theory': report

Nov 30 2018, 5:25 pm

It appears that some Canadians remain unconvinced that climate change is anything more than an unproven theory.

According to a recent study from the Angus Reid Institute conducted online between October 24 and 29 among 1,500 Canadians, nearly one in ten respondents stated that they believe “climate change is a theory that has not yet been proven.”

Nineteen per cent stated that they believe climate change is a fact and mostly caused by natural changes, and 66% held the belief that it is mostly caused by vehicle and industrial emissions.

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The percentages shift significantly when splitting demographics along party lines, however, with more than 1 in every 5 Conservative-voting Canadians who responded considering climate change to be an unproven theory — a stark contrast when compared to the 5% of Liberal voters who believed the same sentiment, and 3% of NDP-voting respondents.

climate change

Climate change study (Angus Reid Institute)

A similar divide between political parties is found when respondents were asked if they believed that the average global temperature is rising.

For the Conservatives part, more than 70% believed the claim to be true, though nearly 100% of Liberal and NDP voters were on board with believing what many see as an inconvenient truth.

climate change

Climate change study (Angus Reid Institute)

A disparity between climate change beliefs can also be seen when looking by province, with Albert and Saskatchewan showing the most respondents disagreeing that the globe’s temperature is rising.

Nearly 20% of Albertan respondents were opposed to the belief that climate change is raising the global temperatures to alarming levels, though 87% of Canadians in total thought otherwise.

climate change

Climate change study (Angus Reid Institute)

Nearly half of all respondents believed that they had already noticed changes in the climate or weather in their area, though when looking at Conservative voters that number plummets down to just one in four.

climate change

Climate change study (Angus Reid Institute)

While the overwhelming majority of Canadian respondents felt that climate change is real, caused by humans, and raising global temperatures, only 61% stated that they believe that they can personally do anything about it.

The largest percentage of people feeling personal responsibility towards reducing climate change was found in Quebec, where 80% of respondents believed that they could personally do something to help.

The least amount of personal responsibility was felt in Saskatchewan, where less than 40% were on the side of Quebec’s 80%, and exactly half of the respondents were against. Albertans were equally split on the subject at 45% on either side.

climate change

Climate change study (Angus Reid Institute)

When dividing respondents up by age and looking at answers to the same question, it was found that those aged 18 to 34 believed that their own individual actions could reduce climate change, while those aged 35 to 54 were least likely to agree.

The numbers raised again slightly when looking at Canadian respondents aged 55 and up, though did not quite reach the same percentages as the younger demographic.

climate change

Climate change study (Angus Reid Institute)

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