A new poll shows that Canadians now see climate change as a larger threat than terrorism, even though their government has largely scaled back efforts to combat climate change. Half of the poll’s respondents said that climate change was a ‘critical threat’, while only a quarter said the same about terrorism.
The number of Canadians viewing climate change as a ‘critical threat’ dropped 3 percent in the last six years, from 52 percent to 49 percent (close to the polls margin of error of 2.8 percent). However, fears over terrorism plummeted during the same time, dropping from 49 percent in 2004 to 28 percent. It should be noted that part of the poll was conducted prior to attempt by a Nigerian with Al-Qaeda ties to blow up a plane in the US.
Despite concerns about climate change remaining high in Canada, the northern nation’s government has faced criticism at home and abroad for doing little to mitigate climate change. The nation is only country to drop out of the Kyoto Treaty. Since 1990 Canada’s emissions have risen 26 percent since 1990 (10 percent more than the US, which never signed onto Kyoto).
Many cite the reason for Canada’s unwillingness to ambitiously confront climate change as its tar sands industry. The extraction of oil from the tar sands is energy intensive and leaves a carbon footprint that some say is the largest industrial source of carbon emissions in the world: 40 million tons of greenhouse gases every year.
The poll included 1,229 responses and was conducted between December 22, 2009 and January 4th, 2010.
(12/21/2009) Canada was the biggest obstructer at the Climate Change conference in Copenhagen, according to the Climate Action Network (CAN) an organization made-up of 450 NGOs. On Friday CAN awarded Canada the ‘Colossal Fossil Award’ for doing the most to obstruct an ambitious climate change agreement and for doing the least to mitigate climate change.
(12/11/2009) In the first five days of Copenhagen, Canada has won a lot of awards. Only these are not positive awards for good and constructive behavior, but so-called ‘fossil awards’ given to the countries that most impede progress at Copenhagen by the environmental organization, Climate Action Network (CAN).
(12/08/2009) While tens of thousands of protestors have gone to Copenhagen to call on world governments to do more to fight against climate change, the most surprising protest on the first day of the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen occurred thousands of miles away: in Canada.
(12/07/2009) Canada’s tar sands have been internationally criticized as one of the world’s largest industrial sources of greenhouse gases, but the energy-intensive extraction of oil also has a less-noted impact on the local environment. A new study shows that the Alberta’s oil sands are likely releasing more PACs (polycyclic aromatic compounds) into nearby Athabasca River and its tributaries than the industry-funded and government-supported Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program (RAMP) has reported.
(12/02/2009) In 2007 American delegates to a climate summit in Bali were booed outright for obstructing a global agreement on climate change. Then in a David versus Goliath moment they were famously scolded by a negotiator from Papua New Guinea, Kevin Conrad. “If for some reason you are not willing to lead, leave it to the rest of us. Please get out of the way,” Conrad told the American delegates. However, much has changed in two years: the United States, under a new administration, is no longer the climate change pariah. The US has recently announced emissions cuts, negotiated successfully with China on the issue, and will be attending—Obama included—the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen next week. Obama and his team probably don’t need to worry about being booed or remonstrated this time around, but that role may instead go to Canada.