Climate Change a Bigger Threat to Canadians than Terrorists

A new poll commissioned by the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute on “Threat Perceptions” [pdf] finds that climate change is perceived as the most “critical threat” to Canadians.

49% of Canadians rank climate change as a critical threat, while only 28% (down from 49% in 2004) say that international terrorism is a critical threat to the vital interests of their country.

All regions report high levels of concern with Quebec the highest at 62% and Alberta the least concerned at 28%.

The poll was conducted by the Innovative Research Group between December 22, 2009 and January 4, 2010. The weighted total sample included 1,229 responses eligible for inclusion in our analysis. There were over samples in BC, Alberta and Ontario which bring the total sample of 1,877.

An earlier poll by Innovative conducted after the Copenhagen climate conference found that half of Canadians disapproved [pdf] of the Canadian government’s position at the international summit, but 44% said it would not make a difference on whether they were more or less likely to vote for the governing Conservative party.


The only polls that count take place at the SUV lot,the airline ticket counter, the meat department of your local grocer and the real estate market as people opt to live in the suburbs.

No, guys- Canadians aren’t worried about climate change.

I’m sure this statistic would be reflected in Canadian numbers too:

“Ford Expedition sales are up 45 percent, compared to a year ago, and Lincoln Navigator sales are up 60 percent for the same period.”

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Lets face the facts - almost no one is concerned about climate change. Physical evidence proves the polls are wildly wrong. Of course it doesn’t mean that people are right, but it does show what they really believe.

RickJames, why should the “only polls that count” be at the meat department et al? Shouldn’t all polls be regarded as somewhat anecdotal, even those at the meat department? (I hate those meat department pollers, by the way. I’m just there to buy some meat, and they’re there with all their questions…)

I have actually agreed with you on this point before, that the majority of people are probably not mentally prepared, or physically willing at this point to face up to the spectre of global warming. Through either misinformation and/or fear, we are not ready to dramatically change our lifestyles to the degree needed to get CO2 concentrations back down to 350ppm.

But to what end is your particular pessimism geared? You have in the past claimed to be here to look for solutions. If so, what is a solution to this apathy? How do we get people to stop buying SUVs? How do we encourage the population to think beyond the next two minutes?

Start small with individuals:

Push governments for the big changes.