Research from the University of Montreal shows how Canadian opinions vary when it comes to climate change issues. (Screenshot Universite de Montreal)

Online map shows Canadian opinions on climate change issues

Over three-quarters of Canada believes Earth is getting warmer, less than half believe it will affect them

More than three-quarters of the country believes the earth is getting warmer but half of Canadians think climate change will not harm them personally.

These estimates are part of research conducted by the University of Montreal to gauge how Canadians feel about issues related to climate change.

Using data from a large national survey of the adult Canadian population – with over 9,000 responses – researchers put together a website and online map that shows how climate change opinions vary across the country, province and even electoral ridings. The data was collected between January 2011 and October 2018 by random digit dialing telephone surveys set to land line and mobile phone listings.

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“The actual survey responses were combined with demographic data from Statistics Canada to estimate opinions based on information such as gender, education and language; they also take into account changes in public opinion over time,” the website reads.

Nation-wide, majority of Canadians agree that the earth is getting warmer partly or mostly due to human activity and that their province has already felt the negative effects from climate change. Majority of Canadians also support the cap-and-trade system and increasing taxes on carbon-based fuels.

However, those numbers change when the data is narrowed down to province or riding.

For example, 42 per cent of Albertans and 47 per cent of people from Saskatchewan believe the earth is getting warmer partly or mostly because of human activity, while about 60 per cent of people from other provinces believe this to be true.

Less than half of Albertans and people from Saskatchewan believe taxes should be increased on carbon-based fuels while 60 per cent of British Columbians do support increasing taxes on carbon-based fuels.

On Vancouver Island, close to 90 per cent of Island residents believe the Earth is getting warmer, between 60 to 70 percent believe it’s partly or mostly because of human activity and less than half of the residents believe climate change will harm them personally.

READ ALSO: More than 50 Greater Victoria businesses to take part in Friday’s climate strike

The researchers have said that while there are uncertainties in the model estimates, they are smaller at broad geographic scales – like the provincial level – and larger at finer geographic scales like at the riding level.

The average margin of error is plus or minus six percentage points for the provincial-level estimates and plus or minus seven percentage points for the riding-level estimates.

Phone samples from people living in Canada’s territories and Labrador have also been excluded from the data.

“It is not possible to accurately infer Northern beliefs from our current opinion data set,” the website reads.

For more information, and to look at the map visit umontreal.ca/climat/engl/index.html.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


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