Canadians unhappy with Harper on climate change

lightningA new Angus Reid poll shows that Canadians are generally unhappy with the results of last month’s Climate Change Summit (press release; full report).

According to the poll, 48% of Canadians are dissatisfied with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s performance at the conference (including 33% who are very dissatisfied), while only 28% are satisfied (9% very satisfied).

The poll also shows that 56% are dissatisfied that the “accord” that came out of the conference is not legally binding (compared to 20% who are satisfied) and that 73% are not confident that the world will meet the accord’s goal of holding the increase in global temperatures below two degrees Celsius.

The poll also shows that there is still a frightening level of confusion among the Canadian public about the reality of global warming. A bare majority, just 52%, of Canadians believe that global warming is a real, human-caused phenomenon, while 17% believe it is mainly a natural phenomenon, 17% believe it is a “theory that has not yet been proven”, and 13% are not sure. Setting aside the issue of whether any scientific theory is ever “proven”, these results are truly depressing. Let’s have a big round of applause for the mainstream media, who continue to treat a handful of cranks and shameless mouthpieces for carbon-polluting industries as though they were just as credible as the overwhelming majority of the scientific community!

Still, those results surely reflect a better grip on reality than the results of a poll last month on the torture scandal. That poll showed that while 37.8% of Canadians thought the Conservative government passed Afghan detainees to Afghan security forces knowing they might be tortured, 36.3% thought the government would “never knowingly pass detainees to Afghan security forces if they thought they might be tortured”, and 25.9% were unsure.

Apparently a sizable number of Canadians really are buying into the Harper government’s oxymoronic claim to be macho-hardheaded-foreign-policy-realists-who-never-could-have-imagined-anything-improper-going-on-in-Afghan-prisons.

Photo by Axel Rouvin, Creative Commons license 2.0

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