A new opinion poll released this week suggests only two per cent of Canadians who responded believe climate change is not occurring.
A further nine per cent believe climate change is occurring naturally. And 54 per cent feel both humans and Mother Nature are playing a role.
The survey was conducted by Insightrix Research for IPAC-CO2 Research Inc. That is a University of Regina-based centre that studies carbon capture and storage.
Carmen Dybwad is the centre’s CEO. He says the results show Canadians overwhelmingly believe climate change is real.
“When you say 98 per cent of people believe this, the kind of frivolous answer would be like two per cent still believe that there are little green spacemen around. Two per cent believing that climate change isn’t occurring is pretty significant,” said Dybwad. “You’re never going to have 100 per cent, ever.”
The online poll of 1,550 respondents was done between May 29 and June 11.
The survey asked the question: “Where do you stand on the issue of climate change?” Respondents were then given five options and asked to choose one. The options were: Climate change is occurring partly due to human activity and partly due to natural climate variation; climate change is occurring due to human activity; climate change is occurring due to natural climate variation; climate change is not occurring at all; or not sure.
Nine per cent believed climate change is occurring due to natural climate variations. But almost one-third (32%) of respondents said they believed climate change is happening because of human activity. More than half of those who responded (54%) said they believed it’s a combination of both.
Two per cent said they didn’t believe climate change is occurring. Four per cent were not sure.
The survey also noted that opinions over the cause of climate change varied region to region. Prairie respondents were least likely to think that climate change is occurring due to human activity. Meanwhile, the survey found 21 per cent of those in Alberta and Saskatchewan believed climate change is occurring due to human activity. But that number jumped to 44 per cent in Quebec.
Dybwad suggests those beliefs may be dictated by a province’s economic base.
The Insightrix survey was conducted online among 1,550 respondents. All of them were chosen from a larger pool of people who agreed to participated in continuing research.
The survey set quotas by age, gender, region and education to try to match the general population.
However, the polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.