Canada’s Angus Reid Institute, part pollster and part pressure group, claims in a series on “Canada and the Culture Wars” that “two-thirds (67%) say climate change is real and human caused. A further 22 per cent of Canadians say the trend is natural.” And then it tells those dunces what to think. “In a nation ravaged by wildfire and extreme weather events leading to catastrophic floods, it is notable that the proportion of those saying climate change is ‘unproven’ has dropped from 16 per cent in 2014 to just seven per cent now.” Ravaged, no less.
As the Institute adds, “A majority also say that climate change is a “crisis” (63%) that necessitates immediate action.” But if that’s the case, why are even somewhat costly climate policies huge political losers in Canada as elsewhere? It’s almost exactly as if they knew what to tell pollsters, but privately were not willing to suffer deprivation to chase rainbows.
Incidentally Canadians also apparently hate capitalism according to that poll, “with twice as many saying that within a capitalist system the ‘rich get richer and the poor get poorer’ (58%), rather than feeling that anyone can get ahead (30%).” Yet they also think government is incompetent and greedy, which rather militates against putting it in charge of everything including the weather, or so you’d think. (Incidentally we also got a notification recently of a paper “AI is coming. Is our government ready?” and reacted “Would that be the government that still uses fax machines?” And its record on central planning isn’t exactly stellar. Not even on those EV battery plants.)
If all those poll results are true, why did a caucus revolt force Canada’s Prime Minister to remove the carbon tax on home heating oil? Of course it matters what pollsters ask, and how. A National Post story in late September declared that:
“A new Postmedia-Leger poll finds that a clear majority of Canadians want the carbon tax reduced or eliminated entirely – and that nearly everyone thinks that federal plans for ‘net zero’ are unrealistic. Of respondents, 55 per cent wanted the carbon tax reduced (18 per cent) or abolished (37 per cent), while 27 per cent were fine to keep it as-is. A mere 18 per cent said they agreed with the current strategy of raising carbon levies each year.”
As for Net Zero, the numbers are even worse. “Just 52 per cent of respondents had heard of the plan, and when its basic details were explained, a mere 15 per cent thought net-zero was realistic.”
It also matters how you spin raw findings. For instance people may claim to care about something but not actually care very much. As columnist Lorrie Goldstein wrote:
“a Leger poll released this week found that while 72% of Canadians are worried about climate change, 74% believe that extreme weather events are linked to it and 65% believe they will occur more often in future, it’s also not a priority for them right now. When the poll of 1,526 Canadian adults from September 8-10 asked about the biggest issue facing Canada today, 33% chose inflation, 16% housing affordability, 9% the economy, 8% rising interest rates, all ahead of climate change at 7%.”
So yeah yeah sure hurricanes, don’t tax my gas, I’ve got bigger real-world problems. For instance home energy costs of $200/month according to the federal government’s own research. (As for The Hill insisting that in the U.S. “Climate change is still the top issue in the 2024 election”, we’ll believe it when we see it.)
It’s even possible that some Canadians who believe the screaming headlines about runaway warming, unprecedented heat and bad weather, even if they can’t see it out their windows, conclude that obviously whatever pain carbon taxes and so on are causing is pointless because we’re going straight into the inferno regardless. One more way alarmists may have shot themselves in the foot.
As columnist Lorne Gunter noted acerbically:
“There is no economic case for renewable energy that makes sense without hundreds of billions or even trillions of tax dollars. To transition away from fossil fuels will require either much higher taxes or much higher energy bills, or very likely both…. everywhere in the world that ‘green’ transitions have been tried. The minute subsidies end, alternate energy all but dries up. Environmentalists and ‘green’ politicians insist this will change. If only governments will keep spending money long enough, they insist, alternate energies will become large-scale enough to bring prices down. To which I ask: With the trillions already spent worldwide, don’t you think we’d have seen at least one example of widespread success by now?”
It’s a fair question. If they’d promised less, maybe they’d have retained more credibility.