Belief in climate change eroding

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Tim J Keegan (Flickr)

Belief in climate change eroding

Majority still believe human activity is the cause

TORONTO May 14th, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1286 Canadian adults, close to 8-in-10 believe the earth’s climate is changing (78%), while just one sixth do not (15%). Very few do not have an opinion (7%). While this is a substantial majority, the last time we polled this subject, belief in climate change was higher than 8-in-10 (July, 2013 - 84%). Belief the climate is not changing is common to the least wealthy (20%), in Ontario and the prairies (18% each) and among Conservatives (26%). Those in Quebec and BC are least likely to say the climate is not changing (11% and 10%, respectively).

Human activities cause climate change - majority

Among those who agree the climate is changing, fully three quarters blame it on human activities (72%), and this is equal to more than half the population as a whole (56%). Just one sixth of Canadians (15%) and one fifth of those who agree the climate is changing say it is a natural phenomenon (20%). Those who believe climate change is a natural phenomenon tend to be older, less wealthy and less educated, and Conservative voters in the prairies and Alberta.

Two thirds disagree federal government doing enough to combat climate change

Two thirds of Canadian adults disagree the federal government is doing its bit to combat climate change (68%), while fewer than a quarter think enough is being done (22%). One tenth don’t share an opinion (10%). More than one half of Conservatives are happy with their government’s efforts (55%), but just one tenth of Liberals and New Democrats are (9% each).

"This is one of those issues which should cut across political allegiances but doesn’t anymore in our increasingly polarized society. Liberal and New Democrats agree the climate is changing and man is the cause and Conservatives don’t. Why the proportion agreeing climate change is occurring has shrunk is interesting; it may be due to increased discussion of carbon pricing, or the effect of more junk science leaking over the border from the south," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.