Vast Majority Accept Climate Change

| Filed under: National, Social Issues

Conservatives, Albertans, Atlantic Canadians, males most common deniers

TORONTO JULY 19th, 2014 – In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1624 Canadians 18 years of age and older, the vast majority (81%) believe the climate is changing, while just more than one tenth deny this (13%). Very few have no opinion (6%). Denial is most common to Gen X (45 to 54 - 18%), males (17%), mid-income groups ($40K to $60K - 18%), Atlantic Canada (19%), Alberta (20%), Conservative voters (29%), the least educated (17%) and Evangelical Christians (32%).

Phrase "Climate Change" slightly preferred to "Global Warming"

The term "Climate Change" is preferred slightly to the phrase "Global Warming" (50% to 44%), and few choose some other term (4%) or don't have an opinion (1%)." Climate Change" (the term used by experts) is preferred mostly by younger groups (35 to 44 - 56%), males (57%), wealthier groups ($80K to $100K - 62%), in the prairies (66%) and Alberta (58%), among Conservative supporters (64%), the best educated (post grad - 56%) and Evangelical Christians (67%).

Majority of acceptors believe climate change caused by man

The majority of those who believe climate change is occurring believe it is caused by human activity (58%), whereas fewer than one fifth think it is a natural phenomenon (17%). One quarter think it is both (24%). Belief climate change is naturally occurring is characteristic of the oldest (22%), males (20%), lower income groups (less than $40K - 21%), Alberta (25%), Conservative voters (33%), Protestant (24%) and Evangelical Christians (26%) and non-Christians (23%).

Split opinion on whether climate change can be reversed

Just more say climate change can be reversed (42%) than say it cannot (38%), while one fifth don't know if it can or not (19%). Belief climate change is reversible is common to Boomers (55 to 64 - 51%), mid-income groups ($40K to $80K - 46%), Ontario (47%) but not Alberta (25%), among Liberals (47%), the best educated (post grad - 49%), Protestant Christians (46%) and Catholics (47%) and among those with children (46%).

Plurality agree climate change is serious but can be reversed

Respondents were presented with a range of statements about climate change and asked which best fit their opinion. The plurality, about one third, select "climate change is serious, but can be reversed if we act now" (35%), followed by "climate change is the most serious problem facing mankind" (25%). One fifth take a more sanguine view, agreeing "climate has been changing back and forth for thousands of years" (21%). Few indeed agree that they don't worry too much about climate change (6%), that it is an act of God (4%), or, especially, as some have said, that climate change will have the benefit of opening up more land to cultivation (1%). Conservative voters are especially likely to say the climate has been changing for thousands of years (36%), while Evangelical Christians are the most likely to say it is an act of God (14%).

It is especially unfortunate that climate change, a very real and urgent problem which will yield only to rational discussion and cooperative action, has become hijacked by ideology, the point where one's political passions outweigh the need to work together to save the planet on which we live," 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.