Canadians have spoken out for the first time in an Environics poll that climate change will affect their children and grandchildren, reports CBC News today. The poll surveyed 2,020 people and revealed 50 percent are “extremely” or “definitely concerned” about the changing climate.
The UN climate change report a few weeks ago and the UN Climate Summit in New York this past September rang a loud warning bell to the Canadians. Keith Neuman, executive directive of the Environics Institute for Survey Research, states that it “hit a nerve.” The concern for future generations was 78 percent of the survey respondents. This is a first for the Institute to ask legacy questions in an annual survey on the climate and its future outlook.
The Institute Environics is a non-profit arm of the polling company and partnered with the David Suzuki Foundation to help share in this year’s cost of the survey. Only one in ten is skeptical about the scientific data for climate change. This year the poll finds that 63 percent vs. 60 percent last year support the scientific findings. Respondents in Ontario and Atlantic Canada are strongest in support with Montreal at 52 percent.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has refused to place a federal price on carbon and considers it a job killer. Canadians are willing to consider it according to the poll
The Royal Society published its report yesterday and displayed maps that demonstrate the impact of worldwide climate and demographic changes on exposure of people to extreme weather Professor Georgina Mace, chair of the group for the report summarized the findings that, “We are not resilient to the extremes of weather that we experience now and many people are already extremely vulnerable.”
The report gave a cost summary of $1.4 trillion worldwide due the disruption from 1980-2004 in food, floods and other events related to extreme weather. Insurance only covered three-quarters of the cost. People most vulnerable are living in East, West and Central Africa and India and Southeast Asia. Increasing population in these areas adds to the challenges of climate change.
People over the age of 65 are more susceptible to extreme heat and other weather conditions. The difficulty of working outside in the extreme weather conditions to harvest crops will cause reduced food production. Risks in the most densely populated areas of the world are a greater challenge to reduce loss of life and other serious issues from extreme weather change.