(May 9, 2011) According to a draft report from the Brookings Institute that compares attitudes to global warming in the U.S. and Canada, an astounding 91% of Canadians who identify themselves as Liberals, and 90% who identify with the Bloc, answer “Yes” when asked: “From what you’ve read and heard, is there solid evidence that the average temperature on Earth has been getting warmer over the past four decades.” Only 6% of Liberals and 9% of Bloc supporters have read and heard that the Earth has not been getting warmer, and just 3% and 1%, respectively, aren’t sure.
Canada’s Conservatives have been exposed to different views: 64% have heard that Earth has been getting warmer and 28% that Earth has not. 8% of Conservatives aren’t sure.
In the U.S., where a much more diverse press more often exposes the public to sceptical views on global warming, more Republicans respond “No” than “Yes” (43 to 41, with 17% not sure). Democrats in the U.S., in contrast, predominantly have heard that Earth has been warming (69% to 16%, with 15% unsure).
The survey, which was taken before Canada’s recent federal election, in January and February of this year, yields startling evidence of how influenced Canadians are by what they’ve read and heard: 65% of Canadians believe that their province “has already felt negative effects from global warming.” In contrast, 44% of Americans claim to have felt negative effects in their state.
For the full Brookings draft survey, released today, click here.
Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe and the author of The Deniers. LawrenceSolomon@nextcity.com.