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Environment trumps economy, poll suggests

From Monday's Globe and Mail

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  1. r hintz from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Welcome to the Church of Kyoto. It puts man back in the center of the universe where he belongs. Don't question, just believe. Forget the fact that the sun has anything to do with our climate. Forget the fact that the ice caps on Mars are also melting at a rapid pace. (must be all those carbon emitting martians)
  2. Dark Green from Holguin, Cuba writes: "The dramatic rise in production from Alberta's oil sands has played a key role in Canada's economic strength in recent years, but the survey suggests a willingness to give up some of that growth. When asked if Canadians would support slowing or reducing the development of the tar sands in Northern Alberta, 48 per cent said there would be support and 32 per cent predicted opposition to the idea." -- It has been abundantly documented (and is well know abroad) that the Alberta Tar Sands are an ecological monstrosity, an ecological nightmare, an ecological disaster. Time has come to TAX THE BENEFITS of the BIG, BIG, BIG, MAJOR polluters, to tax them literally out of the polluting business. Enough concentrating primarily if not exclusively on the little people. Deal drastically with the 20% responsible for 80% of the problem (Pareto's law)! Long term, they cost all of us more than they generate. Long term, such an economic perspective is not viable.
  3. Dan Van Gageldonk from Toronto, Canada writes: This headline is so misleading as to be a joke. If you read the poll numbers themselves it shows that people like a bunch of different initiatives which all don't seem to affect them in the pocketbook or at least where the financial impact is questinable.. The one question that is obvious in the impact on our finances i.e. higher home heating costs only 1 in 3 Canadians support it. Sure Canadians support shutting down coal powered electrical plants but ask whether or not Canadians are willing to pay 30% for the cost of electricity for this to happen. This poll once again proves what I have believed for a long time that Canadians are verbal activists to the highest degreee. All we do is talk a good game about our moral superiority when the facts point out a different story. We are addicted to our excesses. I am not an environmentalist but am nauseated by Canada's hypocrisy.
  4. Matt Blakely from Toronto, writes: All I've been hearing with this debate is anti-environment conservatives talking about how no one will actually be willing to change they just say they support the environment.

    Now we have a poll that shows different. I wonder how they will spin and attack this?

    Face it - people are willing to change. It's just a small selfish few who aren't and who like to believe that everyone else is just as selfish. But we aren't.
  5. jiri Z from Canada writes: Interesting - if any opinion poll can be interesting.

    As one poster already pointed out, it seems the people surveyed were willing to let others make sacrifices, not themselves. (the 30% supporting extra gasoline tax were very likely non-drivers)
  6. Dan Van Gageldonk from Toronto, Canada writes: Matt Blakely how does this poll show that Canadians are willing to make sacrifices and change. What I see here are Canadians saying that they approve of government rules and regulations that will possibley help the environment but no price tag attached to how much it will cost consumers. The one policy that has a price tag attached to it only 1 in 3 people polled supported it. Once again it smells to me of alot of cheap talk. If people did care they wouldn't wait for the government to impose regulations on us the populace would do it themselves. From the amount of waste, litter, excess and the like I don't see any evidence to suggest that Canadians are willing to make sacrifices. Also notice in the article where it says Canadians are willing to allow our economy to grow at a significantly slower pace. But still have it grow nonetheless. But this is the rub isn't it. How do you slow the economy without stifling it. Reality is alot harder then well wishes isn't it?
  7. Ethan Train from Buffalo, United States writes: Considering that the polling company works for the Globe and Mail, and considering you can get almost any result you want if you phrase the questions properly, it would have been more revealing if the question had first of all clarified certain facts [driver versus non-driver] and then gave specific numbers [10% less growth, 3% more unemployment, 3% higher taxes, etc.] A poll on the environment should also ask the question 'would you be prepared to sacrifice more financially even if you did not see any tangible results for 15 years?'.
  8. Dave P from Ottawa, Canada writes: This poll appears contrary to the Globe and Mail's weekend online poll where over 91,000 respondents answered the question "Where do you place climate change on the list?". 10% voted At the very top, 20% voted in the top three, 55% voted in the top five and 14% voted it's not that big an issue. This poll suggest that the majority of respondents don't place climate change in the top 3 on their priority list.
  9. mr motoc from Vancouver Island, Canada writes: A majority of Canadians are willing to follow the view of the vast majority of actual godless heathen "scientists" (instead of the view of right-wing non-scientists (repeating the lies from Faux News) who cite the polar ice caps on Mars! HA HA!) . . . and make sacrifices to accommodate "reality" ? WOW. . . . But: Please note that "facts" and "reality" have a well-known liberal bias. . . .
  10. Stu Pidass from Podunk, Canada writes: What's missing in this debate is the issue of costs. Only 31% of those surveyed want an increase in the price of gasoline, but a much higher number want the oilsands to be put on hold. Well guess what, if you slow down oilsands production there will eventually be a shortage of gasoline and the price will rise. Duh!! Also, if all coal burning electrical generation units are closed everyone will be freezing - in the dark. All those who bllindly propose the abrupt end to use of fossil fuels had better be prepared for a big lifestyle change. This is a simple case of having your cake and eating it too! Sources of renewable energy (solar, wind etc...) are still a long way off and have huge costs associated with them. This won't happen soon, nor will they replace fossil fuels. And by the way Matt - you can put choose to drive less and turn down your thermostat, but most of the people who responded to the survey won't do anything until they are forced by legislation and just like you, many of them are anti-business liberals too.
  11. Mr Fijne from Calgary, Canada writes: The average Canadian is ready for sacrifices? What's next the Average Canadian will decide how to practice neuro surgery? The average Canadians like to offer those they trust the least -the politicians- the best excuse to raise taxes on the 30% who already pay 70% of the income tax... Sacrifice as long as it's someone else's money, life...
  12. mr motoc from Vancouver Island, Canada writes: Stu: You bring up some important points; some are willing to make sacrifices as long as they don't have to, uh . . . actually make sacrifices. --- But at least a majority of Canadians are willing to recognize "2 2 = 4" when evidence for such is placed before them. The "anti-business liberals" seem to be shouted down by "anti-reality conservatives" at the moment, and the latter are in charge of this Government and other governments (you'd recognize the names in a second!). Some conservatives are attempting to re-define the subject by denying "Global Warming" but admitting "Global Climate Change" (WOW -- how clever) . . . and pretend that they are not admitting that there is "a problem" that godless heathen liberals have been talking about for years. For right-wingers, "reality" and "facts" are indeed bitter pills, as they always have been.
  13. Dave Medich from Windsor, Canada writes: "A Strategic Counsel survey for The Globe and Mail and CTV found 62 per cent of those polled said Canadians would be willing to have the economy grow at a "significantly slower rate" to reduce global warming".............. What a stupid and unfair question. Why not ask, " Would you be willing to have the economy go into recession or depression to reduce global warming? I'm sure the answer would be different. They could have even asked a clearer question like, " What per cent of your net income are you willing to give up to reduce global warming." I think they'd get a clearer picture where Canadians really stand.
  14. Randy Gerrow from Acton, Canada writes: Let's put this into perspective shall we. China's population 1.2 billion; India's population 1 billion.... and while we are at it add in the former Soviet Union. All of these nations have one thing in common...their stellar environmental records and the two largest are emerging markets. Just wait 'till they get started consuming 'n polluting. Canada isn't even on the radar! So don't talk to me about making sacrifices.
  15. Ian Gunn from Minneapolis, United States writes: Sorry folks, this is a meaningless survey. It's like asking: do you support getting free money? Mr Gageldonk, above, has it hit right on the mark. Asked if we're ready to do something to someone else, the answer is YES! Asked if we're willing to sacrifice ourselves, the answer is well - maybe. Asked if we're willing to pay for it, the majority say no. I know I'll pay for this in the future, but Global Warming isn't a bad thing for Canada. Waiting until the end of January for winter - bad? Having 3 to 4 months of cold weather vs 5 to 6 - bad? Be honest with yourselves. The loss of Polar Bear habitat reduction is a bad thing - so address this. Where appropriate, move the bears north. Sorry Churchhill, you won't be the Polar Bear capital of the world anymore :( You want a bad environmental picture. Using Google Earth, take a look at the middle and upper parts of British Columbia. Zoom in on the valleys.. Notice the clear cutting and NO planting of trees being done by these companies which just got billions of $$ from the softwood deal. Why isn't there a move to get these areas replanted? Had there been replanting being done in the last 30 to 40 years, a lot of these areas would be grown in again by now. They're not. Go look for yourselves... Anyways, bottom line, these surveys are meaningless. The two I love the best are generation of electricity and the oil sands. Are you willing to have brown outs or even whole scale blackouts? We definitely need to improve the gas emissions from coal and natural gas (oil sands). Let's concentrate on doing this vs shutting operations down.
  16. F.T. Conservatives and their pathetic neocon apologist sheep from Canada writes: Hmmmm... it makes you wonder who in Canada account for the 14% who are against raising fuel standards for vehicles and appliances - and the 20% who are against Consumers and industry switching to alternative fuels. How anyone can truly come out against such things is beyond reason (unless they misunderstood the question and thought that saying no, meant yes). Either way, I think that 100% of these people vote conservative, and simply want to roll-back the country to 1950.
  17. F.T. Conservatives and their pathetic neocon apologist sheep from Canada writes: Dave Medich - Actually your question of "Would you be willing to have the economy go into recession or depression to reduce global warming?" is much stupider, and is completely bias without having any logical backing to it. On what basis do you think we would go into a recession (let alone a depression) by having car companies develop better fuel efficiency? Or by investing in technologies to reduce the emissions that the Tar Sands produce? Do you have any logical basis at all for your 'arguement'? I guess you account for the 14% of Canadians who are against raising fuel standards for your vehicle. Let me guess, you think Harper is the best thing since swiss-cheese, right?
  18. Michael Bonazza from Toronto, Canada writes: This is such crap. Canadians are not willing to make sacrifices, I don't care what the poll says. The only reason the poll reads like it does is because most people don't beleive that changes in economic growth will significantly effect their lives. If they want sacrifice then why don't the spend more money and buy hybrid cars, or limit the insatiable demand for goods and services. What about the people that take wage cuts or lose their job over these policies, do you think they are willing to make a sacrifice? What about when decreased economic growth reduces tax revenue to pay for our bloated public service expenditures, then taxes have to go up or services get cut, then everyone will complain. This poll is meaningless, Canadians, mostly liberals, are only content to force that sacrifice on the shareholders of business' who are making the very products that they refuse not to consume. Typical liberal hypocrisy.
  19. c b from Canada writes: I'd like to see a poll taken from these people that have lost their jobs in the manufacturing sector to determine whether they agree that the "Environment trumps economy". It's not that easy to worry about a possible 1 degree increase in world temperature over the next 1000 years when you're hungry and your mortgage payment is due. Moving to Alberta to get a job will seem like a cakewalk as compared to moving to China to find employment. "VIRGINIA GALT Monday, January 29, 2007 Canadian manufacturers remain pessimistic about their overall production and employment prospects for the first quarter of this year, despite healthier order books in some industries, Statistics Canada reported Monday... ...The continuing negative prospects were attributed primarily to manufacturers in Ontario and Quebec. ...By industry, the outlook was most positive for manufacturers of primary metal, fabricated metal, petroleum and paper products — although that was not enough to offset the pessimism of producers of computers and electronics products, plastics and rubber products and transportation equipment, according to the report... ...“The results of the survey highlight that Canada's manufacturing sector is still under pressure,” economists from the Royal Bank of Canada said in a report Monday following the results. “Manufacturing employment declined by 2.7 per cent (-59,000) in 2006, bringing total losses since the start of the decline in November, 2002, to 9 per cent (-216,000),” Statscan reported Monday. In 2006, the job losses were primarily in Ontario and Quebec. “In contract, large gains in manufacturing employment were seen in Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba over the course of the year ( 32,000),” with manufacturers outside of Ontario and Quebec continuing to express difficulty in finding skilled labour, Statscan said. © The Globe and Mail http://www.globeinvestor.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070129.wmanufacturing0129/GIStory/
  20. Kurt Hamilton from Vancouver, writes: Randy Gerrow - the average Canadian is the worst poluter in the world (due to the cold and reliance on cars for everything) so, yes, we do show up on the environmental radar. Also we live in Canada. Polution in Canada most directly affects Canadians so we should care about what we put into the air.

    As for the poll question it is unfair. I think the real question should be: What percentage of your income would you be willing to sacrifice to reduce polution to a level that the environment can handle? (if this were something we could measure). This would give a real answer to how much Canadians will sacrifice for the environment.

    I fear that the parties know this answer, and they know it to be not much. Expect to see Dion shout Kyoto as his platform until the next election without any real plan other than advertising to make us feel good about taking the skytrain once in a while. The only real solution, taxes on polution and funding for environmental cleanup, greener developments, emissions reduction, and viable alternative energy sources, will never be brought up by the major parties because they know that the economic impact will cost them votes (let's see the Liderals win without the auto parts workers in Ontario and Quebec).
  21. c mctavish from Canada writes: The fact of the matter is that what Canada does will have little impact on climate in the future. Even if Canada theoretically stopped all emmisions in the next few years (not happening), emissions from China, India, Brazil and other emerging countries will increase substantially, much more than what we can reduce. Although it is good to be concerned, what we as Canadians do will have little to no impact.
  22. Liam O'Brien from Toronto, writes: It's interesting how people are most willing for sacrifices to be made a an ecomonic level that is far removed; while being least willing to make sacrifices that are close to them, such as gas taxes. Do people really think that higher qualify fuels will NOT cost more than current fuel? In reality, all of these measures will "hurt" the consumer - not that I have any problems with that, whatsoever!
  23. TERRI ROBSON from Kimberley, Canada writes: Why should Canadians pay more for anything??? The Governments of Canada at every level are at fault for not imposing tougher environmental laws.If the consumer only has one option to buy over packaged products what can they do??A fuel tax only gives the Government more monies with which to pay off the subsidization of big oil/gas.Until Canada renegotiates ALL it's supposed free trade deals we cannot have a true environmental act.That is what ALL main stream politcal parties know and KEEP HIDDEN FROM CANADIAN CITIZENS.
  24. Mike Bray from Indian Head, Canada writes: Some Canadians are prepared to make changes to their lifestyle for the environment and it is a healthy, enriching choice. Others need the carrot and stick approach to get their attention.A carbon tax and tax shifting has my support. The tarsands plus NAFTA and our addiction to air travel within one generation are major hurdles. You can pay me now or you-or your kids-can pay me big time later. The people flying past at 140 kms in the big SUVs are not going to voluntarily get with it. Some Canadians commitment to the environment is a mile wide and an inch deep unfortunately. Others only require information on what they can do as individuals to start them on the process of change--but most ads and coverage in our media are for selling products, not providing this much needed information. Governments are not much better.
  25. Dave Medich from Windsor, Canada writes: To get an even a clearer picture they should have asked: "Would you be willing to sacrifce for climate change even if it meant losing your job?"
  26. Paul C from Toronto, Canada writes: Why when it comes to the environment and the economy, everyone feels we must choose one or the other? Do you want a job or a clean environment? It is possible to have economic growth and a healthy environment for the future, however it might demand innovation and compromise - something that most are clearly not interested in.

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