What do Canadians think about climate change? "Relative to respondents in the U.S., Canadians are more convinced that climate change is occurring, more concerned about it, and more willing to pay to address the issue," according to a researcher quoted in a November 6, 2013, press release from Canada 2020 — a thinktank offering "progressive policy for a modern Canada" — describing the results (PDF) of the Canada 2020/Université de Montréal National Survey of Canadian Opinions on Climate Change.
Asked, "From what you've read and heard, is there solid evidence that the average temperature of earth has been getting warmer over the past four decades," 81% of Canadian respondents said yes, 12% said no, and 8% said that they were not sure. Acceptance of global warming was highest in Quebec and the Maritimes (85%) and Ontario (82%), lowest in Manitoba and Saskatchewan (65%) and Alberta (71%). In the United States, 61% of respondents said yes, 25% said no, and 14% said that they were not sure.
Those who said that there was solid evidence of global warming were then asked, "Is the earth getting warmer because of human activity such as burning fossil fuels, or mostly because of natural patterns in the earth's environment?" In Canada, 58% of respondents attributed it to human activity, 15% to natural patterns, and 23% to a combination; 4% said that they were not sure. In the United States, 40% of respondents attributed it to human activity, 21% to natural patterns, and 36% to a combination; 3% said that they were not sure.
The Canadian portion of the survey was administered by Léger to a nationally representative sample of 1,502 adult Canadians (aged 18 and over). All surveys were conducted via telephone in English and French from October 10 to October 20, 2013. Calls were made using both landline and mobile phone listings. The margin of sampling error for the full sample is +/- 2.5% in 19 out of 20 samples. Results were weighted according to gender, age, language and region to reflect the latest population estimates from Statistics Canada (Census 2011).
The American portion of the survey was administered by the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion to a nationally representative sample of 984 adult Americans (aged 18 and over). All surveys were conducted from October 3 to October 14, 2013. Calls were made using both landline and mobile phone listings. The margin of sampling error for the US sample is +/- 3.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20. Results were weighted to gender, race income, educational attainment and age to reflect the most recent population estimates from the 2010 US census.