Why some Canadians don’t worry about Climate Change

4RG has on several occasions pointed out that public attitudes towards climate change are different as between Europe and North America.

Standard & Poors is a credit agency that assesses the financial stability of governments, banks, corporations, insurers etc.   A recent report from S & P on Sovereign Risk throws some light why there should be this difference in attitude.

The S & P report classifies the United States and Canada as among the least vulnerable countries to the risks of climate change. The report connects this relative invulnerability with national prosperity, reinforcing what has been stated many times:

“Sovereign [states] will probably be unevenly affected by climate change, with poorer and lower rated sovereigns typically hit hardest . . . ,”

Canadians intuitively share this conclusion. As a wealthy nation we don’t have to worry as much.

What’s more, as a Northern Hemisphere country well away from the hot spots of our planet, Canada will naturally survive better than other countries.

North Americans also believe that we are resourceful and can handle whatever a changing climate can throw at us. A pragmatic assessment . . . but certainly not a moral viewpoint.

Contrast that national attitude with European countries that will also be least impacted by climate change. A majority of voters in those countries support measures that protect the most vulnerable nations on the planet.

Canada should follow the lead of these European countries.



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2 thoughts on “Why some Canadians don’t worry about Climate Change”

  1. Sandeep,

    You are correct in stating that India is not an outspoken leader on combating climate change. The current Indian Government was elected on the basis that it would lift millions of its citizens out of poverty. The best way to do so is by increasing the supply of electricity while reducing its cost to an affordable level. So – like China before it – India intends to supply much of this needed electricity from coal-fired generating plants, the least expensive to build and the cheapest to run.

    The Indian Government defends this policy on the basis that as it did not create the present climate crisis, developped nations ought to be the principal source of mitigation/adaptation measures.

    India does have policies for the expanded production of renewable energy, which demonstrates that it is fighting climate change.

    A very short answer to a difficult question.

    Peter Jones

    Peter Jones

  2. Very interesting. Thank you! Do we correspondingly see a higher level of support for climate change mitigation/adaptation measures in the MOST vulnerable regions? I don’t get the impression that India, for example, is a leader or outspoken advocate on combating climate change. Why do you suppose this is?

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