Most willing to sacrifice for environment: poll
Published Friday, January 26, 2007 11:07PM EST
An increasing number of Canadians are willing to make sacrifices for the environment, according to a poll conducted for CTV News and The Globe and Mail.
About 93 per cent of those surveyed said they were willing to make some kind of sacrifice to solve global warming, according to findings from the poll conducted by the The Strategic Counsel.
According to the results:
- 76 per cent are willing to pay to have their houses retro-fitted to become more energy efficient
- 73 per cent would reduce the amount they fly to times when it is only absolutely necessary
- 72 per cent would pay more for a fuel-efficient car
- 62 per cent are willing to have the economy grow at a significantly slower rate
- 61 per cent would reduce the amount they drive in half.
Richard Briggs is one of those Canadians who has changed his ways for the environment. In fact, even winter's bitter cold can't keep him from biking to work. There's no car for him to drive, because he's never owned one, and he says he never will.
"I have never taken the bus to work. I don't even know what the routes are that get me there," he told CTV News.
Richard Briggs' wife Carole doesn't use a car either. She walks her kids to the babysitter, and while getting by without a car is not always easy with the little ones, the Briggs say it's a sacrifice they're willing to make for the environment.
"I think that it is sort of one huge step that one can take to contribute to a healthier planet," she said.
Carole Briggs is not alone. About 83 per cent of those polled say they feel global warming has the potential to harm future generations.
Still, 64 per cent of survey respondents said they were not ready to pay significantly higher prices for gasoline or home heating fuel.
Environmental activists reject the idea that the personal sacrifices or the economic costs of going green are too high.
"We're still biological creatures. If we don't have clean air, if we don't respond to the climate that affects our lives, we're in deep trouble. How can we put the economy above the reality of the world that we live in?" said David Suzuki, the advocate, author and journalist who has become the face of the environmental movement in Canada.
- Results are based on tracking among a proportionate national sample of Canadians 18 years of age or older.
- Interviews were conducted between Jan. 11 and Jan. 14, 2007.
- The national sample size is 1,000. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
- The Quebec sample is 247. The margin of error is 6.3 percentage points.
- The Ontario sample is 379. The margin of error is 5.0 percentage points.
- The Western sample is 297. The margin of error is 5.7 per cent.
- The "rest of Canada" sample is 753. The margin of error is 3.6 per cent.
With a report from CTV's David Akin