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global_warming
(08/02/09) -

Global Warming a Fact in Three Western Countries

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – A majority of adults in Canada, the United States and Britain believe global warming is a fact and is mostly caused by emissions from vehicles and industrial facilities, according to a poll by Angus Reid Strategies. At least 51 per cent of respondents in the three countries agree with this statement.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – A majority of adults in Canada, the United States and Britain believe global warming is a fact and is mostly caused by emissions from vehicles and industrial facilities, according to a poll by Angus Reid Strategies. At least 51 per cent of respondents in the three countries agree with this statement.

Conversely, 21 per cent of Britons, 19 per cent of Canadians and 17 per cent of Americans believe global warming is happening but is mostly caused by natural changes. Also, 20 per cent of respondents in the U.S., 16 per cent in Canada and 16 per cent in Britain believe global warming is a theory that has not yet been proven.

The term global warming refers to an increase of the Earth’s average temperature. Some theories say that climate change might be the result of human-generated carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. In 2007, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report which states that global warming has been "very likely"—or 90 per cent certain—caused by humans burning fossil fuels.

In 1998, several countries agreed to the Kyoto Protocol, a proposed amendment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The agreement commits nations to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The U.S. has not ratified the treaty, which is due to expire in 2012.

In October 2007, former U.S. vice-president Al Gore and the IPCC were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."

Last month, Jonathon Porritt—the outgoing chairman of the British government’s Sustainable Development Commission (SDC)—expressed dissatisfaction with the commitment of current British prime minister Gordon Brown to the fight against global warming, saying, "He’s got some incredibly fixed ideas. (…) Environment has never been Gordon Brown’s strong suit. Tony Blair fully understood the risk of climate change, and whatever you may think about him his commitment on that was completely genuine."

Polling Data

Which of the following statements comes closest to your view of global warming (or climate change)?

 

CAN

USA

BRI

Global warming is a fact and is mostly caused by emissions from vehicles and industrial facilities

56%

51%

55%

Global warming is a fact and is mostly caused by natural changes

19%

17%

21%

Global warming is a theory that has not yet been proven

16%

20%

16%

Not sure

9%

12%

8%

Source: Angus Reid Strategies
Methodology: Online interviews with 1,012 Canadian adults, 1,005 American adults, and 798 British adults, conducted from Jul. 23 to Jul. 28, 2009. Margins of error range from 3.1 per cent to 3.5 per cent.

Complete Poll (PDF)