07/25/2014 12:59 EDT

Average Canadian Climate Denier Is An Evangelical Man From Alberta Who Votes For The Tories


Stephen Harper is 55 years old, makes his home in Alberta, goes to an Evangelical church and, presumably, votes for the Conservatives. According to a new poll, that puts the prime minister in the high-risk group for climate denial.

The survey from Forum research found that the vast majority of Canadians (81 per cent) believe the climate is changing and that humans are responsible (58 per cent). But many still disagree.

Denial that climate change is taking place is most common for Evangelical Christians (32 per cent), Conservative voters (29 per cent), Albertans (20 per cent), and men (17 per cent). Denial was also common for 45 to 54 year olds (18 per cent), the least educated (17 per cent), Atlantic Canadians (19 per cent) and those who make between $40,000 and $60,000 (18 per cent).

Those who think something can be done about climate change tend to lie on the opposite end of the political spectrum.

The poll found Canadians are split about whether climate change can (42 per cent) or cannot (38 per pert) be reversed. Those who do believe the climate can be turned around tend to be Baby Boomers (51 per cent) from Ontario (47 per cent) who vote for the Liberals (47 per cent), have at least a post-graduate education (49 per cent) and identify as Protestant (46 per cent) or Catholic (47 per cent).

While Harper may fit the demographics of a denier, he has acknowledged that climate change is happening, though he hasn't been much of a supporter of schemes to do anything about it.

In 2007, Harper said "climate change is perhaps the greatest threat to the future of humanity." His government subsequently pulled Canada out of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. In 2002, Harper called the Protocol "a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations" and described the science behind it as "tentative and contradictory."

More recently, Harper said he won't alter Canada's business-friendly approach to climate change and praised Australia for getting rid of its tax on carbon.

"No matter what they say, no country is going to take actions that are going to deliberately destroy jobs and growth in their country. We are just a little more frank about that," Harper said.

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