A new study co-authored by University of Montreal researchers indicates 56 per cent of Canadians don’t believe climate change is caused by human activity.
The researchers, also from four U.S. universities, including Yale, surveyed a total of more than 5,000 Canadians over the last five years.
“The skepticism was a bit surprising,” said Érick Lachapelle, who co-authored the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication study, which is being submitted to a scientific journal for publication and has not yet been peer reviewed.
“I think it is partly because Canadians are less knowledgable than one might think on the topic.”
The study did not ask what people felt was causing climate change, if they did not believe it was caused by humans.
Nor did it say whether the proportion of Canadians who thought climate change was caused by humans had changed over the five years of the study.
Deep divides in belief
While 79 per cent of Canadians do not doubt the reality of climate change, they are deeply divided on what is causing it, the study indicates.
For example, only 17 per cent of people living in the Fort-McMurray-Cold-Lake riding in Alberta believe climate change is caused by humans.
That compares to 63 per cent in the Quebec riding of Laurier-Sainte-Marie, where the rate is the highest in the country.