Community polls

Every month we send out our newsletter, in which we include a poll, as well as results from the previous month’s poll. Open polls, as well as completed ones, are below.

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April, 2024

Canada is facing significant demographic changes, including an aging population and a slow growth rate of the working-age population. At the same time, the country is experiencing steady immigration, which plays a crucial role in maintaining population growth and supporting the economy. With climate change intensifying globally, there is also a growing need to provide refuge for climate migrants who are displaced by extreme weather events and environmental degradation.

Considering these factors, we would like to understand your views on the importance of increasing immigration levels to address both demographic challenges and the humanitarian need to support climate migrants.

How important do you believe it is for Canada to increase its immigration levels to address both demographic challenges and climate migration?

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March, 2024

Our last community poll question tried to get at one of the more tricky debates regarding environmental activism, but the answers were pretty conclusive as to the belief in the power of individual action.

A majority answered, yes, individual actions are essential and can make a meaningful difficult in the fight against climate change.

Nearly a quarter answered that they are a distraction, with the responsibility for pollution resting with large corporations and governments.

Slightly more than a quarter chose the “Other” option, with Melanie, Lee, Kathrine, and “J” noting that both are important.

It’s hard to disagree with that answer, but what if we made choosing it answer a bit more difficult? If you have to choose one, either all of our efforts focused on individual actions, or focused on regulating large emitters, which would it be?

What are your thoughts on the concept of a carbon footprint? In the past, this metric, used to measure the amount of carbon an individual’s lifestyle generated, was one of the most prominent features in environmental messaging. It seemed to offer a neat, well-defined way to understand exactly how much your lifestyle contributed to climate change, and, accordingly, some direction in how to reduce that.

While not without value, the carbon footprint concept was popularized by the public relations arm of the oil giant BP, principally as a way to emphasize the need for individual action, with the goal of diverting attention from the need to regulate activities of corporations such as itself.

Just to give a sense of individual vs corporate responsibility, global subsidies to fossil fuel interests in 2020 amounted to nearly $6 trillion. This is what fossil fuel companies are desperate to protect. On the other hand, if every single person on the planet were to stop eating meat, stop purchasing fast fashion clothes, and minimize their air travel, GHG emissions would be reduced by only 25% of what is necessary to meet the Paris Accord goal of limiting warming to less than 1.5°C.

Finally, one person reached out via email saying they would like to explore this issue further, asking if there was any way to facilitate a more in-depth conversation about it.  If anyone would like to get involved in a discussion on this, or, for that matter, any other issue, let us know. We’d be happy to help facilitate that.

February, 2024

February’s question addressed political will, and whether there is enough of it in Canada to do what’s necessary to achieve net-zero emission goals.

The vast majority thought that we are not doing nearly enough, with one stating that even net-zero isn’t enough, and that we need negative emissions to get back on track, and few were unsure

Being unsure about this question is itself interesting, and may indicate the lay of the land, currently with respect to where we are with efforts to achieve net-zero, as opposed to simply not knowing how to answer. There certainly is ambiguity regarding the goal, since it’s been clearly communicated as something we will meet, yet there’s increasing concern regarding whether we are, in fact, doing enough to do that.

Finally, Ric took the time to share his concern that we might starve or freeze first, and so what’s the point? He is also under the impression that “BUBBLE advocates don’t have any day to day bills to meets/survive.” I’m not sure who he’s referring to as bubble advocates. My best guess would be small children, and in that case I suppose I’d agree with him, since they don’t have the primary responsibility for paying bills. And so it all makes sense.

Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

January, 2024

We had a great response to this month’s poll.

In addition to answering the provided questions, a number of people added comments, noting what they are seeing and what they are most concerned about.

Fires, in particular forest fires, and the impacts they have on air quality, featured prominently. Larry noted that they had to stay inside a number of days this past summer, which many of us can relate to.

Flooding was another major concern, with s.hirst commenting on damage experienced to their house.

Brent, Mirjana, and George all noted that climate change is likely to cause increased political instability. (This is an issue on our radar for an upcoming Issue In Brief.)

And, the very Canadian concern of the loss of ice surfaces (connecting to the loss of traditional experiences and the deep cultural impact that has) was raised by Kevin.

In what time-frame do you think climate impacts will directly affect you?

Some examples of what directly affected means: damage to your property, or an increase in the price of a product that requires you to make a hard choice (to buy it means to not buy something else).

Results

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A monthly missive, full of information on what’s happening in Simcoe County and beyond, community polls you can vote on, and deep dives into key topics.