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Lecture

Class 8 - Dale Marshall.docx


Department
Environmental Studies
Course Code
ENV 1101
Professor
Sonia Wesche

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Class 8: Dale Marshall
Public Opinion
A majority of Canadians believe global warming is occurring and that consequences are likely and catastrophic.
There is still a resistant minority (+/-25%) but there is a larger pool (48%) who are looking for action
Cascading support for action
About 40% of Canadians are willing to vote based on the issue and are willing to incur costs.
Our greatest supporters: women and Canadians under 35
Resistors: primarily older white men
The public knows that action means going beyond the 3Rs and generally does not believe that the Harper
government has the solution
Possible goal for environmentalists: It must become socially unacceptable to favour economic policies that harm
the environment.
Provinces
Ontario: coal shut down, Green Energy Act and feed-in tariff
BC: carbon tax, ban on coal, carbon-neutral government and municipalities
Quebec: efficiency programs, 4000 MW of wind, investment in transit
Nova Scotia: cap on electricity emission
Alberta: wants to increase emissions, develop tar sands, build coal-fired power plants (Genesee 3, Keephills 3,
Maxim…)
Saskatchewan: highest per capita emissions, greatest increase since 1990
Strategies for environmental groups
Publish research on state of problem or policy/economic/technology solutions
Lobby government (elected + bureaucrats) to take action
Educate/mobilize the public to put pressure on government
Organize direct actions (legal or illegal) to raise profile of CC
Form coalitions (with friendly or unlikely constituencies
Work at provincial level to get action and put pressure on feds
Attend high-level meetings (UN, G20, premiers’ meetings, etc.) to raise profile of issue and put pressure on
governments
Other?
Crucial Role of Government
Tackling climate change has to be a societal undertaking
Personal lifestyle creates 22% of Canada’s emissions
Industry creates more than 50% of Canada’s emissions
Need government policies so everybody does fair
Polluter pays
Regulations
Climate Debt, Climate Justice
Rich people and countries are largely responsible for the problem of climate change
Shell in Nigeria
The impacts, however, are overwhelmingly being felt by the poor and vulnerable
Examples
Average Chinese, Indians without energy, Bangladeshi women, Burundi TV
Climate refugees, weather disasters
Personal and Political
Benefits of working for environmental group: like-minded colleagues, sense of solidarity, being able to work on important issue
Disadvantages: powerful opponents burnout
We need citizens that aren’t “environmentalists” to be calling for action since we have less credibility with respect to the science,
because we work on the issue
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