Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Suzuki Foundation shrugs off Inconvenient Poll

Innovative Research Group's latest poll shows that when it comes to the environment, Canadians don't want to put their money where their collective green mouth is (Save the Planet, but Not on My Dime).

It seems that we would rather have government and technology to get together and manufacture a painless magic bullet. IRG Director Greg Lyle explains:

"The biggest thing is the secret hope that a lot of people have that technology is going to come to the rescue and that someone is going to invent an answer that won't cost us very much or inconvenience us very much. They're looking for a lowcost ... solution that doesn't place heavy demands on us. And, they believe it's out there."



Ann Rowan, a spokeswoman with the David Suzuki Foundation, yesterday "downplayed the findings of the poll because such tools do little to address the opportunities for change, she said."

( . . . )


Why would the majority of people say they're concerned about the environment and not want anything done? I mean, that doesn't make any sense."


Two words, Ms. Rowan - Human Nature.


We are so shallow.

* * * *

Update: Great piece here by the Post's Jonathan Kay about the environmentalist initiative to discourage folks from having those nasty little carbon-emitting earth-defilers (Send in the Assmonkeys). Red Tory will likely get a kick out of this one!

On the serious side, Getting Cooler.

22 comments:

Red Tory said...

That comment from Rowan is too funny.

I think your label (I’m never quite sure how serious those things are, Chucker just uses it for punchlines) is quite appropriate. Human nature indeed.

That said, I should point out that the correlation the article makes is logically flawed. It doesn’t necessarily follow that because 17% of people surveyed felt that the environment is the “most important” issue, that there’s any relation between this finding and the fact that a majority of respondents overall were not in favour of measures supposedly beneficial to the environment if they resulted in a hit to their pocketbook. Therefore, the assertion being made may not necessarily be true. I suspect that it is, but not by means of the reasoning in the article that purports to demonstrate it as actually being the case.

To put it another way, in order to substantiate the assertion as being true, you would have to survey the 17% only and then apply the favourability test to just that segment of the respondents.

Also, you could quite easily express the findings of the survey in an entirely different way. For example: “Less than one in five people regard the environment as an issue of paramount importance and the vast majority of people surveyed don’t support the idea of surcharges to encourage more environmentally responsible behaviour.”

Lies, damn lies, and... spin.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Excellent analysis, Red.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

BTW, let me know what you think about the update. ;)

Swift said...

Perhaps people are getting distrustful of the expensive left wing solutions to problems. Might I mention poverty, healthcare, and crime, just for starters. In fact these "solutions" just make things worse. Amazing that the left wing continues to promote these demonstratably failed "solutions."

Kyoto is bound to fail. In fact it is designed to fail. It was known when it was proposed that it would only slow down the rise in CO2 by only 6%. That was without the recent increase in the third world emissions. These third world emissions make Kyoto a drop in the ocean. If Canada eliminated ALL CO2 emissions tomorrow, the amount of CO2 emitted would go UP by the end of the year.

So if you believe in cutting CO2 emissions to save the planet, do your part to delay the rise in CO2 emissions for a few months. Stop using your car,and walk. Eat only food produced using animal power, and delvered the same way. If your house is heated by gas, get a wood stove. Cut your wood by hand, and carry it to your house on your back. Raise sheep in your back yard to make your clothing from. If you want cotton clothes, you can walk down to Geargia and carry a bale of cotton back. Don't forget you can't buy anything that has been made by any process that uses fossil fuels and you can't buy anything that has been transported using fossil fuels. I'm sure you will enjoy your new life style, and take great pleasure in the satisfaction you get from doing your part in saving the planet.

Red Tory said...

Joanne — Well, now you’ve given me two tremendous laughs already today. I don’t know what to say about that article by Kay. In between spitting up my coffee it kind of left me speechless. The “searing, cuckoo-pants rants” were just too funny for words, but also quite appalling in their hostility and the contempt expressed for human reproduction. “Broodsow”… Wow. Talk about harsh.

While I can’t abide children for the most part, I don’t understand the furious loathing and animosity that would provoke such vituperative remarks. There’s obviously a deranged psychosis at work with such people. That they would channel this malignant mental affliction into some greater ecological purpose seems quite irrational, but then extremists of all kinds usually are. And while I can appreciate forsaking reproduction as a matter of personal principle for one reason or another, wrapping such a decision in smug self-righteousness speaks more to their own failings than anything else.

What bothers me about Kay’s article though is that it appears to play off a reactionary meme that I’ve seen emerging in recent months, relating environmentalism to the issue of reproductive self-determination and population control. The gist of the theory apparently is that environmental extremists are almost per se “anti-life” or, to be more specific, anti-human life. To be honest, I haven’t given this a lot of consideration, but there’s something about this concept that doesn’t sit right, perhaps because I can’t help but think there’s possibly a broader innuendo at play, maybe even a desire to polarize the issue of climate-change (as if it needed to be any further) in a way that strikes me as quite distasteful. I’m not sure if this is deliberate messaging or if I’m just reading too much into it. Or possibly I’m crazy.

Calgary Junkie said...

Big surprise. The enviro-wackos are all talk, no action.

Kind of like the LPC "supporters" who have deep pockets and short arms !

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the Clancy novel where the eco-druids plan to infect the earth with a virus to kill off everyone but them, so they can continue to live in an eco-paradise....very creepy...

JCL

Red Tory said...

Joanne — I can see you’re going to get a lot of thoughtful analysis here today. Enjoy the parade of dim-witted goons making grotesque caricatures of enviro-nuts, leftie loons and liberal moonbats. Not a terribly helpful approaches to the issue, but good for some light entertainment no doubt.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Well, now you’ve given me two tremendous laughs already today. I don’t know what to say about that article by Kay. In between spitting up my coffee it kind of left me speechless.

I seem to have that effect on people. ;)


What bothers me about Kay’s article though is that it appears to play off a reactionary meme that I’ve seen emerging in recent months, relating environmentalism to the issue of reproductive self-determination and population control.

It's the whacko-extremists advocating this; others such as Kay are merely reporting it.

Of course, not all environmentalists are against human population growth - and even then the means advocated to reach that goal vary from birth control to much more nefarious means. (I'm picking up your vocabulary).

PGP said...

From a person who works for an organization that is all about the state meddling in the affairs of the public!

"Why would the majority of people say they're concerned about the environment and not want anything done? I mean, that doesn't make any sense."

No sense of irony at all.

Red Tory said...

Joanne — I’m just afraid of that broad brush sweeping my way. I resent that. I don’t like getting lumped in with the whacky kooks of the left and more so than I’m sure you do with nutty extremists of the right. It’s a shame that this issue, like so many others, has become so radically polarized along those divisive lines.

Red Tory said...

PGP — “True believers” and extremists never have any sense of irony. It’s something that makes them both insufferable and funny at the same time.

Swift said...

A little advice for Red, if you don't want to get tarred with the brush, don't run with the crowd.

PGP said...

Exactly Red! Exactly.
BTW - As a ghost you seem to be abiding by the correct rules of etiquette for the incorporial!

Phantasmagoria From Lewis Carroll

Kunoichi said...

While I can’t abide children for the most part, I don’t understand the furious loathing and animosity that would provoke such vituperative remarks. There’s obviously a deranged psychosis at work with such people.

I totally agree with what you're saying here! As I was reading the article, I was thinking similar thoughts. There's definitely something wrong with these people.

I'd like to think this is just a fringe group, but this attitude is far more common. I know people who have a lot of children - at least by today's standards. Growing up, I knew families of 10 or more children, and thought of my own family, with 5 of us kids, as small. For my own generation, it's different. Even having only 4 children is considered a big family today, and heaven help you if you've got more than that. People are amazingly rude! One mom I know has 6 children, and she has had strangers come up to her in the grocery store, admonishing her for having so many children - in front of her children!

I don't think a single person I know who has more than 2 or 3 children has escaped this. They get harassed, insulted and discriminated against regularly. Lectures about how much damage they are doing to the environment by having so many kids is pretty much the only crime they're accused of.

Red Tory said...

Swift — I don’t run with that crowd. You’ll find very few lefty-loons at my place. Even Dippers are rarely encountered. Today might not exactly be the best day to demonstrate that contention however. A bit of fun is being had by all at the expense of the recently late, and totally not lamented, Rev. Falwell.

Red Tory said...

Kunoichi — For the record, I have four kids. And yes, by today’s standards that’s considered a large family. I’m frequently amazed by the number of people who are almost dumbstruck at the fact… they intone it with some sort of befuddled wonder and amazement. And yes, people can be quite rude about it. I always love the ones who, when told that I have three girls and one boy, assume that the boy must have been the last. Presumably, they are working on the idea that we just kept trying until we got male offspring. What putzes. The other ones I like are those who ask whether they all came from the same father. Really… they do. Granted there’s different hair and eye colours amongst the bunch, but I simply cannot imagine the impertinence of someone to ask such a thing. Oh well.

Funnily enough, the only person who ever castigated me for having too many kids was… my father. That resulted in a rift that lasted for a number of years where I simply wouldn’t speak to the man. I’m sure he intended it in a good way (i.e., sacrificing my best self-interest for sake of a family), or at least I’d like to think so now, but aside from being stunningly misguided, I was deeply offended by that. It just struck me as an incredibly heartless thing to say.

Discrimination… yes, most definitely. Try finding a place to rent with four kids. Good luck with that. It’s shameful really. I suppose I can understand the position of landlords in that respect, but when you’re on the pointy end of the stick it’s hard to deal with.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The other ones I like are those who ask whether they all came from the same father. Really… they do.

Unbelievable!

Also very sorry your father reacted the way he did about the size of your family.

The irony of course is that in actual fact Canadians aren't even replacing themselves in terms of demographics - hence the need for large scale immigration.

Large families should be receiving a great deal of respect and assistance; not abuse.

Red Tory said...

Joanne — In fairness to the man, who was profoundly selfish in nature, he was an only child and the product of a barren, loveless marriage. He knew nothing of families and didn’t have a communitarian bone in his body.

Yes, it would be nice if things were a bit more “family friendly” in many respects, but as good “conservatives” you wouldn’t want to be messing about with the concept of “social engineering” now would you? Rather funny that, when you think about it. Incentivizing reproductive behaviour and putting in place measures to provide an environment more inclined to facilitate larger families through various social welfare programs targeted in this direction are all things that are an anathema to the “conservative” creed. Why, the cringing of your readers when I even mentioned “social welfare programs” just now was almost palpable. It's a bit paradoxical, you must admit.

By the way, I think you may want to put a finer point on what you’re saying about Canadians as a whole. Certain segments of our society are falling short on the reproductive front demographically speaking — others are not. This disturbs some people. Too bad, so sad. They had better get used to the concept and accept that Canada 30 or 50 years from now will be considerably changed from what they may conceive it to be today or in the fairly recent past; at least in basic ethno-cultural terms.

Kelly said...

Red Tory: I had to laugh when I read your post about the shock of people finding out you have 4 children. I too have 4 children, 3 girls and a boy - and the boy is last. I am amazed at how many people say, "oh, your youngest is a boy!", like it all makes sense to them now. For the record, we wanted 6, but changed our mind after 4 (4 kids in 5 years is plenty), it had nothing to do with wanting a boy. While in college, every one of my daughters were asked if all of their siblings were from the same parents. They just assumed is was a blended family. I have concluded that we are not the norm - and I'm okay with that!

Red Tory said...

Kelly — Amazing, isn't it?

My wife wanted more kids, but four was enough for me. I can't imagine how people with six or seven (or more!) do it. It's staggering.

Mac said...

I have two sets of friends who have six kids each. I always feel sorry for the older kids who end up getting parental duty for their younger sibs.

We stopped at two; a boy and a girl.