Predicting change: Polls vs. reality
As I write this column, the October 19 election is pending, so I have no idea who Canada’s Prime Minister will be. At this point, polls indicate a Liberal minority government. However, polls are inconclusive – as are pundits’ predictions.
Intriguingly, pollsters primarily contact land line users: cell-phone and social-media polling is still in its infancy. This means that polls may not reflect opinions of a vast group of Canadians – and in particular, the youth vote.
It will be fascinating to see the denouement on October 19, when predictions morph into reality. Similarly, predictions concerning climate change are equally challenging.
Transformational energy shift
Many of us believe climate change is the most pressing issue facing our planet. Accordingly, we are interested in reducing our use of fossil fuels, and adopting a transformational shift to sustainable energy sources.
Increasingly, ordinary people are talking about a paradigm shift in energy production. We are eager to hear from political leaders about how Canada can benefit from the wealth of exciting and sustainable new jobs such changes would bring.
Hence, undeniably serious issues related to climate change are perceived by many people to represent not merely challenges but also, very real and ongoing new growth in Canadian scientific research and development, industries, businesses, and services.
2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference
The governments of 190 nations are gathering in Paris in early December for the 21st annual UN Conference on Climate Change.
The objective is to have all countries accept a legally binding, universal agreement on climate. The goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions to limit Earth’s global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. (Wikipedia.org)
The Guardian newspaper offers insights into the Paris meeting and explains some goals, “We know already what the biggest emitters have committed to. The EU will cut its emissions by 40%, compared with 1990 levels, by 2030. The US will cut its emissions by 26% to 28%, compared with 2005 levels, by 2025. China will agree that its emissions will peak by 2030...
“What we already know, however, is that the commitments made, and likely to be made by December, will not by themselves be enough to hold the world to no more than 2C of warming.” (theguardian.com)
They cite serious challenges such as poverty as impediments to attaining goals. How can poorer countries adapt, when first-world-wealthy nations such as Canada aren’t pulling their weight? Will the World Bank step in to fund such nations? As we can imagine, funding is a contentious issue.
Hopefully, a new Canadian prime minister will lead a fresh, participatory approach and engage with world leaders to move forward with confidence to embrace sustainable energy, new technologies, and a bold new vision.
Indicators of climate change
We can all look to offshore examples of climate change and feel secure. Coral reefs are dying. Who cares here in Pontiac and Gatineau?
Here in the Outaouais, however, we’ve enjoyed a frost-free autumn, where the old adage of “first hard frost happens by the first full moon in September” has been blown out of the water.
Climate change is upon us. But let’s not quake in fear. Instead, we must participate actively in the Paris meeting, and we urgently need to be led by leaders who embrace sustainable change. Will the polls be accurate? Will Canadians have new leadership on October 20?
I sincerely hope so.
Contact Katharine at firstname.lastname@example.org
and visit her at katharinefletcher.com