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Majority of B.C. Poll: Majority of B.C. residents link climate crisis with an increase in natural catastrophes

Majority of B.C. Poll: Majority of B.C. residents link climate crisis with an increase in natural catastrophes

Most B.C. residents blame climate change for an increase in natural disasters, and nearly half are stressed out about the future, according to a new poll.

According to a new Leger poll, 40% of residents feel really stressed about climate change after this month’s catastrophic floods in B.C.

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A strong majority in B.C. According to a new poll released Friday, a strong majority in B.C. ties an increase in natural catastrophes in the province to the climate or ecological crises.

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The Leger poll, conducted from Nov. 19 to Nov. 21 for Postmedia, found that 74 per cent of respondents agree there has been an increase in natural disasters such as wildfires, drought, and floods in the past five years, and that climate change is responsible. Nearly half (49%) of respondents blame large corporations.

The survey also shows that fear and uncertainty are growing about the future effects of climate change in B.C.

Since this month’s devastating floods in the province, the Leger poll found 40 per cent of B.C. Residents feel more stressed about climate change than the 29% who did the same before the floods.

It appears that optimism is also waning. When asked if they believe the climate emergency will make things better, only 35% responded post-flood, compared to 49% preflood.

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The poll also revealed that while most people expect to be affected either by wildfires, heat waves or floods, very few are ready to be evacuated from their homes.

Many people believe they can stay in their home in the event of a disaster. The poll found that 68% of respondents said they are ready to go without power, water, or help for 72 hours.

Metro Vancouver residents who live in urban areas or younger people (ages 18-34) feel less prepared to move into their homes.

B.C. is the best place to go for information about natural disasters. residents are most worried about the ones that have happened this year—namely wildfires, heat waves and floods. The poll shows that there are vast differences in the levels of preparedness and concern.

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For example, 62% said they were concerned about forest fires but only 22% are ready to respond to an evacuation order or alert.

It seems more are prepared for heat waves like the one in June that contributed to the deaths of hundreds of people (40 per cent) but it’s still not close to the number who are concerned about them (60 per cent.)

Just over half (51%) of polled people are concerned about floods, compared to 20% who feel prepared.

(Source: Leger)
(Source: Leger)

While government in B.C. encourages earthquake preparedness, the poll shows that only 19% of respondents are prepared for the Big One.

Another poll result is that while the majority of B.C. residents have emergency supplies such as flashlights, batteries, non-perishable food items, and first-aid kits, only about a third (35 per cent) have a “grab and go bag” in case of displacement. A similar percentage of respondents also have an emergency plan.

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Reed Omary's resolutions on solving climate crisis

The poll of 1,001 B.C. Adults have a margin of error of plus/minus 3.1%, 19 times in 20.

ticrawford@postmedia.com

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