Easier said than done - Macleans.ca

Easier said than done


The enduring riddle of opinion polling and the relationship between what people say they want and what people actually want is perhaps best captured by this bit from a new Environics poll commissioned by the Council of Canadians.

71% of Canadians strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement: “The money spent on wars and the military would all be better spent on efforts that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of climate change.”

Dan Gardner mocks. The necessary follow-up would be this: Do you agree that all the money in the defence department should be shifted to environment?


Easier said than done

  1. Council of Canadians, eh? The awful nutso phrasing in that survey question is actually right up their alley.

  2. The money I spend on rent would be better spent on beer and popcorn.

    Of course, then I'd have no where to live.

    But that's a problem for Future Jeff.

  3. Yeah, we had our chance on that and blew it.

    Everyone wants a clean environment…as long as it's free of course.

    We did the same kind of thing with Senate reform on Meech and Charlottetown, and then gave Quebec nation status anyway.

  4. Brilliant.

    I think Future Jeff will be fine, especially with such a cool name!

  5. I think all money spend on health care should be spent on researching hyper drive technology.

  6. Dan Gardner, in 140 characters or less, can be equally superficial in analysis. Even in lengthier columns. And follow-up.

  7. Award winning author, centre-right…no wonder you disagree with him

  8. That's pretty good for less than 140 characters, Dot.

  9. We recently exchanged emails on a recent column he wrote. He quit corresponding when he was proven wrong on a point. It had to do with events leading up to the 2008 election. Partially related to his tweet, in fact.

  10. Surveys also show that 71% of Canadians agree the government should keep dihydrogen monoxide out of our rivers, lakes and streams.

  11. Please expand on all this here, in a public forum, for the purpose of scoring points against Gardner !!!

    (Cats loves this kind of thing, i'll grab some cat-corn and relax!)

    Haha no seriously though, it was pretty good of him to correspond with a read to begin with eh ?

    Cats away!

  12. Yes, I was surprised he responded, but like all of the other members of the PPG who obsessively twitter, not really.

    I put Potter in the same class. He was on TVO's The Agenda last night. He should stick to writing.

  13. Ahhh well, if you don't like him because you 'proved' him wrong, that answers the whole thing then.

  14. Sounds more like the Harper cabinet talking.

  15. Actually, the column I took issue with was the one where he claimed Harper could be considered as a strategic master due to his handling of the climate change issue. I claimed Harper was more lucky due to the worldwide recession. Facts were exchanged.

  16. That statistic is all wet, Crit.

  17. Water-loo: The French and English had differing ideas.

  18. The other 29% disagreed solely because the question sounded too sciencey.

  19. Go soak your heads, both of you! You're dampening the mood.

  20. Right. Like your dry wit is soooooo much better than my dripping sarcasm.

  21. Hey, stop using your dripping sarcasm to rain on my parade!

  22. I know dripping sarcasm can be irrigating sometimes, but I am only trying to help keep all the mini-Crits happy. Will no one think of the tadpoles?

  23. Did the talibans participate in this poll, cuz you know lead poisoning is running rampant over there.

  24. Climate change isn't caused by man and isn't really happening.

    Is Gardner really centre-right as Emily says ??

    I've found is columns smug, annoying, and left wing. At the same time they've steeped in a religious, dogmatic approach to science, statistics, evidence, etc etc.

    Prussian technocrat Cats!

  25. He's a smart guy. But risking arrogance due to accolades. I think he will welcome criticism. Quietly. The more successful do.

  26. That's what makes us uniquely Canadian.

  27. So we can bypass the petro-ambulance and arrive at the ER in a sub-atomic particle storm to await the mandatory 12 hours needed to find a qualified "doctor" ?

  28. Green Cats, Jealous Green Cats. Wannabe journalist thinks poetry is writing words twice.

    Presbyterian Terrier . . . Dogs Away!

  29. Maybe it's time somebody — actually — answered the question.
    So if all the money now spent on wars were shifted to the environment, would humanity be any safer?
    Would our species (and YOUR children) last longer?
    Any certainty?

  30. Safer? Yes.

    Healthier? Yes.

    Longevity? Yes.

    Certainty? Yes.

  31. I'm a metaphysical entity containing every single cat in the world !
    Why on earth would I want to be a journalist when I can be CATS ?!

    Is Gardner successful ? Is he even a journalist ? I thought he was just a random left wing columnist ?

    Aren't those a dime a dozen in Canada ?

    Questions to be asked of Fido before he gets in his digs.

    Poetry Cats ? I speaks how I speaks, no rhyme or reason behind it, no intention to be anything but the entity known as cats.

    Pretensions be gone! Fido along with them! Fishing Cats!

  32. So the west gives up fighting any wars, the world goes to hell in a hand basket and you think we'd be BETTER off ?

    Riiiiight. Not a believer in fairy unicorn candy cane la la la la land CATS!

  33. The world gives up fighting wars. Pay attention.

  34. Alright – is "But that's a problem for Future Jeff" a reference from somewhere, because it rings familiar, but I can't pin it.

  35. Cats have very short attention spans.

  36. Personally I think it's Bill the Cat, from Bloom County.


  37. Fighting global warming was sooo last decade.

    Get with it, no one really believes man causes the Earth to warm any more.

    Don't worry though. Socialists will find another cause to high jack, make their own, in an effort to destroy Western capitalism under the guise of "saving us".

  38. I believe the question pertained to the Canadian budget.

    You really think the Taliban knows or cares about global warming ??

    Seriously Cats ?

  39. Uh huh.

    And the Taliban is part of the world community since when exactly ??

    Get real Cats!

  40. In twenty years from now, students will be studying the downfall of journalism as we know it,

    and the media uncritically parroting that the "science of global warming was 'settled'", when that statement couldn't be further from the truth,

    will be exhibit "A".

  41. No, the question did not.

    The Taliban don't even know about 911, and in any case aren't our concern.

  42. Well they're just Afghans….around since kicking Alexander the Great's ass.

  43. LOL you wish.

  44. Again…because you can never collect your thoughts enough to do it in one post….you wish.

  45. Consider the question a different way: Are more people going to die because of rapid climate change than are killed in wars? And the answer is yes, probablyl.

  46. Dude, you are making the internet itself worse.

  47. Reading this thread was torture. Waterboarding, actually.

  48. Until the day the phrase "yo momma…" doesn't result in fist cuffs, someone will have to be willing to step in and cool them off. Sometimes talking works, many times when it's a mere " yo momma…" that started it, talking doesn't calm the waters because requires rational thinking.
    Having said that. Yes clean water, air and land is most certainly important. Money isn't the sole answer for that so much as getting people to stop being so lazy and clean up after themselves. Better yet, if you don't like cleaning; don't make the mess in the first place.

  49. I doubt we have to wait twenty years.
    Still it is a little disheartening to toss science completely aside because some lefties shout too loudly about wanting free canoes for all. "Warming" and "man-made" have distorted to basic need of understanding that we need to evaluate the long term implications of how we interact with the one proven livable planet that we know of.

  50. Heavens Mr Kitty (again, the name of my cat- I like to pretend that maybe it's him commandeering my laptop at 3AM)

    Gardner is like me, a centre left libertarian. Methinks we're a rare breed. He, like me, hates stupid people, which naturally leads him to dislike the current elected members of the Conservative party (note I said "current elected members of the Conservative party, NOT conservatives). I should probably add that this group of stupid people more than likely includes a strong majority of the opposition caucuses too…..

    (Quick aside- I think it's funny that you made some very reasonable comments above but you STILL get the minuses. Please get an IntenseDebate login- I want to see how low your score can go).

  51. The world doesn't need to be armed to the teeth because of some local temporary cultural thing.

    And we have to stop pumping C02 into the atmosphere.

  52. The two biggest mistakes the rightwing made were trying to re-create the European aristocracy….that we fled….over here….and making climate change a partisan issue.

  53. What's remarkable is how the predictions (recall they started more than ten years ago) have not only not turned out, they've been remarkably wrong.

    By now our winters were to start to fade away, yet as last year, we face another typical harsh cold one. Our coastal cities were going to have to start taking drastic measures (nothing), our great plains were going to turn into dessert wastelands (crops have been as good as ever). Of course all because the temps have actually slightly decreased over the last ten years.

    The computer models, as with any complex system, could never have predictive value (which is why models can't predict even isolated weather four days out),

    the "settledness" was proven an utter fraud, with many many studies and scientists not only casting doubt, but outright opposition,

    all the while the leftists utilized it as some holy grail to their statist control of the economy, while killing real environmentalism (fighting smog, refuse etc).


  54. Don't be absurd, chet

  55. Last winter while starting off cold was on average damned warm in many parts of the country for winter. This year may follow suit or it may not. Models are only as good as the information put into them.
    "Warming" is misleading in the sense that not all changes will be reflected in warmer weather. Weather being a micro-indicator of climate not necessarily the best.
    Coastal erosion is real, water table fluctuations are real and our data is a tip of the proverbial ice burg.
    I do however agree that demonizing CO2 has hijacked real research and resources.

  56. It's not demonized, it's identified as the problem.

  57. Chet/Biff is not interested in facts. S/he comes here and just makes stuff up and posts it like it were true. His/her only real goal being to derail the discussion.

  58. Actually, our cold winter may have been partly caused by global warming in the Arctic which caused the movement of air currents there to change, so we had the wind blowing from the north more than from the west.

    "…There is evidence that the effect of higher air temperatures in the lower Arctic atmosphere in fall is contributing to changes in the atmospheric circulation in both the Arctic and northern mid-latitudes. Winter 2009-2010 showed a new connectivity between mid-latitude extreme cold and snowy weather events and changes in the wind patterns of the Arctic; the so-called Warm Arctic-Cold Continents pattern…"

    Page 6: http://beta.images.theglobeandmail.com/archive/00

  59. Are the halfway sane rightwingers beginning to realise that they have been suckered by the oil companies' propaganda?

  60. And of course cooling is part of global warming.

    When you start with the conclusion and work backwards, instead of real science, such absurdities are the new normal.

    If it's warming, it's a result of man made global warming,

    and if its cooling, it's a result of man made global warming (even though cooling wasn't predicted, the new 'science' are now ex post facto justifications.

    Ice sheet increasing? No problem, it was SUPPOSED to happen. And forget our predictions about them being nearly gone by now.

    It's all an absolute joke, except so many have invested so much into believing it, its become the new religion.

  61. As I was saying. Making it up as he goes along…

  62. Holding your breath for that one?


  63. People see the name CATS and hit the minus button!


  64. Isn't that, like, totally awesome in and of itself ?

    Such wonders that are event possible. Cats!
    (I should totally get a sidekick named KITTENS!)

  65. Right so we'll give up fighting and they'll continue.

    Total la la la land! unicorn fairy candy corn wishing doesn't make it so Cats!

  66. Stop breathing and farting? What will happen to my dear plants?

  67. That (among a frighteningly too long of a list) is one of the greatest smears perpetrated by the left.

    All of those esteemed scientists who's studies defy this, at best speculative theory,

    have to endure false smears to their reputation.

    For the new crime of enviro blasphemy.

  68. And it's hard to fault even the leftists here, who desperately want to believe it.

    Because all of the things I've been referring to, were allowed to shatter the media driven global warming myth.

    The media gatekeepers pretty much blacked out all of it.

    Which is why you'll see that same misleading clip from that same iceburg falling into the ocean (they've been doing that for thousands of years from now) thousands of times with the headline, ARCTIC ICE SHEET METLING,

    But nary a peep when it's now clear that the arctic sea ice is pretty much where it's alway's been

    (and the large antarctic sea field is actually growing).

    That's one of a thousand examples.

  69. You'd better tell Harper then, because he's spending billions in the Arctic since it's now open to oil exploration and shipping, invasion and immigration.

  70. I think "How I Met Your Mother" has been using it a lot recently….but I suspect it goes back to an older movie.

  71. chet, if you can't be bothered learning anything about it, it's pointless for you to comment.

  72. chet is lying again about scientists whose studies contradict global warming. The denialist scientists have not published peer-reviewed research disproving the widely accepted science of climate change; they are too busy getting paid by oil companies to spread BS.