Political Position Paper Masquerading as Business Survey

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Look to the Financial Post business magazine ad feature (attached) for the latest bit of public relations spin on climate change and Kyoto.

In a “report” co-sponsored by the COMPAS polling group and the accounting giant BDO Dunwoody, the FP business mag begins with a fairly even-handed reporting of the state of climate change opinion in Canada’s corporate offices. The piece reports that 50 per cent of the executives surveyed believe carbon gases cause climate change and a further 37 per cent believe some change may be occurring naturally or admit that they just don’t know. Those are similar to the results of a survey that Angus Reid conducted of the general public in March, showing that 38 per cent of Canadians blame global warming exclusively on human activity, while 42 per cent think it is naturally occurring, but that human activity may be making it worse.

The FP advertisement, however, goes on to a two-page attack on the Kyoto accord – and one that takes full advantage of the federal Conservative Party’s position that Kyoto is somehow particularly unfair to Canada. Most suspect is the extensive use of unattributed quotes – anecdotal arguments of no statistical validity.

It is especially interesting that the FP felt it had to publish this “information” as an advertisement in its own magazine rather than giving it to a Financial Post or National Post reporter to judge on its merits. Perhaps they think it wouldn’t have passed the smell test, even in the often agenda-driven offices of their own newspaper.

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