- 03 May 2021
- 3 Minutes to read
Livestock, Crops & Forest Folks
- Updated on 03 May 2021
- 3 Minutes to read
Canada's most rustic lifestyle, this family-oriented group has a high proportion of farmers or agri-workers in its labour force, as well home-based businesses (like childcare or esthetician services, for example) and blue-collar trades or contract/construction work. Made up of couples and families ranging in age between 35 to 75, most adults have modest educations, but thanks to dual wage-earnings, they can count on solid, lower-middle and middle incomes, and own modest single-detached houses, where they make occasional investments in home and property improvement. Fishing, hunting, boating, and camping are common lifestyle pursuits. This segment is also noted for taking pride in purpose-driven vehicles: RVs, skidoos and ATVs. They're conservative-leaning and civic-minded, often engaged in political discussions on social media. With a strong self-reliant streak, they lead most segments in attending country music concerts, hockey games, doing local volunteer work, engaging in community events, or leading 4-H clubs.
What they think about climate change
You don’t need to tell these people what the effects of climate change are; they’re seeing it firsthand in their fields and on their land. The boundaries of flood plains are changing, droughts are occurring more regularly, and weather events are happening less often but when they do they are more severe. All of these issues are beginning to affect these individuals’ livelihoods, and it is a growing concern. Despite these growing concerns, climate change is a taboo topic, even though agriculture is responsible for 10% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. Rural Nova Scotia can be a polarized space: though most have accepted the realities of climate change, the more conservative-leaning families in this group are still resistant, as climate change, and policies to prevent it, might threaten their way of life. Because of this, families in this group might have lengthy conversations about the realities of climate change and its effects, but the phrase ‘climate change’ is never actually used. Despite this polarization, these individuals are committed to finding solutions that will support them in maintaining their livelihoods and their communities. For example, funding for renewable energy, increasing affordability of clean fuel, incentives for contributing to climate mitigation, and policies that strengthen rural communities will likely be received very well with this group. But policies or programs that will cost them more money, when they already feel that government regulations are too much of a hindrance, will likely see some resistance.
- Residential retrofits
- Non-residential retrofits
- EV fleets
- Solar PV and ground mount
- Wind turbines
- Reduced water use
- Solid waste diversion/reduction
How to Talk to Them about Climate Change
"This community is beautiful and strong, let's worth together to keep it that way. Agricultural families are our best partners in maintaining the resiliency of our communities into the future. The work of agricultural land stewards benefits everyone. We want to hear from you. Your voice is important as we plan for the future. New infrastructure and investment in the clean economy is an opportunity for everyone, with benefit to entrepreneurs, and well-paying jobs in industrial waste to fuel, wind power."
Case Study: The City of Nelson’s The Great Escape heat mapping program shows homeowners if heat is escaping from their houses. It is a 1-year initiative implemented by Nelson Hydro to help homeowners discover where heat is escaping and how to improve efficiency, reduce energy consumption and save money.
Resource: Communicating effectively with the centre-right about household energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. Learn the DOs and DON'Ts of communicating to right-leaning community members and what language to use.
Resource: Rural Attitudes on Climate Change. Lessons from national and midwest polling focus groups in the US. Learn more about how farming communities perceive and respond to climate change.