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Oh, that's the problem, of course

08 Dec 2021 | OP ED Watch

Although the trash from COP26 has largely been swept away, and the ambitions, we would be remiss if we did not mention that the solution to climate change actually was found there. We need fewer white males. Duh. “The over-representation of white men in climate change decision-making processes is stifling for both the imagination and the implementation of transformative solutions.” You’re so right. Why if Gustav Thunberg were a girl nobody would have listened to her. Especially not at a giant international climate gathering.

Still, once you’ve noticed the PPP (Pale Patriarchal Person) problem, all you have to do is say what the women of colour would be advocating if the UN Climate Movement were not such a closed shop. Because you see “when decision-making processes incorporate gender perspectives, and meaningful participation by women, solutions are often more comprehensive and durable.” See? Easy. Except the part where you find out what to do.

Perhaps the author didn’t bother telling us the details because she is “is a research fellow and lecturer in international relations at the Australian National University” whose “research agenda is motivated by the grand challenge of understanding gendered insecurities, contestations and transformative politics in the context of multiple and intersecting crises” rather than, say, a climate scientist or an engineer or something boring and technical of that sort. And it’s also a bit of an issue because “Research shows that ‘women occupy a larger share of NGO representatives to each Cop than their government delegate counterparts’. Allowing civil society groups to play a direct role in climate negotiations creates space for diverse perspectives and forms of expertise.” So they were already there, engaged and informed, in large numbers. And what did they say? What are their comprehensive and durable solutions?

Uh, same as the men’s, aka bupkis. But here’s the scoop: “The global climate change agenda has met with not only political inaction, but resistance in the form of populist denialism that threatens to derail or undo existing efforts. For example, studies on ‘conservative white males’ in the US and Norway have highlighted the connections between climate change denialism, patriarchal beliefs and rightwing nationalism.”

Some who believe this stuff might take the old-fashioned view that its their conservatism that’s the problem rather than their whiteness or maleness. But at the end of the day, what if even the enlightened non-denialist non-patriarchal male leaders who appoint a half-female cabinet still can’t think what to do?

It could happen because apparently another major problem is that men like science. Which is apparently bad, even if denying science is bad too. See “I have found in my own recent research that the lack of diversity at UN climate summits is both a cause and effect of the ‘securitisation’ and ‘scientisation’ of climate change. Dr Sherilyn MacGregor of the University of Manchester argues that climate change has been represented both as a scientific problem and as a threat to security. Science and security have been traditionally male domains, where knowledge production and validation have been seen as the territory of a very narrow and male-centric set of ‘knowers’.”

Boo. Mean knowers. Narrow knowers. Thus “the participation of female scientists in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the authoritative international body responsible for assessment on all scientific information relating to climate change – has gradually increased but remains low, with women making up just 32% of authors of a recent report.”

Wait a minute. Women make up a third of the authors, including the co-chair of the scientific panel, yet had no opportunity to put in the vital ideas we eagerly await? In any case you know the solution, right? It’s communism, as always.

“Unless the way our global leaders frame the climate crisis changes, we will continue to force women’s participation to fit within very rigid sets of expertise, procedures and diplomatic styles that do not lend themselves to creating radical global and systemic change.” So we do know what women would say, because this woman said it.

As has some marginalized person called Greta Thunberg. “We are not willing to compromise on the very basic safety levels that still remain. The climate and ecological crisis can unfortunately no longer be solved within today’s systems. According to the current best available science, that’s no longer an opinion. That’s a fact.” Which awkwardly sounds a lot like both “securitization” and “scientization” by a “knower” validating knowledge. And is a bit vague.

Still, women have spoken. All we need is radical global and systemic change. Never mind what kind. That’s such a male question.

2 comments on “Oh, that's the problem, of course”

  1. Laugh or cry at this stupidity, it will make little difference. The towering heights of the proponents of such crass nonsense refuse to recognise the essential elitism of their view. If we define elites as those that matter, even if what they say, advocate or do has no real world utility. Or indeed, intersect with fact not at all.

  2. We need to have way of supporting Lee Floyd without commenting. (Such as a love button)
    I am at the point of weeping for my planet, the stupidity, the ignorance, the lack of understanding numbers. God save us . Biden wont.

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