Women are the cause of Climate Change! What?
Last June 2014, Mashable released an article titled, Women of the World: Kimye, Tackle Climate Change, claiming women are to blame for climate change. Since when did Climate Change become so sexist?
In 2013, a report by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reveals that global warming dates back even before the 1950s. Apparently the warming of the climate has been going around for decades, ice and snow slowly diminishing, rising sea levels, and an exceptional increase in greenhouse gases. This global phenomenon has been felt all over the world with everyone paying the price, constant heat waves around the globe, Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets losing mass, and large volcanic activities. IPCC explained that human influence has been detected as a great factor in climate change.
Accordingly, human influence has been the dominant cause of this global phenomenon since the mid-20th century. All humans, meaning both men and women, not just women are liable for climate change. But apparently Stephanie Buck, writer of the Mashable article, thinks otherwise. Buck supports her article with numerous researches pointing that women are to blame for all this. A UK government research suggested that women are ignorant of the current affairs and politics compared to men.
In a finding sure to ignite gender wars, research funded by the U.K. government suggests women around the world, and especially in Canada, are significantly more ignorant of current affairs and politics than men. It further states that consumption of news is “very much a masculine action, particularly in Canada, Norway, U.K. and U.S.” Though true, what does it have to do with climate change as human problem and why should it be blamed all on women?
Buck clarifies the responsibility of women over climate change since they are the primary caregivers for the generations to follow and are the ones setting examples and caring for the future leaders of our nation. Point taken, women should take part in this brawl but the blame should be put in all of us, men and women. What are we doing to battle this game?
The Current Situation
The truth about climate change is gaining more and more popularity across the globe. Organizations fighting climate change are becoming more outspoken while gaining their needed media and government attention. According to the 2013 Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Programme, there was a rise in the living standards in the southern hemisphere, and a significant reduction in the global poverty rate. In China alone, more than 500 million people have been lifted from poverty. What’s really remarkable about the report is that it shows that we have achieved the main poverty eradication target of the Millennium Development Goals. Apparently, this also indicates that these advances may be reversed if the government won’t deal with climate change.
In America alone, numerous states and companies have implemented laws to decrease carbon emissions. California, America’s most populous state, sued six largest carmakers Ford, General Motors, Toyota, Honda, Chrysler and Nissan alleging that vehicle emissions have contributed significantly to global warming.
Friends of the Earth Climate Justice Programme co- director Roda Verheyen, said that the move of California, being the largest carmaker in the US was “the most significant piece of climate change litigation that has ever been brought.”
Britain, which has been slow on the global warming battle has joined by committing to biofuels. The British government has ordered petrol stations in the UK to source five per cent of their fuel from renewable energy by 2010. Sir Richard Branson, British business magnate and founder of the Virgin group, pledged all profits from his Virgin air and rail interests to battle out the rising global temperatures. Most of it will be invested on biofuels, an alternative to oil-based fuels.
Looking at the reality around, despite numerous efforts, we still lack the manpower to battle climate change and not even an inch close to solving the problem.
An alarming fact revealed by the UN states that over the 13,950 peer-reviewed scientific articles published between January 1991 and November 2012 on “global warming” or “global climate change”, only 24 questioned global warming. This is less than one fifth of all the scientific articles on the topic. Where are we failing and how can we fight climate change?
- Science and our Beliefs
Even in the 20th century we are still having troubles with believing and acting in the line of science. While people have accepted the fact of global warming and climate change, people fail to understand the weight of the situation. Scientists explain that at the very least, a five-foot average sea level rise is possible by the end of this century if we continue to delay the global decrease in carbon emissions.
Over the last few years, the US experienced one of the worst droughts on record, a heat wave extending from the Rocky Mountains to the Ohio Valley, with devastating effects on the farmers of the entire region. On another note, Hurricane Sandy, the second-costliest hurricane in American history, would’ve caused widespread flooding over Boston if it had hit five and a half hours earlier, according to the Boston Harbor Association. They added that this was an effect brought about by global warming as sea levels continue to rise. Obviously, the effects of climate change are no longer theoretical, they’re here and they’re affecting people now.
- Sense of Emergency
Though we can see and feel the effects of climate change, people are failing to see this as an emergency to deal with and act upon fast. In the research titled, The Emergency of Climate Change: Why Are We Failing to Take Action?, Cynthia M. Frantz and F. Stephan Mayer points out that some still see climate change as “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people” (U.S. Senator James Inhofe, 2005).
Frantz and Mayer explains that human beings are very skilled at denying that which is inconvenient. And climate change is one inconvenient truth. Instead of producing
attitude change toward global warming, people are led towards avoiding the distressing information rather than addressing it. As such environmentalists should provide a clear path towards resolving the issue and not present it only with fear to acknowledge the situation as an emergency which could be resolved.
- The Industrial Revolution
The world has indeed been blessed with the coming of the Industrial Revolution but it has been one of the reasons why we are faced with this climate change. We are still largely dependent on fossil fuels and natural gas. However, various energy sources have emerged which are less harmful to the environment and are more sustainable.
In 1931, Thomas Edison said, “We should be using Nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy: sun, wind and tide. I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”
The cost of producing solar and wind energy is decreasing, the efficiency of these technologies is increasing in various regions. Top fossil fuel countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates have joined in switching to clean technologies. The United Arab Emirates recently inaugurated a 100-megawatt concentrated solar plant. Saudi Arabia has committed to invest $100 billion US dollars in solar energy. Gigantic things happening in sustainability are already recognized. We are already on the move towards that direction and hopeful that it’s not yet too late.
Pointing fingers will not lead us anywhere near eradicating climate change. Once people have regarded climate change as an emergency, then people should know their responsibility to do something about it. Developing countries point that industrialized nations are to blame for this warming but the UN explains that this debate won’t lead to anywhere. What the world needs is cooperation and a sense of responsibility.
McKenzie-Mohr and Smith (1999) argue that a sense of perceived control is largely impacted by our sense of community when tackling global issues. This means that people have a larger sense of self-efficacy if they work in cooperation with a group. Both developing and developed countries should work hand-in-hand towards the common goal of achieving economic growth with a low-carbon footprint. Developing countries must grow their economies in order to lift their population out of poverty and into welfare. In short, everyone is burdened with this responsibility as we are all living and breathing in one planet.
- Call for action and Implementation
So once we’ve moved beyond the previous setback, all that is left for us to do is act against global warming/climate change. However, it is human nature that people often do not act due to the inconvenience, the lack of resources, and even laziness. Acting against climate change involves repetitive actions and even change in your routine. Since people have long been enjoying the benefits of the Industrial Revolution, they may have problems changing their ways towards green sustainability.
It is a good thing that numerous companies have already gone green. By setting examples and offering sustainable options such as energy efficient home designs for people, more and more people are embracing the movement towards environmentalism. Moreover, condo sustainability has become a household term for most families looking for condominiums.
This article just shows the truth and our failure in battling climate change. We learned that numerous factors affects our actions as to why we find it difficult to solve climate change. People lack the belief that this is an emergency despite obvious catastrophes. Governments and nations lack the plan and manpower to implement the tasks towards sustainability.
In the end, addressing climate change requires tons of work but we should realize that now is the greatest opportunity to end climate change. We already have the technologies, the capital, and a large amount of manpower. What’s left to do is to cooperate and collaborate to this call and look forward to a sustainable environment, we could end this war against climate change.