25 September 2019

While climate denialists continue to post froth-mouthed rants about Greta Thunberg following her remarkable speech to the UN, some are noticing a pattern — it’s girls and women who cop the most vicious abuse. Canada’s environment minister noted, “Misogyny and climate denial seem to go together.” Swedish academics studying climate denialism suggest the problem is that “a certain group of men, and a certain type of masculinity… think of natural resources as something that exists for humans to grab, use, and create value from” and that climate change (and responses to it) poses a threat to “a certain kind of modern industrial society built and dominated by their form of masculinity”. Hettie O’Brien sums up their problem: “Accepting the truth of climate science involves recognising that the supremacy we have long exerted over our natural environment will have to subside. Denialism amounts to a strange form of identity politics among those who feel threatened by the sweeping changes that environmental breakdown makes necessary.” (Ironically, the same men are likely to rant about identity politics…)