Thursday, March 17, 2016 by JD Heyes
The federal government’s various agencies and bureaus are always finding unique and amazing ways to waste our tax dollars, including, it seems, funding studies to find out how men and women interact with glaciers.
Worse, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon, the study appeared to be an effort to advance militant feminism.
The head honchos at the National Science Foundation thought it would be a good idea to spend $400,000 of the people’s money on a study that examined the “relationship between gender and glaciers,” and what’s more, actually published a scientific paper about the study titled, “Glaciers, gender, and science,” published in January 2016.
Researchers have now concluded that “ice is not just ice,” and have urged scientists to take a “feminist political ecology and feminist postcolonial” approach when they are examining melting polar ice caps and climate change – apparently hinting that such phenomenon (which aren’t real to begin with) will somehow more adversely affect women.
“Glaciers are key icons of climate change and global environmental change,” the paper by Mark Carey, a professor at the University of Oregon, said. “However, the relationships among gender, science, and glaciers–particularly related to epistemological questions about the production of glaciological knowledge – remain understudied.”
More bizarre stuff – a male pontificating about feminism.
“Merging feminist postcolonial science studies and feminist political ecology, the feminist glaciology framework generates robust analysis of gender, power, and epistemologies in dynamic social-ecological systems, thereby leading to more just and equitable science and human-ice interactions,” the paper said.
The paper goes on to argue that glaciers are capable of shaping “religious beliefs and cultural values,” and that climate change has the potential to cause the “breakdown of stereotypical gender roles and even ‘gender renegotiation,’” whatever that is supposed to mean.
The paper does argue that glacier research should somehow involve more feminine perspectives, but it does not define male or female for the researchers, only “as a range of personal and social possibilities.”
And remember, you paid for this.
“A critical but overlooked aspect of the human dimensions of glaciers and global change research is the relationship between gender and glaciers,” the paper said. “While there has been relatively little research on gender and global environmental change in general there is even less from a feminist perspective that focuses on gender (understood here not as a male/female binary, but as a range of personal and social possibilities) and also on power, justice, inequality, and knowledge production in the context of ice, glacier change, and glaciology.”
Okay, so why even fund something like this? The National Science Foundation funded it as part of a project that initially sought to “examine the early development and subsequent evolution of the five main aspects of glaciology.” In all, the study has cost taxpayers $412,930.
Carey decided to add the gender component to the study after he hired a University of Oregon student who said that “women’s voices are rarely heard in glacier-related research,” the school noted, without bothering to explain other factors that may have contributed to a dearth of female research voices (like, perhaps, there aren’t very many women even interested in this body of “research”).
“I wanted to know more about the relationship between women and ice, so we pursued the topic from climate-change vulnerability to knowledge,” said the student, Jaclyn Rushing, an environmental studies and romance languages major (don’t you just wonder where she’s going to work after she finished getting this degree?).
“Jaclyn found a report that noted how women are more vulnerable to glacier changes and hazards than are men,” Carey said. “I had never researched these gendered vulnerabilities.”
A separate report added even more insult to the taxpayer. C-FACT, a group dedicated to reporting what is really happening with our planet’s climate and weather, said that the studies have cost taxpayers roughly $709,000.