“The fact that women travel less than men – measured in person- kilometers per car, plane, boat and motorcycle – means that women cause considerably fewer CO2 emissions than men and thus considerable less climate change.

“If women’s consumption levels were to be the norm, both emissions and climate change would be significantly less than today. To put it differently, if men were to change their behavior, emissions and climate change might be a much more limited problem as compared to what it is today.”–Gerd Johnsson-Latham

I recently debated Gerd Johnsson-Latham of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs on her assertion that men are primarily responsible for global warming. Johnsson-Latham authored a 2007 study called Gender Equality as a Prerequisite for Sustainable Development, excerpted above.

The debate was taped for a UK documentary called The Greener Gender. Below are some of my thoughts on the debate.

One of Johnsson-Latham’s main theories is that global warming is a gender issue because men pollute more. Men work more, drive longer, take airplane trips, etc., whereas women pollute less because they are at home and are not driving or traveling as much. 

I had problems with this for several reasons.  One of them is that I believe that many men do these things in part so they can earn the esteem, affection, love, and loyalty of women.  I said that one of the problems we have is that there is a big, big difference between what feminists want men to do — focus less on making money, spend more time taking care of their children, be less competitive — and what women in the dating market place want men to do. 

I said that this is a problem which I have never heard a feminist take responsibility for.  I said, “The first time I hear a feminist say that women have to change their expectations of men and their choices of men, she will be the first.” To my surprise and pleasure, she said, “Well, let me be the first” and said that women do need to take responsibility for this.

Johnsson-Latham said that men are the decision-makers in society, and that they want a consumer oriented-society. She believes that if women were in power, societies would be more about reproductive rights, women’s rights to control their sexuality, fairness and equality and safety for women.  My view is that if and when women are in positions of power, they’ll make the same decisions that men do. Most of what leaders do they don’t do because they are men–they do them because that’s what leaders have to do, regardless of gender.

The English commentator asked me how I got interested in men’s issues.  I explained that during the ’80s and ’90s there was a tremendous amount of man-bashing in our popular media. Men were blamed for everything and anything and their sins blown way, way out of proportion.  She replied, “Glenn is upset about man bashing but I’m upset about woman beating.  Women are beaten, they earn less money, they have less freedom, they have less power, and they face a grim reality.”

I replied that while women may indeed face a grim reality in some parts of the world — and men’s reality in those countries isn’t much better — it would be highly misleading to portray American women or Western European women or Swedish women as having “a grim reality.”

[Note: If you or someone you love is faced with a divorce or needs help with child custody, child support, false accusations, Parental Alienation, or other family law or criminal law matters, ask Glenn for help by clicking here.]

Glenn Sacks, www.GlennSacks.com

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