Misogyny, male rage and the words men use to describe Greta Thunberg

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    • #170775
      • Total Posts: 5,699

      Misogyny, male rage and the words men use to describe Greta Thunberg

      At a deep level, the language of climate denialism is tied up with a form of masculine identity predicated on modern industrial capitalism – specifically, the Promethean idea of the conquest of nature by man, in a world especially made for men.

      By attacking industrial capitalism, and its ethos of politics as usual, Thunberg is not only attacking the core beliefs and world view of certain sorts of men, but also their sense of masculine self-worth. Male rage is their knee-jerk response.

      Thunberg did not try to be “nice” when she confronted world leaders at the United Nations last week. She did not defer or smile. She did not attempt to make anybody feel comfortable.

      US President Donald Trump tweeted: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!” Happiness here aligns itself with conformity, and an unspoken idea that women and children are expected to be docile and complacent.

      But in reality, Thunberg is cutting through – rather than displaying – emotionalism. What certain kinds of men do not wish to acknowledge is that asking for action on climate change is entirely rational.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #170990
      • Total Posts: 1,679

      “docile and complacent” women rarely make HIStory.

      In America, “Liberty” means “Free to Die in Service of Capital” - Amfortas the hippie

    • #171001
      David the Gnome
      • Total Posts: 2,604

      It is hard some times, to remember what it felt like to be that young.  I’m as guilty as anyone of thinking “she’s just a kid”.  Sooner or later though, her generation will inherit the mess left by mine and those that went before mine.  They will come into adulthood in a world that is rapidly changing for the worse – and no one can predict how that will turn out.  Could be a solution will be found or implemented, one that at least slows the damage, gives us enough time to prepare for the dystopian future.  On the other hand, I very well may not be here when that happens.

      In the time we live in… it is hard to know the truth, hard to know who to trust.  When so much is driven by the profit motive and the endless urges of insatiable greed – when even so much research, so much of what we know is suspect because of who is funding it….

      It is a complex mess to untangle.  I suppose we know HOW to slow climate change, but the question is one of WILL.  @thouartthat has said many times that we need to stop flying and driving – among other things – and while those ideas could work, I just don’t see them ever being implemented – not until it is too late.  The technology we need is there, or on its way, but it seems to be coming too late for us.

      If climate change is indeed to be the end of the world as we know it, I think we need to start taking “kids” – especially those like Greta Thunberg, more seriously.  They have the passion and energy of youth, that many… even my age (35) just don’t have anymore.  Perhaps they have the will to do the things that their parents and grandparents could not.

      • #171192
        • Total Posts: 3,247


        Hi David,

        Regrettably, the technology is not there despite all the techo-porn pushed at Western citizens daily.

        The reality is that all human activity generates CO2.  With that understood there are only two questions.

        1. What level of human activity can coexist in harmony with the planet?  That is to say what amount of CO2 generation can be absorbed by the planet naturally without raising atmospheric concentrations leading to global warming.
        2. How much CO2 must now be removed from the atmosphere to remain below the threshold of harmony.

        Climate scientists tell us that the upper safe thresholds of atmospheric CO2 are roughly 350 parts per million.  Climate scientists also tell us that current measurements show we are now at 410 parts per million and rising.  And with that present reading we are told that just to stabilize present CO2 concentrations requires two “acts”.

        1. Cessation of all Fossil Fuel emissions in 20 years or less, preferably sooner, and
        2. Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) at a level of 20 Billion Tons per year well past 2100 – effectively perpetuity.

        So then to act one, are there energy replacements for Fossil Fuels that will enable “business as usual” global neo-liberal economics to continue as we experience Western style civilization today?  The answer is NO!  The only technologies on offer are solar panels and wind turbines which only generate electricity and require huge fossil fuel inputs to manufacture, maintain and replace.  And further, worldwide electricity generation and consumption is only 20% of total energy demand.  In other words, solar panels and wind turbines only solve 20% of the energy replacement problem.  The remaining 80% of global energy consumption is the “DIRECT USE” of fossil fuels for industrial, chemical, agricultural and transportation purposes.

        So then to act two, does CCS technology exist today that can be deployed at a “global scale” to extract 20 billion tons from the atmosphere annually into perpetuity?  The answer is NO!  To put the magnitude of this into perspective, there is nothing that human beings do today at a scale of 20 billion somethings in the physical world.

        Climate scientist Kevin Anderson discusses the problem of depending on CCS in the following video.

        Climate scientist Hugh Hunt discusses the scale and scope of CCS in the following video.

        One very instructive insight discovered by climate scientist Tim Garrett is the amount of energy required to maintain everything already built by Western industrial civilization.  What he discovered is the following relationship.  For each $1000 dollars of aggregate global wealth it takes 7 Watts of energy per annum just to keep things running as they are today.  In other words just maintaining what has already been built requires a huge amount of energy annually.  Or said differently, if all we do is tread water economically, we will still require energy which will generate new CO2 that is then added to what is already in the atmosphere.  And worse yet is that as we grow economically each year, the total amount of energy required to maintain what is already built grows annually as well.  In other words business as usual economics only makes matters worse by compounding how much energy is needed to keep the system running each and every year.

        Professor Garrett discusses his discovery and our dilemma in the following video.

        Think about our dilemma this way.  There are three paths forward.

        Path One – Business as usual growth driven global economics.

        New additional Atmospheric CO2 is generated annually by

        • new business growth and population activities and
        • maintenance of all existing infrastructure, living arrangements and processes previously created and deployed.

        Path Two – Zero growth global economics.

        New additional Atmospheric CO2 is generated annually by

        • maintenance of all existing infrastructure, living arrangements and processes previously created and deployed.

        Path Three – Managed collapse (de-growth) of global economics.

        Less Atmospheric CO2 is generated annually by

        • reduction in overall fossil fuel consumption as all world economies shrink and by
        • reduction in overall demand for goods and services as global population shrinks with declining births rates.

        Since there are no ready replacements for 80% of the Fossil Fuel used today and since CCS technology is still a pipe dream, any version of path one or path two leads to additional CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere which adds to our collective climate warming problem.  Only path three leads to an eventual reduction in atmospheric CO2.  And path three is the only path consistent with question one posed at the top of the post.

        Sooner or later we all sit down to a banquet of consequences.

        - Robert Louis Stevenson

        Politics is the entertainment division of the Military Industrial Complex.

        - Frank Zappa

    • #171370
      • Total Posts: 890

      Many won’t listen to people like Greta or others because what they are demanding isn’t possible. You can’t end all air travel. You can’t tell people they can’t drive to work anymore. Most people can not afford to just dump their cars and buy brand new electric at twice the cost or more. Greta sailed to America on a boat that cost millions of dollars. Who can afford that? And then what do you do with developing countries like China? How will you stop them from using oil? Not to mention all the jobs that will be lost and the economic toll. And good luck getting everyone to stop eating meat and running their A/Cs.

      Its why the Green New Deal is going to be a no-go. And it doesn’t matter how many Gretas are yelling at adults.

      This isn’t toxic masculinity, it’s toxic reality.

      Now that doesn’t mean we can’t have conversations or come up with realistic solutions. But when you start demanding radical changes in a short period of time and be radically expensive, you won’t be taken seriously.

      We are not going to stop climate change. That train has left a long time ago. All we can do now is work to limit the consequences. If we wanted to stop it, we would have had to start in the 70s. It’s too late now.

      • #171429
        Ohio Barbarian
        • Total Posts: 14,526

        @jerry611 We can try to adapt, dammit! What is the harm in trying? And the expense argument is bogus. We will be paying anyway, one way or the other, whether we try to alleviate the effects or not. I’m sick of this shit about a Green New Deal costing too much. It will cost far more to do nothing and keep going as we are.

        Capitalism is going to die, anyway. May as well make it a planned death instead of sitting around waiting for Ragnarok.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman

        • #171659
          • Total Posts: 890

          I didn’t say we can’t try to do things. But I just don’t see some of this stuff being possible in the short time frames given. We can’t replace every car, replace air travel, and renovate/rebuild every energy inefficient building in 20 years. It’s not realistically going to happen even with a pot of gold. And it’s not just an expense by the government, it’s an expense by the people too.  Most of these changes being discussed are cultural. The culture and society has to change in the way that it operates and does things. And those things don’t change by simply passing a law. They take generations to change.

          And NO ONE wants to be the one that pays for it….

          From the Washington Post:

          Though Americans are increasingly worried about climate change, fewer than 4 in 10 say they believe that tackling the problem will require them to make “major sacrifices.” And most are unwilling to pay for it out of their own pockets.

          For example, while nearly half of adults say they would be willing to pay a $2 monthly tax on their electricity bills to help combat climate change, just over a quarter say they are willing to pay $10 extra each month. And while two-thirds support stricter fuel-efficiency standards for the nation’s cars and trucks, increases in the gas tax remain deeply unpopular.

          Instead, clear majorities say they would prefer that climate initiatives be funded by increasing the taxes on wealthy households and on companies that burn fossil fuels.


          So yeah, Americans are agreeing that the climate change is a problem. But none of them wants to pay for it. The poll said 51% of Americans are against a $2 tax added to your electric bill each month to help fund climate change programs. Can’t even get majority support for TWO DOLLARS! 

          If we get a progressive congress and a progressive President and start passing Green New Deal initiatives that raises expenses on the middle class, it’s going to blow up. We’ll have Republicans back in power in no time. But that’s what I see progressives talking about. Raise taxes on fossil fuels so it forces people to conserve. But that won’t work! When gas prices rise, the demand does not fall! People do not drive less when gas is higher. They get more pissed off. A national gas tax would DESTROY the Democratic party. You’ll have the Yellow Vests in America.

    • #171447
      Ransom Stoddard
      • Total Posts: 80

      Let’s consider the two issues raised by the linked article in the OP.

      The end of civilization and the death of billions of human beings.

      A possible explanation of the motivation behind some people who argue against the factuality of climate change.


      The inference suggested is that if those folks realized that their own thought process is warped by the presumption of male superiority to females, we would be closer to a solution to global climate change.  I agree that misogyny is common among men and I am all for us males getting over it.  How that affects the greed and corporate logic that resist the changes necessary for survival of our species is a mystery to me.

      But I guess there just can’t be enough articles about misogyny, regardless of context.



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