CLIMATE ADAPTATION

I want to punch climate change in the face. A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.


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Posts tagged "gender"

Just ordered this book, “Why Aren’t More Women in Science?. Written in 2007, it’s a bit dated - but at only 7 years old, it’s still modern. I’m interested in the perspective of why, in 2007, some of the researchers concluded that one factor (of many) for the disparity was physiological. My partner, who has a PhD, thinks there’s a significant amount of harassment from both students and faculty that keeps women from excelling, and points to the male dominated culture at her university (University of Barcelona) and indifference from the school’s administration when women complain about harassment. She also mentioned that the Catalan Police are equally dismissive of complaints, so there’s no true enforcement mechanism in Spain that women can turn to when they are harassed at university. She is quite hopeful, however. She thinks that with more and more women entering the sciences, administrations and law enforcement will eventually shift, just not at the time scales noisy advocates expect. So, for the time being, she thinks, it’s sadly true only a small sliver of women are can handle the rough atmosphere and be brave and strong. She argued, rather brilliantly imo, that male dominated spheres take a very long time to transition from one type of culture (e.g., male dominated) to another (equal and just). Anyway, I’m curious what the researchers in this book thought just a few years ago, and whether or not things have progressed in a short time.

As an undergraduate student in biology, I spent several weeks in Costa Rica one summer with an older graduate student on a research project deep in the cloud forest. It was just the two of us, and upon arriving at our site, I discovered that he had arranged a single room for us, one bed.

Mortified but afraid of being labeled prudish or difficult, I made no fuss. I took the lodge owner aside the next day and requested my own bed. The problem ended there, and my graduate student boss never made any physical advances.

Reflecting back, I’m struck by how ill equipped I was to deal with this kind of situation, especially at 19. My university undoubtedly had a harassment policy, but such resources were thousands of miles away. I was alone in a foreign country and had never received any training on my rights and resources in the field.

I’d forgotten about this experience from two decades ago until I read a report published July 16 in the journal PLOS One. Kathryn Clancy, an anthropologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and three colleagues used email and social media to invite scientists to fill out an online questionnaire about their experiences with harassment and assault at field sites; they received 666 responses, three quarters of them from women, from 32 disciplines, including anthropology, archaeology, biology and geology.

Almost two-thirds of the respondents said they had been sexually harassed in the field. More than 20 percent reported being sexually assaulted. Students or postdoctoral scholars, and women were most likely to report being victimized by superiors. Very few respondents said their field site had a code of conduct or sexual harassment policy, and of the 78 who had dared to report incidents, fewer than 20 percent were satisfied with the outcome.

The findings are depressingly similar to the data some colleagues and I collected this year from an online questionnaire sent to science writers. We received responses from 502 writers, mostly women, and presented our results at M.I.T. in June during Solutions Summit 2014: Women in Science Writing, a conference funded by the National Association of Science Writers.

More than half of the female respondents said they weren’t taken seriously because of their gender, one in three had experienced delayed career advancement, and nearly half said they had not received credit for their ideas. Almost half said they had encountered flirtatious or sexual remarks, and one in five had experienced uninvited physical contact.

Frightening study that quantifies sexual harassment and assault across the sciences. The journalist also notes there’s significant gender discrimination.

I haven’t personally witnessed or heard of harassment in any of the fields I’ve worked in (e.g, international development, city planning offices, or climate adaptation implementation or policy making). And over the years, I guesstimate working with at least 50% women, possibly more. There are some countries that I work in that will not accept women in a decision making role, but that is a cultural difference that takes time to collapse. We’re actually quite prepared for this type of systemic discrimination.

But, internally, on any team I’ve worked on, this is unheard of. I also work with one research institute (USC’s HURDL) that focuses on gender and vulnerable populations in climate impact contexts - but again, haven’t heard anything like this.

Are you a rising researcher? Have you been harassed while conducting your field work? Have you heard stories or rumors of harassment? Send me a note if you like, I’ll keep your replies private. Thanks, Michael

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

Nelson Mandela

(Rest in peace)

(via scinerds)

Asker Anonymous Asks:
In an ideal world, what would you ask at the UN meetings to happen in terms of mitigation and adaptation, if you could implement absolutely anything?
climateadaptation climateadaptation Said:

Hey anon,

You’re referring to the annual UN Framework Convention on Climate Change “Conference of the Parties.” This year will mark the 19th COP, this one to be held in Poland in November. If I recall, the “Parties” comprise of 192 countries (of the world’s 194), and each voluntarily signed on to meet every year to discuss solutions to climate change impacts.

So, at these COP meetings, countries negotiate what to do about climate change. The Kyoto Protocol - a voluntary treaty to lower emissions - is one example of a collective solution.

I think at the COP19, the “Parties” will vote to either continue or alter the Kyoto Protocol.

Ideally I’d like for decision at future COPs to be legally enforceable. As it stands, decisions and actions are voluntary. If a country pledges to lower emissions or invest in adaptation projects, they have no actual, legally enforceable obligation to carry out their promises.

This happens all the time. For example, at the COP15 held in Copenhagen in 2009, countries agreed to a laundry list of provisions, called the Copenhagen Accord. One major pledge was for countries to donate $100 billion USD per year to the Adaptation Fund, which would help poor countries with natural disaster planning.

It didn’t happen.

So, a legally enforceable mechanism would be a significant improvement over volunteering. Penalties, enforcement, and the governing body of law would be hashed out by the parties.

The second thing is a greater focus on the climate impacts on the disadvantaged, such as children, women, and the elderly. The UNFCCC COP has a group dedicated to resolving gender and health issues, but this group is weak, underfunded, and sort of an add-on.

So, this needs to be flipped around - gender and health issues should be at the center of the COP, and the rest of the negotiations aim to support and resolve those issues.

Cheers,

m

united-nations:

She’s here! We are honoured to welcome Malala Yousafzai to the United Nations to celebrate her 16th birthday as part of the “UN Youth Takeover” event.

Join us in pledging to deliver the best gift of all — quality education for every girl and boy in the world. 

Watch the special events taking place at the UN on Friday here: http://bit.ly/MdmCqq

Malala Yousafzai, inspiring girls around the world. Malala was shot in the head while coming home from school by a Taliban man for writing a critical blog post when she was 11. Now, at 16, she is the youngest person ever nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (tba October).

prepaidafrica:

The ways Africa outperforms America - The Washington Post

Eye-opening slideshow showing the ways Africa is growing. Economic development and innovation are taking off, and so are human rights. I wouldn’t characterize these highlights anywhere near “ahead of the US” but a newspaper has to grab eyeballs somehow.

Millions of Africans still die of trivial causes in Africa (diarrhea, malaria, child birth, measles, pneumonia, etc.). Tens of thousands of children under five die every day in Africa. A horrifying number considering how moral the rest of the world thinks they are, or, monetarily, considering the trillions of dollars that nations have poured into the continent (and billions more from charities, NGOs, and so-called religious organizations). 

In fact, now that I look at this a little more, of the planet’s 194 countries, the vast majority of countries with the highest rates of death are all African.

And I haven’t touched upon environmental issues. What a mess.

Anyway, thanks to WaPo for the glamorous slideshow.

(via prepaidafrica)

Four of the National Missions under India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change focus on climate change adaptation in the areas of agriculture, water resources, forests and the Himalayan eco-system. Successful adaptation to climate change, however, requires recognition of poor women as critical partners in both driving and delivering solutions because women often constitute a majority of the work force in these sectors.

This pilot research documented some of the gender-differentiated climate change impacts and adaptation interventions. It also examined scientific evidence and women’s perceptions on how key climate parameters like rainfall, temperature and wind patterns are changing and how this is affecting their agriculture-related livelihoods. The research suggests specific gender-responsive policy and practice recommendations for the implementation of the four adaptation-focused National Missions.

Okay, I'm reading the Schalatek_Burns_GCF_Gender-Sensitive-Approach pdf and I'm still wondering how climate change is gender specfic. the '1% of the world property' is bugging me, and the rest of the report is reminding me of the 'women are more negatively affected by war/conscription than men are'.
climateadaptation climateadaptation Said:

Hey sosungalittleclodofclay

Good question regarding this post on gender and climate change. At minimum, natural disasters kill more women and girls than men. Social status and education are key issues to resolve in poor countries that are growing fast.

Start with this short report, Gender and Climate Change, from WHO.

Globally, natural disasters such as droughts, floods and storms kill more women than men, and tend to kill women at a younger age. These effects also interact with the nature of the event and social status.

The gender-gap effects on life expectancy tend to be greater in more severe disasters, and in places where the socioeconomic status of women is particularly low. 

Other climate-sensitive health impacts, such as undernutrition and malaria, also show important gender differences. 

Gender differences occur in health risks that are directly associated with meteorological hazards. These differences reflect a combined effect of physiological, behavioural and socially constructed influences. For example, the majority of European studies have shown that women are more at risk, in both relative and absolute terms, of dying in heatwaves. 

Then, if you’re still interested, visit Gender CC, a division of the UNFCCC, to explore the issues in depth.

Cheers! 

m

Two forces (markets and applied sustainability theory) are at odds with each other. Especially when it comes to human rights and equality. The Green Climate Fund is, in a sense, a bank that works in very poor, and developing countries. These countries are growing, fast. And organizations like the UN are helping these countries build better cities and safer communities, with the goal for everyone to become healthier and well educated. There are controversies with this type of development. Often times, tens of thousands of people are displaced from their homes, species and ecosystems are destroyed, and only a handful of companies benefit.

The Green Climate Fund helps developing countries to be more environmentally conscious, more aware of impacts of fast growth. There are many complicated elements to financing growth, and one is gender. Here is a discussion on how the Green Climate Fund can improve the banking rules for women in developing countries.   

Climate change is not gender-neutral. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has highlighted the variations in the extent to which people are affected by climate change, and are able to adapt, depending on a number of factors, including gender. In most countries there are differences in the economic activities, access to resources and decision-making power of men and women. These gender differences affect the ways people are impacted by, and respond to, climate change.

Recognizing the importance of taking these gender differences into account, the Governing Instrument for the Green Climate Fund (GCF)specifically calls for taking a “gender-sensitive approach,” making this the first climate fund to mandate the integration of gender-based perspectives from the outset of its operations. 

Climate financing approaches will be more effective and provide broader benefits if they address rather than reinforce gender inequalities that increase the vulnerability of women to climate change and adversely affect their ability to contribute to mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Women still face unequal access to political power, economic resources, legal rights, land ownership, bank credit, and technical training.

The GCF can promote gender equality by establishing structures and operating procedures that are careful to include women as well as men in decision-making roles, respond to the particular needs of women for climate-related financing, and enable women’s enterprises to benefit from new low-carbon technologies and economic opportunities.

The paper advocates for the explicit inclusion of gender considerations in the GCF Board’s work plan. The GCF is expected to support a fundamental paradigm shift in addressing climate change by establishing new best practices, including in its approach to gender.

Why Green Is Your Color: A Woman’s Guide to a Sustainable Career.

Ensuring women are prepared to succeed in a 21st century changing economy is critical to the financial stability of women, their families, and our country.

Why Green Is Your Color: A Woman’s Guide to a Sustainable Career is a comprehensive manual designed to assist women with job training and career development as they enter into innovative and nontraditional jobs. The guide also provides vulnerable women a pathway to higher paying jobs, and serves as a tool to help fight job segregation.

It offers women resources and information they need to enter and succeed in jobs in the emerging green economy.

The guide was created to help women at all stages of their careers — whether they are newly entering the workforce, transitioning to new careers, or returning to the workforce — identify and take advantage of opportunities in the clean energy economy.

Free career guidance for women thinking about jobs in the sciences and the environment.

To ensure a gender-sensitive approach to climate finance, women’s particular vulnerabilities must be recognized and women included in the planning, experts said during a Twitter chat with the Global Gender and Climate Alliance.

With the global community investing billions of dollars to fund a response to climate change, the alliance said it is essential to ensure these funds promote policies and programs that reduce inequality between men and women so they are able to address climate change effectively and on an even footing.

The chat addressed why gender-sensitive climate change matters, who benefits and why it is important now. Participants questioned what could be done to ensure climate funding is inclusive and fair to all.

Via Women for Climate Justice

The Most Influential Scientists of 2012

Cynthia Rosenzweig Named One of 2012′s Most Influential Scientists

Best College Reviews has compiled a list of the most influential scientists of 2012, and UCCRN’s own Cynthia Rosenzweig has made the list! Scientists were chosen from the fields of Climate Change, Biology, Statistics and Engineering, to name a few. Other scientists chosen include Nate Silver, Adam Steltzner and James Cameron.

See the entire list here: The Most Influential Scientists of 2012

Rosenzweig is a great communicator of climate science, especially impacts on coastal cities. You should get to know her work.

Source: UCCRN

Inspiring read on women architects who defied great odds (re: men) via ArchDaily.

A sampling:

  • Sophia Hayden Benett was the first woman to receive an architecture degree from MIT when she graduated in 1890
  • Marion Mahony Griffin, was not only one of the first licensed female architects in the world, but was the first employee of Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Charlotte Perriand applied for a job at Le Corbusier’s studio in 1927. Unimpressed, he dismissed her work with the comment: “We don’t embroider cushions here.”
  • Jane Drew was an early proponent of Modernism in England and was responsible for bringing Le Corbusier’s work to India.