A team of researchers at Nike U studied the political and social structure of local responses to melting glaciers. That seems like straightforward enough work, particularly as the university's press release described it.
The long-running reliance on knowledge produced from the perspectives of natural science, the researchers concluded, have marginalized the voices of women and cultures around the world that have lived in the shadow of glaciers.Unfortunately, the peer-review version of the research is theorrhea run amok.
"Men's voices generally are more represented in government than are women's voices," [historian Mark] Carey said. "Women might be less able to migrate out of a flood zone during a sudden glacier melt. In Peru, we know that men migrate to the cities for jobs, whereas women are more confined to their homes and child rearing."
Glaciers are key icons of climate change and global environmental change. However, the relationships among gender, science, and glaciers – particularly related to epistemological questions about the production of glaciological knowledge – remain understudied. This paper thus proposes a feminist glaciology framework with four key components: 1) knowledge producers; (2) gendered science and knowledge; (3) systems of scientific domination; and (4) alternative representations of glaciers. 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.That fails to convince Reason's Robby Soave.
I'm sure Carey is well-intentioned, but if his goal was to put a human face on climate change, he failed. The paper is simply impossible to read with a straight face. It employs liberal buzzwords—colonialism, marginalization, masculinist discourses, etc.—with such frequency that the entire thing comes off like a joke.He extends the Trump hypothesis. "In a country where working class people are being forced to fund research on the postcolonial gender theory of melting ice caps, is it any wonder some of them are rooting for a charismatic demagogue who promises to bully their tormentors?" Who perhaps includes among the occurrences of waste, abuse and fraud the Federal funding of obscure research?