Australian news, and some related international items

Research finds gender divide on opinions on nuclear power versus solar

cartoon- emotionalMore men back nuclear, women like solar: climate change gender divide found, The Age,  August 10, 2015  Environment and immigration correspondent If the climate change debate wasn’t polarised enough, another divide has opened up: the attitudes of men versus those of women.

Climate Institute research published on Monday confirms Australian men are more likely than women to believe climate change is not happening, and to prefer nuclear and coal as energy sources. Women, meanwhile, are more inclined than men to support wind and solar power, and take the view backed by the vast majority of the world’s scientists – that climate change is real.

Ian Dunlop, a former international oil, gas and coal industry executive who is now a director of not-for-profit think tank Australia21, said gender differences were a “fundamental issue” holding back climate action.

“The male incumbency in the business and political world have not been prepared to engage with that discussion,” he said, deriding a dominant culture of “macho short-termism”. “I think women on the other hand are actually more conscious of the … world we are heading into and [that] we need to start doing something about it.”………

The United Nations has previously said women in poor nations bear the disproportionate burden of climate change, but are largely overlooked in the debate about how to address effects such as rising seas, droughts and extreme weather.

The founder of 1 million women, Natalie Isaacs, whose organisation encourages women to act on climate change through the way they live, said protecting future generations “is a hot button issue for women”. She said women made 85 per cent of consumer decisions that affect a household’s carbon footprint.

Mr Dunlop, former chairman of the Australian Coal Association and former chief executive of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, said women were more likely than men to see climate change as an “existential issue”. “The male approach to this thing is [often] saying it is all nonsense, it’s all just alarmism,” he said.

It has been argued that advocates for climate action should frame their message around defending the status quo, to encourage more men to confront the problem.

August 12, 2015 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics

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