Thursday, February 17, 2011

In Europe, pollution is a masculine noun

Julio Godoy in IPS via Tierramérica: Many aspects of gender inequality are well known and well documented. But there seems to be little awareness that male behaviour leads to greater emissions of climate-changing gases. That is the conclusion of two independent studies by separate teams of European scientists, both based on statistical data on consumption and daily activities of men and women in industrialised countries.

Frédéric Chomé, a French consultant on environmental and sustainable development issues, stated that a typical French woman causes emissions of 32.3 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2) per day, on average, while a man causes 39.3 kg of CO2 emissions. "The estimates are based on a study of human activities separated by gender, conducted by France's National Institute of Statistics and Economics (INSEE)," Chomé told Tierramérica.

"Although our calculation method is very approximate, I believe the results are a good indicator of the differences in environmental contamination resulting from the different behaviours of men and women," added the author of the study titled "24 Hours Exactly: Your Personal Carbon Account."

Similar conclusions resulted from a study by Annika Carlsson-Kanyama, of Sweden, and Riita Räty, of Finland, about the behaviours of men and women in 10 daily activities in Germany, Greece, Norway and Sweden. According to their study, "Comparing Energy Use by Gender, Age and Income in Some European Countries," men consume more meat and processed beverages than women do, use automobiles more frequently and driving longer distances, resulting in greater CO2 emissions.

Commenting on the two studies, Corinna Altenburg and Fritz Reusswig, of Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, noted that some of the more polluting habits attributed to the male population are the result of the social roles they usually play in society…

A traffic jam off the Elbtunnel in Hamburg, shot by Hannes Grobe(who takes an occasional break from the polar regions), Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

No comments: