“Feminist Glaciology”? Yes, You Read that Right

In Climate Change, Colleges and Universities, Environment, People, The Big Picture by E. Calvin Beisner0 Comments

Thanks to a $413,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to University of Oregon historian Mark Carey, we all can now read a 15,000-word rant on glaciology from a feminist perspective. Tony Thomas, in The Quadrant, isn’t laughing, not because it’s not funny but because it’s such a waste.

Thomas’s article reveals some of the hilarity and irrationality of “feminist glaciology,” and lots of other feminist “analysis.” In it we get introduced to women (or should I say womyn?) writers who imagine sexual encounters with glaciers, who value the indigenous “wisdom” about glaciers:

Yukon indigenous women, for example, say glaciers are easily excited by bad people who cook with smelly grease near glaciers, but glaciers can be placated by the quick-witted, the good and deferential. Cooked food, especially fat, ‘might grow into a glacier overnight if improperly handled’. Such narratives ‘demonstrate the capacity of folk glaciologies to diversify the field of glaciology and subvert the hegemony of natural sciences. … the goal is to understand that environmental knowledge is always based in systems of power discrepancies and unequal social relations, and overcoming these disparities requires accepting that multiple knowledges exist and are valid within their own contexts.’

Some equate boring into glaciers to get ice cores with sexual intercourse.
unsplash glaciers 2 smallThomas quotes the “study’s” conclusion:

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.

If you’re beginning to get the sense that there’s something fishy about environmentalists’ thought processes, you’re right. Environmentalism, as Dr. Vishal Mangalwadi points out in his lecture for Resisting the Green Dragon, a DVD series produced by the Cornwall Alliance, is in mad flight from reason to mysticism. Rejecting the divine Logos revealed to us in Scripture and the incarnate Son of God, the Logos that lightens everyone who comes into the world, environmentalism seeks knowledge from mystical, intuitive interaction with nature.  Thus, “One itinerant environmentalist conducts ‘workshops’ in which participants are urged to remember their alleged evolutionary history by rolling on the ground and imagining what their lives were like as dead leaves, slugs, and lichens.”[1]

Arne Naess, one of the chief framers of the Deep Ecology worldview and the coiner of the phrase deep ecology,[2] specified that his work consists not “of philosophical or logical argumentation” but is “primarily intuitions.”[3] The focus on intuition in the Deep Ecology movement explains, in part, why feminism allies itself with environmentalism, particularly with Deep Ecology and animal rights. Feminism rejects science outright—or redefines it—because science operates in a manner not sufficiently sensitive to “feminine thought patterns” because it is a fundamentally “masculine” discipline. “Science’s insistence on being tough, rigorous, rational, impersonal, and unemotional is intertwined with men’s gender identities,” says feminist theologian and animal rights theorist Carol Adams, author of The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory.[4]

Back to Thomas for some concluding comments about the growing irrationalism of climate change related studies in academia:

The paper, dare I use the metaphor, is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to academics earning a living from spurious “climate” studies. The paper  cites well over 100 references to other papers in its arcane  field. The hard-science end of “climate science” is dodgy enough, with its penchant for adjusting real-world data to prop up what would otherwise be the falsified hypotheses that CO2 emissions are the main driver of climate. But the climate-change scare has spawned a vast population of academic parasites in arts and so-called “social sciences”, pretending to do useful work in climate psychology, climate literature, climate “political science”, climate medicine, climate sociology, climate history, climate law … you name it. Melbourne University, for example, is crawling with otherwise unemployable “climate change” spongers, multiplying like fleas on a dying dog. I’m including about 1300 researchers on ‘sustainability and resilience’ who, alone, are costing the country $220m per annum.

[1]Robert James Bidinotto, Environmentalism: Freedom’s Foe for the ’90s,” The Freeman, 40:11 (November 1990), 409–420, at  410; citing Lindsy Van Gelder, “It’s Not Nice to Mess with Mother Nature,” Ms. (January/February 1989), 60.

[2]Cited in Evan Eisenberg, “The Call of the Wild,” New Republic (April 30, 1990) p. 31. Naess apparently thinks so little of human beings that he cares little whether there are a hundred million or a billion of them, since elsewhere he suggests an ideal population of a billion; see Petr Borrelli, “The Ecophilosophers,” The Amicus Journal (Spring 1988) 32–3.

[3]David Rothenberg, “Introduction: Ecosophy T: from intuition to system,” in Arne Naess,Ecology, Community and Lifestyle: Outline of an Ecosophy, trans. and rev. David Rothenberg (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 2.

[4]Kim Bartlett, “Of Meat and Men: A Conversation with Carol Adams,” The Animals’ Agenda(October 1990), 13.

Dr. Beisner is Founder and National Spokesman of The Cornwall Alliance; former Associate Professor of Historical Theology & Social Ethics, at Knox Theological Seminary, and of Interdisciplinary Studies, at Covenant College; and author of “Where Garden Meets Wilderness: Evangelical Entry into the Environmental Debate” and “Prospects for Growth: A Biblical View of Population, Resources, and the Future.”

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