Canadian Climate Minister Urges Attention to the ‘Gendered Impacts’ of Climate Change

Catherine McKenna

Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change is urging environmental activists to address the “gendered impacts” of climate change, especially its effects on women and girls.

In a recent post on Twitter, Catherine McKenna, the 47-year-old Trudeau appointee from Canada’s Liberal Party, called on followers to “consider the gendered impacts of climate change on women, girls and children” while praising Canada’s leadership in training “women negotiators” in the fight against manmade global warming.

Apparently, at least in the minister’s mind, the weather is now waging its own “war on women.”

Those wondering what the possible connection could be between “climate change” and gender (other than being trendy, leftwing concerns) should take comfort in knowing they are not alone. Not by a long shot. Scores of observers posted the digital equivalent of raised eyebrows, querying what the possible connection could be between the two apparently unrelated topics.

One representative message noted that the climate “affects both males and females equally” and that having more women at the table won’t have any effect on what the weather does.

More caustic comments flipped McKenna’s gender fixation on its head, suggesting that the minister’s own job is fruit of “gender appointed roles to made up superfluous positions.”

One wag thought he might have deciphered the enigmatic nexus between gender and climate and Tweeted: “My sister’s first job was babysitting. Mine was shoveling snowy driveways. Is that what you mean?”

Another simply quipped: “World ends tomorrow. Women and children affected most.”

McKenna was tweeting from the 2018 World Ocean Summit taking place in the resort town of Cancún, Mexico, which ran this week from Wednesday through Friday. The event is sponsored by the UK-based Economist magazine.

In dramatic terms, event organizers describe the critical importance of the summit for the future of the seas:

“The ocean is in trouble. Across the world, humans have effected dramatic change upon the seas. One thing is certain: our current course is unsustainable,” the introduction reads.

In her privileged role as Minister of Climate, McKenna has been able to bring together the two issue that seemingly inspire her the most: the environment and women’s concerns. Prior to working in politics, McKenna served as a board member of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa, which specializes on issues affecting women and girls in the justice system.

In a Facebook post Friday, McKenna underscored the many women she met during her time in Mexico.

“At the Oceans Summit I have met and learned from many amazing women who are taking action in their community to protect our oceans,” she wrote. “Editor-In-Chief, Zanny Minton Beddoes and Mission Blue President, Sylvia Earle are just a few. Join us as we discuss women leadership!”

McKenna ended her tweet with the curious hashtag #RunLikeAGirl.

Known to her critics as “Climate Barbie,” McKenna has dismissed the label as a “sexist insult,” while even some of her fans have admitted its aptness, with Rosie Dimanno confessing that the moniker “captures her perfectly,” if one were “a global warming troglodyte inclined to lob a sarcastic brickbat aimed, presumably, at McKenna’s purported shallowness. A bit of mischief, that’s all.”

“Politics is a rough-and-tumble business,” Dimanno observed.

Over the last few years, “climate change” has become the scapegoat for nearly all of society’s problems, from racism to immigration to poverty and economic inequality.

In 2016, the Guardian newspaper launched the improbable theory that global warming is a “racist” crisis, perpetrated by wealthy whites against poor, vulnerable blacks.

While offering no evidence, the article makes the wildly implausible claim that “Black British Africans are 28% more likely than their white counterparts to be exposed to air pollution.”

The following year, several news outlets accused Donald Trump of “environmental racism,” evidenced by his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. In announcing his verdict, one said, Trump has continued “his war on people of color in America.”

But gender and race are not the only issues supposedly affected by climate change.

Environmental activist Leehi Yona has written that climate change is connected to an array of issues spanning from transgender justice to immigration reform.

Writing in The Nation, Ms. Yona denounced the President for his appointment of a string of “climate-change deniers” before expounding her own theory of the centrality of climate change in understanding every other issue.

“Climate change isn’t just about the planet. It’s about justice: racial, social, socioeconomic, reproductive, and environmental,” she wrote. “It’s about immigration reform, LGBTQIA+ rights, and religious freedom.”

“I find myself unable to think of climate change on its own,” Yona writes.

The inability to think about climate on its own, or even to be able to think about it rationally, seems to be an epidemic affecting many on the left.

Then again, if it is an epidemic, it must be caused by climate change as well.

Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.