Monday, January 08, 2018

Men Resist Green Behavior as Unmanly

Probably because it is.  It is emotional rather than logical.

Feminists routinely claim that the environment is a feminist issue.  There's a whole Wikipedia article on it.  So for the authors below to have shown anything new, they would have to have established that there was no prior polarization between the sexes on environmental issues.  They did not do that, probably because they could not.

So their research was just more of the superficial and biased rubbish that we routinely get from Leftist psychologists.  I have commented on a lot of it over the years.

And I am amused that the article appeared in the "Unscientific American" -- as conservatives often call it.  How appropriate!

A surprising reason for resistance to environmental goods and habits

Women have long surpassed men in the arena of environmental action; across age groups and countries, females tend to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Compared to men, women litter less, recycle more, and leave a smaller carbon footprint. Some researchers have suggested that personality differences, such as women’s prioritization of altruism, may help to explain this gender gap in green behavior.

Our own research suggests an additional possibility: men may shun eco-friendly behavior because of what it conveys about their masculinity. It’s not that men don’t care about the environment. But they also tend to want to feel macho, and they worry that eco-friendly behaviors might brand them as feminine.

The research, conducted with three other colleagues, consisted of seven experiments involving more than 2,000 American and Chinese participants. We showed that there is a psychological link between eco-friendliness and perceptions of femininity. Due to this “green-feminine stereotype,” both men and women judged eco-friendly products, behaviors, and consumers as more feminine than their non-green counterparts.  In one experiment, participants of both sexes described an individual who brought a reusable canvas bag to the grocery store as more feminine than someone who used a plastic bag—regardless of whether the shopper was a male or female.  In another experiment, participants perceived themselves to be more feminine after recalling a time when they did something good versus bad for the environment.

Men may eschew green products and behaviors to avoid feeling feminine.  In one study, we threatened the masculinity of male participants by showing them a pink gift card with a floral design and asking them to imagine using the card to purchase three products (lamp, backpack, and batteries).  Compared to men shown a standard gift card, threatened men were more likely to choose the non-green rather than green version of each item.  The idea that emasculated men try to reassert their masculinity through non-environmentally-friendly choices suggests that in addition to littering, wasting water, or using too much electricity, one could harm the environment merely by making men feel feminine.

Ironically, although men are often considered to be less sensitive than women, they seem to be particularly sensitive when it comes to perceptions of their gender identity. In fact, a previous study suggests that men find it to be more difficult than women to choose between masculine and feminine versions of everyday food and household items and will usually change their preferences to be more manly when allowed time to think about their decisions. Something as simple as holding a purse, ordering a colorful drink, or talking in a high voice can lead to social harm, so men tend to keep a sharp eye out for any of these potential snares.

So what can pro-environmental marketers do to buffer against the threat posed to men by the green-feminine stereotype? First, eco-friendly marketing messages and materials can be designed to affirm men’s masculinity and give them the confidence to overcome their fear of being judged as feminine when engaging in green behaviors.  For example, in one experiment, men who received feedback affirming their masculinity were more interested in purchasing an eco-friendly version of a cleaning product. Men who feel secure in their manhood are more comfortable going green.

Second, green products and organizations can be marketed as more “Men”-vironmentally-friendly, with more masculine fonts, colors, words, and images used in the branding. To illustrate, men in one experiment were more likely to donate to a green non-profit with a masculine logo (black and dark blue colors featuring a howling wolf, with the name “Wilderness Rangers” in a bold font) than one with a traditional logo (green and light tan colors featuring a tree, with the name “Friends of Nature” in a frilly font).  And in a field study conducted at a BMW dealership in China, male customers were more interested in a hybrid vehicle after viewing a print ad featuring a masculine term in the model’s description than when viewing the traditional print ad.

Together, these findings highlight how the green-feminine stereotype inhibits men from taking eco-friendly actions, and suggest that masculine affirmation and masculine branding may be effective in narrowing the gender gap in environmentalism. Make the man feel manly, and he’s more likely to go green.


Trump’s EPA Has Cleaned Up Seven Of The Most Toxic Sites In The US

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) partly or completely cleaned seven of the most toxic land sites, called Superfund sites, in the U.S. in 2017, according to the EPA.

Of the seven sites designated for cleanup, three were completely cleansed, while four others still require some work. The cleanup effort is a significant improvement over the year prior when the EPA completely cleaned one Superfund site and parts of another.

“We have made it a priority to get these sites cleaned up faster and in the right way,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a statement. “By creating a streamlined task force and making major remedy decisions that hold potentially responsible parties accountable for cleanup, the Superfund program is carrying out the agency’s mission of protecting human health and the environment more every day.”

The gains Pruitt’s EPA made are part of a list of 21 contaminated sites that need “immediate and intense attention” out of more than 1,300 Superfund sites nationwide.

Pruitt has been criticized recently for rolling back environmental regulations and reducing his agency’s scope and reach. Undoing rules put in place by the Obama administration, Pruitt has reduced regulatory burdens on industries and put the environment and public health at risk, The Washington Post reports.

Pruitt says he is allowing more of a local voice when it comes to development and taking a stewardship-focused, rather than preventative, view of the relationship between the environment and industry.

“The last administration talked about putting up fences. [They said,] ‘Let’s not develop, we’re not going to use the natural resources to feed the world and power the world.’ I think that’s wrong,” Pruitt told WaPo. “I think our focus should be on using our natural resources — with environmental stewardship in mind. … We can be about jobs and growth and be good stewards of our environment. The last several years we’ve been told we can’t do both.”


Washington Post Pollutes Scott Pruitt's EPA

According to the newspaper, the EPA is "one of Trump's most powerful tools." Actually, it was Obama's.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is without a doubt one of the most all-around hated members of President Donald Trump’s team. The reason? Under Pruitt’s predecessor, Gina McCarthy, environmental protection was merely a misnomer. The overarching goal was to circumvent Congress by legislating essentially from Barack Obama’s desk. For the Left, this was a desirable exploitation of power that helped fulfill an agenda. Therefore, Pruitt’s federalist-inspired ideology and leadership came under immense scrutiny, which began before he even took the reins.

Now, after a year’s worth of regulatory rollbacks, a Washington Post article laments on “How Scott Pruitt turned the EPA into one of Trump’s most powerful tools.” The title alone is laughable and entirely backwards, as implies that it is Pruitt, not McCarthy, who turned the agency into a power-hungry leviathan. The story itself explains that Pruitt did nothing of the sort.

The Post reports, “In legal maneuvers and executive actions, in public speeches and closed-door meetings with industry groups, [Pruitt] has moved to shrink the agency’s reach, alter its focus, and pause or reverse numerous environmental rules. The effect has been to steer the EPA in the direction sought by those being regulated.” Amazingly, the Post goes on to make a baffling comparison between Pruitt and McCarthy: “The two share something in common: a willingness to use the agency’s broad executive authority to act unilaterally.”

We can’t recall the Post ever making such a big deal out of McCarthy’s abuse of power. In other words, what the media believes wasn’t a problem under McCarthy is today exceedingly dangerous. After all, as the Post writes, “Pruitt has begun to dismantle former president Barack Obama’s environmental legacy, halting the agency’s efforts to combat climate change and to shift the nation away from its reliance on fossil fuels.” Besides, how can anyone possibly draw comparisons between a person who oversteps her role with unconstitutional rules and another who wants things done in a legal manner?

The fact of the matter is, the EPA was one of Barack Obama’s most powerful weapons in his quest to fundamentally transform America. If the Post’s lousy headline is meant to suggest that Pruitt is one of Trump’s most effective team members in returning toward limited government, then yes. But if it’s implying Pruitt is as power-hungry and corrupt as Obama and his EPA administrator, then absolutely not. The EPA needs to be brought back to an equilibrium, which is what Pruitt is doing. And kudos to him for doing so amidst the unfair treatment and the dirt being thrown at him.


The ozone layer is HEALING: Hole over Antarctica is closing thanks to a worldwide ban on the damaging chemicals, NASA confirms

They've said that before but then along came 2015 with the hole bigger than ever.  It just fluctuates naturally, that's all

A hole in the ozone layer that appeared above Antarctica in the 1980s has shrunk thanks to a worldwide ban on damaging chemicals, Nasa has confirmed.

Research found that levels of ozone-damaging chlorine are rapidly declining in the planet's atmosphere, a direct indicator that Earth's protective layer is on the mend.

Last year, satellite images seemed to show that the ozone hole had begun to close up, with some scientists suggesting it could fully recover by 2060.

Until now it was not clear if this was the result of the Montreal protocol, a 1989 initiative to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals called chloro-flurocarbons (CFCs).

During the 1980s researchers spotted a hole forming in the protective layer, which many blamed on global usage of chemicals called chloro-flurocarbons (CFCs).

CFC's were widely used in aerosols, fridges, air conditioning and packing materials until they were phased out as part of the Montreal protocol in 1989.

They are broken down by the Sun's ultraviolet radiation when they rise into the stratosphere, releasing chlorine atoms that destroy ozone molecules.

The new study satellite readings of the chemical composition of atmosphere to find that the hole in the ozone layer is decreasing in size thanks to a drop in CFC levels.

'All of this is evidence that the Montreal Protocol is working - the chlorine is decreasing in the Antarctic stratosphere, and the ozone destruction is decreasing along with it,' the researchers, led by Dr Susan Strahan of Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland, wrote.

Earth's ozone layer acts like a sunscreen, shielding the planet from potentially harmful UV radiation that can cause skin cancer, cataracts, and damage wildlife.

Ozone depletion occurs in cold temperatures, meaning it varies with the weather year-on-year, making changes over time difficult to study.

Previous research has used statistical analyses of changes in the ozone hole's size to argue that ozone depletion is decreasing.

But the new study used Aura readings of the chemical composition of the hole, finding that the hole is decreasing in size thanks to a drop in atmospheric CFC levels.

Ozone-damaging chlorine concentrations over the Antarctic are declining at a rate of 25 parts-per-trillion each year, equivalent to 0.8 per cent, the study found.

This resulted in a 20 per cent drop in ozone destruction since the Montreal protocol came into effect.

'CFCs have lifetimes from 50 to 100 years, so they linger in the atmosphere for a very long time,' said study coauthor Dr Anne Douglass.

'As far as the ozone hole being gone, we're looking at 2060 or 2080. And even then there might still be a small hole.'


EPA approves $900m rare earths mine in Central Australia despite radioactive risk

A proposed $900 million rare earths mine in Central Australia has been recommended for approval by the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (EPA), after an assessment process lasting more than two years.

Arafura Resources' Nolans Project at Aileron, 135 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs, would mine rare earth materials such as neodymium and praseodymium, used to manufacture strong magnets for wind turbines and electric vehicles.

The EPA identified several long-term environmental risks and impacts with the project, but found they could be managed.

"There will have to be a high level of operational management control for this project over a couple of generations, and there'll have to be a high level of regulatory scrutiny, there's no two ways about that," EPA chairman Paul Vogel said.

The primary risks include the permanent storage of naturally occurring radioactive material onsite and the use of significant groundwater resources over the 35 to 55-year lifespan of the project.

Mr Vogel said he understood public concern about such issues, and the effectiveness of the EPA to effectively monitor them, but said the authority was better placed to provide sufficient oversight.

"That's something that we've drawn attention to with government already, saying that we need to be adequately resourced ... to ensure that these facilities are adequately regulated over time," he said.

It is estimated the project will use 2.7 gigalitres of groundwater a year, and the EPA has recommended aquifer levels and water usage be monitored in real-time with data made available to the public.

"This includes using very conservative triggers for both water quality and quantity and condition of vegetation that are embedded in adaptive management plans, so that we don't reach a point where you've got some irreversible change to the environment," Mr Vogel said.

Radioactive material to be stored in dams
The EPA also recommended best-practice mine closure and progressive rehabilitation practices be adhered to, but noted that uncertainty remains around the significant environmental impacts over the life of the project.

Arafura Resources Sustainability manager Brian Fowler said the low level radioactive material produced in the processing of rare earth material would be stored onsite in purpose-built dams.

"We're very confident those dams will secure those radioactive elements now and into the future," he said.

"They will not be a threat to the environment and they won't provide a threat to public health, and quite frankly, they are relatively stable in a normal environmental setting."

Mr Fowler said the approval of the EPA was a significant milestone for the project, which began 10 years ago.

"What it'll enable us to do now is to go forward and do our detailed mine planning which will then lead us to financial investment decision in the late part of this year with a view to then starting construction, assuming we can attract the required financing, in 2019," he said.

The company said the project would create an investment of about $900 million in Central Australia, as well as 250 to 300 permanent jobs.

Mr Fowler said the company intended to target local people for employment where possible, with the view to creating intergenerational change in the community.

"We understand that there'll be significant challenges in doing that, but when you've got a mine life that contemplates 35 to 55 years, it gives you the opportunity to do lots of planning and work with stakeholders to ensure those benefits are realised," he said.




Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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