FEBRUARY 07, 2012
The U.S. government has determined that poor/minority women are the biggest victims of global warming because they have lower incomes, less access to credit and decision-making authority and limited control over resources.
This increases their “vulnerability to many climate impacts,” according to a State Department assessment posted on a web site dedicated to releasing all sorts of interesting government documents. In this case the information is outlined in a Gender and Climate Change Fact Sheet complied by USAID, the government agency that provides economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide.
The fact sheet mostly focuses on women in developing countries such as Africa, Bangladesh, Mexico, Peru and Ecuador. “Development experts,” presumably working for the U.S. government agency found, for instance, that in Africa men have greater access to radios. This puts women at a disadvantage because they’re more likely to hear forecasts and early warnings when delivered through extension workers. This is deep stuff.
Here is another example of how global warming hurts poor women more than any other demographic; in many societies women have the primary responsibility for collecting water and firewood and climate change exacerbates resource scarcity, forcing women and girls to travel farther to collect the supplies. This increases threats to their safety and negatively impacts other areas such as farming productivity and child care.
Uncle Sam’s gender disparity assessment also found this; because women are already vulnerable to “under nutrition” and have less access to medical services, they will suffer more because “changing temperatures alter vectors for diseases like malaria, higher sea-surface temperatures are correlated with cholera epidemics and more frequent droughts and floods will worsen sanitation and hygiene.”
Among the recommendations to help remedy this crisis is to “involve women in vulnerability assessments” and “incorporate gender considerations into national climate change strategies and regulations.” The government fact sheet doesn’t elaborate on what exactly this means or, more importantly, how much this will cost U.S. taxpayers.
This is simply the latest of many government alerts on the ills of global warming since Barack Obama became president. In the last few years the administration has released alarming reports saying that global warming could lead to a worldwide increase in mental illness, cancer and even sexual dysfunction and that it will make food “dangerous.” This, of course, will add to the malnourishment of millions worldwide.
Just a few months ago the taxpayer-funded National Science Foundation revealed that global warming is much worse than previously imagined because the ocean actually masks the true rate of damage for periods as long as a decade. Under this theory, the crisis is way more severe than what it appears because the sea is storing the heat that damages the earth, making it appear as if there is a sort of hiatus in climate change when there really isn’t.
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