Isn't this a form of gender shaming?
Cheeseburgers are part of my lived experience!
The study, carried out by research company Ecoloop and published on Monday in the Journal for Industrial Ecology, looked at single men and women living in Sweden and considered their consumption and expenditure on goods such as food, household items, furnishings, holidays and fuel for cars.
While the study is one of the few to examine gender differences in terms of carbon footprints, its main focus was carbon mitigation, and those three areas represented large targets for reduction.
It found that Swedish men on average were responsible for 16% more greenhouse gases than women, despite the fact that men only spend 2% more on goods in total than women do. The research was based on official consumer spending figures from 2012 -- the most recent data available.
Why were men "responsible for 16% more greenhouse gases than women, despite the fact that men only spend 2% more on goods?"
Let's return to that CNN headline for a moment.
"Men have a bigger carbon footprint than women, thanks to their appetite for cars and meat."
Pretty catchy, plays on gender stereotypes and reflects the general misandry so popular among the women and compliant beta males of CNN.
Here's the thing.
That's not what the study demonstrated.
However, unlike the study by Meier et al. (2012), greenhouse gas emissions from foods did not differ much between the two genders. Further research could explore tailor-based policy instruments according to gender in the quest for climate change mitigation. The results from our research show that the choice of holiday and transport are areas for which this may be most relevant.
It's like author Hannah Ryan, professional joURnALisT, couldn't be bothered to read to the end. (And yes, that was at the very end of the study.)
Had she focused and read the whole thing, she might have come across this little tidbit as well.
The changes in expenditures affect men and women a bit differently as men spent more money on meat and meat products before the change (9%) and women spent more money on dairy products (23%).
She did, however, find a compatriot in lead researcher Annika Carlsson-Kanyama, so why bother with all that boring reading stuff when you can get some juicy hot takes from the author!
Annika Carlsson-Kanyama, the lead researcher on the study, told CNN that men "could really learn from women's expenditure habits, which produce significantly less carbon emissions despite the similar amount of spending."
As the study points out, those expenditure habits include spending less money on vehicles and fuel, and more on "low-emitting products and services such as health care, furnishings, and clothes."
How, exactly, are men supposed to spend more on healthcare? Start getting annual gynecology exams and mammograms? Do we really want men fussing over which couch goes with with the end tables and if the old carpet still works because I have news for Ryan and Carlsson-Kanyama.
WE DON'T KNOW.
Full disclosure: I do like clothes. I had no idea I was so woke. And as long as I have you here, do these cargo shorts make me look fat?
She said governments need to factor these gender differences into their decision-making when shaping environmental policy.
"Shaping environmental policy" = "forcing you how to behave."
"Policies -- for example, in transportation -- should be targeted to men to discourage them from spending so much on fuel, from using cars so much. It's essential for governments, in their messaging, to explain to men how high the emissions are that their expenditure is causing."
Carlsson-Kanyama also said she's noticed that it "makes people uncomfortable to discuss the fact that men and women affect the environment differently."
And by "people" she means, "men." Is there any wonder?
Asmae Ourkiya, a doctoral researcher in ecofeminism and environmental justice at the University of Limerick in Ireland,...
...echoed Carlsson-Kanyama's point about the impact that fixed gender roles -- within which men are more likely to spend their money on cars and fuel and to eat more meat, for example -- have on the environment.
Meat! They really hate meat. There was very little difference between men and women overall with regards to consuming animal-based products, but hey, the ecofeminist and evironmental justice warrior is on a roll!
Men's "masculine identities became heavily associated with fossil fuel extraction and consumption ... and resistance to sustainable diets," they told CNN.
There you have it. "Masculine identities became heavily associated with fossil fuel extraction and consumption ... and resistance to sustainable diets."
Let's take a look those sustainable diets, and the mitigation efforts this study suggests, as that, and not this silly gender wars approach CNN decided to take, is the real meat substitute of the study.
In fact, note that CNN decided to ignore the details of what actually had to be done to achieve these reductions and instead discussed it in the abstract. It's not like real sacrifices have to be made. Now go binge watch Netflix. We'll take care of everything.
First up, food and drink.
Figure 2 shows the various emissions intensities for meat and dairy alternatives and locally produced vegetables as well as different types of meat, dairy products, and vegetables.
Let's take a close look at your future menu.
So. Much. Soy.
Also, forget the modern delight of access to a wide range of food from around the world. You'll eat your locally grown tomatoes and lettuce and you'll like it!
Next up, furnishings.
Figure 4 shows the various emissions intensities for some new furnishing products as well as emissions from alternatives such as repair, renting, and second-hand purchases. Second-hand products have clearly the lowest emissions of all alternatives in Figure 4.
Forget buying new, from now on we'll all be buying second-hand and repairing what we have. You know, like poor people.
Well, not all of us.
And finally, "holidays," or vacations.
Spoiler warning, you won't be taking those any more.
Figure 6 shows the various emissions from different types of holidays today and some less carbon-intensive alternatives. As can be seen, the lowest emissions come from staycations and a package tour by train in Sweden.
Ah, the "staycation." What you do when you can't afford to go anywhere. Probably just as well since you'll be pretty busy scavenging the area for local produce and repairing that wobbly dining room table you bought at a local yard sale since the government banned private vehicles.
The staycation category includes activities such as concerts and massage,...
You know, the things you do anyway. They might as well include, "have dinner out" (someplace gourmet that serves pea protein confit), and "sit in the park" as part of your many low-carbon "holiday" choices.
...and the package tour by train in Sweden includes train and hotel accommodation.
The world is your oyster.
As long as the train goes there.
Traveling abroad by plane is almost 10 times more polluting than to travel abroad by train and taking a car-based holiday is six times more polluting than having a staycation or buying a package tour by train in Sweden.
They really don't want you to go anywhere, do they?
This is their vision for you, a future in which billionaires travel to space, and you travel down the block.
One other observation not directly addressed in the study is the fact that Swedish men are 18% larger on average than Swedish women. That biological fact means men will require more resources than women, period.
Or do they have a plan for that, too?