Don’t blame men for the climate crisis – we should point the finger at corporations

Don’t blame men for the climate crisis – we should point the finger at corporations

Male spending – on petrol and meat – is apparently worse for the environment than women’s. But it’s the system, not individuals, that needs to change

Sorry, boys, but it’s all your fault. Melting ice caps, flash floods, rising sea levels: men are to blame for the lot of it. Please don’t drown the messenger, I’m just relaying the results of a Swedish study that found that men’s spending habits cause 16% more climate-heating emissions than women’s. The biggest difference seems to be that men spend more money on petrol. Another big difference: the men surveyed bought more meat than women. So this is the way the world ends, eh? Not with a bang, but with blokes eating too many burgers.

I don’t know how many studies published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology go viral, but this paper has had an enormous amount of traction. Of course, this is largely because its findings leant themselves to delicious clickbait such as Men Are Worse for Climate Change Than Women Because They Love Meat and Cars. To be fair, the study didn’t lean into gender war territory in the way you would expect based on the headlines it generated. Gender wasn’t even mentioned in the paper’s title, which was “Shifting expenditure on food, holidays, and furnishings could lower greenhouse gas emissions by almost 40%”.

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