Tuesday, March 8, 2016

US Making Progress to Gender Neutral Glaciology

A fantastic fisking of a paper resulting from a real NSF project:
JeffB. says this cost You over $400,000 in grant money to produce.

Don't forget that as you read.
Glaciers, gender, and science

A feminist glaciology framework for global environmental change research
Mark Carey
M Jackson
Alessandro Antonello
Jaclyn Rushing
University of Oregon, USA
Mark Carey, Robert D. Clark Honors College, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA. Email: carey@uoregon.edu

Glaciers are key icons of climate change and global environmental change. However, the relationships among gender, science, and glaciers – particularly related to epistemological questions about the production of glaciological knowledge – remain understudied. This paper thus proposes a feminist glaciology framework with four key components: 1) knowledge producers; (2) gendered science and knowledge; (3) systems of scientific domination; and (4) alternative representations of glaciers. Merging feminist postcolonial science studies and feminist political ecology, the feminist glaciology framework generates robust analysis of gender, power, and epistemologies in dynamic social-ecological systems, thereby leading to more just and equitable science and human-ice interactions.
This is not a parody. Powerline thought it was, but the lead author is an associate dean at the University of Oregon.
I Introduction

Glaciers are icons of global climate change, with common representations stripping them of social and cultural contexts to portray ice as simplified climate change yardsticks and thermometers. In geophysicist Henry Pollack’s articulation, 'Ice asks no questions, presents no arguments, reads no newspapers, listens to no debates. It is not burdened by ideology and carries no political baggage as it crosses the threshold from solid to liquid. It just melts' (Pollack, 2009: 114). This perspective appears consistently in public discourse, from media to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). But the 'ice is just ice' conceptualization contrasts sharply with conclusions by researchers such as Cruikshank (2005), who asks if glaciers listen [!!!], Orlove et al. (2008b), who analyze the cultural framing of glaciers [!], Carey (2007), who sees an endangered species narrative applied to glaciers [!!!], Jackson (2015), who exposes how glaciers are depicted as ruins, and Sörlin (2015), who refers to the present as a cryo-historical moment because ‘ice has become historical, i.e. that ice is an element of change and thus something that can be considered as part of society and of societal concern' (Sörlin, 2015: 327).
I repeat: this is not a parody, and this cost you over $400,000.

Let's get back to debunking that "ice is just ice" claim.

Does ice listen? Let's find out.
Nüsser and Baghel (2014) also reject the 'ice is just ice' assertion. Glaciers, they argue, 'have increasingly become contested and controversial objects of knowledge, susceptible to cultural framings as both dangerous and endangered landscapes' (Nüsser and Baghel, 2014: 138)....
By the way, this is all as superficial as what a high-schooler would produce from Wikipedia searches -- assuming the high-schooler had access to academic paper databases instead of Wikipedia. But the glibness -- let me just snatch this from here, that from there -- is exactly the same.

Think about what this sentence is actually saying. No, don't just say it's "Academese" -- it is that of course. But think about what it's actually saying.
Despite their perceived remoteness, glaciers are central sites -- often contested and multifaceted -- experiencing the effects of global change, where science, policy, knowledge, and society interact in dynamic social-ecological systems.
That sentence is saying, if one reads it literally (and why shouldn't one?), that glaciers are the physical place where science, knowledge, and society interact in dynamic social-ecological systems.

No, asshole. A basement carrel at your over-charging university is where these things interact (if they do interact). A glacier is were ice and earth interact.

This is like reading Chevy Chase in Spies Like Us bullshitting his way through an academic conference with buzzwords and nonsense, and getting away with it -- humorously -- because none of his made-up nonsense is any more ridiculous than the made-up nonsense other assholes are saying.

I still don't know if glaciers listen, but we're about to find out they don't like the b-slur -- because glaciers have gender.

Come with me. Let's have a Science Adventure together . . .
. . .
Okay, I'm done. I'll just leave you with this:
II Why feminist glaciology?
Feminist glaciology asks how knowledge related to glaciers is produced, circulated, and gains credibility and authority across time and space. It simultaneously brings to the forefront glacier knowledge that has been marginalized or deemed 'outside' of traditional glaciology. It asks how glaciers came to be meaningful and significant (through what ontological and epistemological process), as well as trying to destabilize underlying assumptions about ice and environment through the dismantling of a host of boundaries and binaries. The feminist lens is crucial given the historical marginalization of women, the importance of gender in glacier-related knowledges, and the ways in which systems of colonialism, imperialism, and patriarchy co-constituted gendered science. Additionally, the feminist perspective seeks to uncover and embrace marginalized knowledges and alternative narratives, which are increasingly needed for effective global environmental change research, including glaciology (Castree et al., 2014; Hulme, 2011). A combination of feminist postcolonial science studies and feminist political ecology provide the intellectual foundation for feminist glaciology.

There are two levels one can read that at.

The first level sees it as gobedlygook. This is the typical level people tell you to read this crap at, and then jeer and laugh at it.

I urge you to look past that level, and really read it to understand what they're claiming.

Because that's even worse, and even more ridiculous than actual meaningless gibberish.

Whenever someone says "Let's not talk about X, let's talk about the idea of X," you can be sure of three things:

1. That person is almost entirely ignorant of X.

2. You are in for some next-level bullshit and cheap word-association hijinks to cover up for the fact that person is almost entirely ignorant of X.

3. That person is a narcissist who does not feel comfortable unless he is the center of attention, and considers it akin to psychical suicide to just admit "You know, I don't really know much about X; why don't you tell me what you know, so I can learn?"
I started to lose faith in American science when NSF started putting a Venn diagram including social science in its RFPs. It's still getting worse.

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