Patriarchy is an Ecological Regime

June 4, 2020

2018 Wall Scholar Jessica Dempsey (Geography) and Rosemary Collard (Geography at Simon Fraser University) co-wrote an opinion piece on what a feminist, global Green New Deal response to Covid-19 could look like.

Dempsey and Collard argue that any Green New Deal must be international and intersectional. International, because environmental policy cannot stop at national borders or it risks the “hot potato” effect of merely relocating pollution, extraction, devastation. And given vast and longstanding global inequalities, there remains the oft-promised but never implemented principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities”, or put otherwise, the need for the North to pay its ecological debts.

As for intersectional, Demspsey and Collard say that any efforts to deal with climate change and biodiversity loss must be feminist, anti-racist, and decolonial. This is because gendered, racialized and colonial hierarchies are drivers of ecological crisis and render some people and species more sacrificial than others.

As a Wall Scholar Dempsey focused on the question of why the decimation of nonhuman life continues apace, despite growing scientific, political, and legal attention to the crisis. You can watch a video where Dempsey uses the decimation of Woodland Caribou as a case study to grapple with the question: How can this paradox between growing action and growing biodiversity loss be explained?