Symbols of petro-masculinity, like souped-up trucks and highly gendered divisions of labour, show up repeatedly in climate disinformation where they simultaneously hinder climate action and fuel authoritarianism. Environmentalists and politicians must consider this mindset in their efforts to tackle the climate crisis, gender inequality and political polarization, she said.
Fossil fuels provide petrol and plastic. But for some people — particularly white, conservative, North American men — they underpin culture, she explained. Measures to phase them out in the face of climate catastrophe can easily be perceived as a threat to these people’s sense of culture and self-worth, imposed by a vague group of elites. These perceptions serve to make climate action a political hot potato.