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Laguna Woods conference explores women’s role in climate change – OCRegister

Women standing with women is a beautiful thing – especially when the “other woman” is Mother Earth.

This year’s annual femme-centric celebration honoring Women’s History Month answers the question “Why Women Care About Climate Change” through a panel of local speakers and featured films.

The conference, with lunch provided by Taste Catering, will be held Wednesday, March 30, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the main ballroom of Clubhouse 1. Admission is a $20 donation to benefit Planned Parenthood.

  • Beth Krom, who served two terms as mayor of Irvine, is the moderator at the Women’s History Month conference March 30 at Laguna Woods Clubhouse 1.
    (Courtesy photo)

  • Dr. Gloria Moldow, a Village resident and retired professor of women’s studies, will speak at the Women’s History Month conference March 30 at Laguna Woods Clubhouse 1.
    (Courtesy photo)

  • Dr. Kathleen Treseder, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Irvine, is the keynote speaker at the Women’s History Month conference March 30 at Laguna Woods Clubhouse 1.
    (Courtesy photo)

Women have been and continue to be the universal primary caretakers within the societies in every country – a social role that has not changed even in the modern context of dual-income households and women as world leaders.

As more women step to the forefront of climate action, like ecoactivist Greta Thunberg and New Zealand’s carbon-neutral Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the traditional legacies complement the modern female leader in her trajectory to the helm.

Headlining the event is keynote speaker Dr. Kathleen Treseder, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Irvine, who will be highlighting gender inequity and the unique impact climate change has on women directly.

Beth Krom is the moderator of the conference.

“I think women – because we are the child bearers, the child rearers and the future planners – see climate change in a more personal way,” Krom said. “Everything women do, we do from a place of nurturing, sustaining and protecting the world we want to leave our children.”

Krom, who served two terms as mayor of Irvine with more than 15 years as a City Council member from 2000 to 2016, co-championed green initiatives on a local level.

“It’s the work that we do at the local level – whether it be recycling or composting – that can have an even greater impact than what we do at the state or national level,” Krom said, speaking as both a resident and a former civic head. “There isn’t someone out there that’s going to handle everything; it really is the small actions that we take individually.”

Demonstrating how a global threat can live in our backyard, a screening of Guille Isa and Angello Faccini’s 10-minute documentary “Dulce” will be featured at the conference. An 8-year-old’s struggle to learn how to swim plays into not only her future role as a harvester in her village, but also the effort of Colombian communities that live in stilt houses along the Iscuandé River to preserve mangrove forests. The forests provide a buffer against rising sea levels and absorb carbon that contributes to climate change, as stated in the film.

For historical perspective, event speaker Dr. Gloria Moldow, a Village resident and retired professor of women’s studies and dean at Iona College, will present a talk featuring Eunice Newton Foote, the first known scientist to have discovered that gasses in the atmosphere absorb heat, creating the “greenhouse effect” that would induce global warming.

Like many women in history, Foote is not well credited and remains difficult to look up, Moldow said. Without Foote’s connections to feminist activists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Emma Willard via the Women’s Network, she may have been entirely written out of history.

“It’s those connections that you have to explore with 19th century women – you can’t say they couldn’t do this and they couldn’t do that,” Moldow said. “But look at all that they could do – and did.”

To reserve a spot, email conference producer CeCe Sloan at sloanccCA33@gmail.com or call her at 949-683-1278.

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