Want to see stronger climate change policies? Elect more women as lawmakers
Joakim Honkasalo/Unsplash, Yale Climate Connections/Twitter

Despite the denial of the misinformed and delayed actions of politicians, climate change is the story of our time. Every reputable scientific organization on the planet agrees. Every signatory to the historic Paris Accord, which is basically every single one of the world's countries, agrees. Even the U.S. government agrees, with official government climate change reports totally contradicting what the president says and tweets. If we fail to address the very real threats climate change poses to life on our planet, it will be to our peril.

So what do we do about the fact that he leaders of the world are failing to address climate change in a meaningful and effective manner? According to a study out of Australia's Curtin University, there is one promising solution—elect more women into office.


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The study, which examined the legislatures of 91 countries, found that the more women a country has in lawmaking positions, the more stringent the country's climate change policies are. Conducted by economics professors Astghik Mavisakalyan and Yashar Tarverdi, the study included many different factors, including GDP per capita, education statistics, and the political orientation of each country. According to the study authors, none of these factors could explain the link between greater female leadership and stronger climate policies.

In fact, their findings indicate that "this relationship is likely to be causal." In other words, it appears that placing women in positions of power may lead directly to stricter climate change legislation. And that relationship has real world impact as well. The study shows that "through its effect on the stringency of climate change policies, the representation of females in parliament results in lower carbon dioxide emissions."

We've seen how women of all ages are leading the charge when it comes to climate change. From the mighty teen Greta Thunberg to the mighty elder Jane Fonda, the health and future of our planet is in strong female hands. But to make a difference in the halls of government, where earth-saving regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuels takes place, we need more women in positions of direct lawmaking influence. It's not enough to have women raising their voices—we also need them taking seats in legislative bodies.

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Considering the fact that women are more directly impacted by the effects of climate change, perhaps the findings of this study are not surprising. Add in the fact that women statistically make better leaders than men, and it makes sense that female lawmakers would be more likely to lead the way on the world's most pressing challenge.

Naturally, battling climate change is not as simple as electing more women, and there is certainly debate to be had on how best to mitigate the climate crisis. But it's not debatable that immediate action is vital for the well-being of our planet and every living thing on it. It's now clear that women take fiercer action on climate change when they are elected, and it's been proven that women win elections when they run. So this seems like a no brainer.

Let's get more women on the ballot and elect more of them to office. The future of our planet might literally depend on it.

That first car is a rite of passage into adulthood. Specifically, the hard-earned lesson of expectations versus reality. Though some of us are blessed with Teslas at 17, most teenagers receive a car that’s been … let’s say previously loved. And that’s probably a good thing, considering nearly half of first-year drivers end up in wrecks. Might as well get the dings on the lemon, right?

Of course, wrecks aside, buying a used car might end up costing more in the long run after needing repairs, breaking down and just a general slew of unexpected surprises. But hey, at least we can all look back and laugh.

My first car, for example, was a hand-me-down Toyota of some sort from my mother. I don’t recall the specific model, but I definitely remember getting into a fender bender within the first week of having it. She had forgotten to get the brakes fixed … isn’t that a fun story?

Jimmy Fallon recently asked his “Tonight Show” audience on Twitter to share their own worst car experiences. Some of them make my brake fiasco look like cakewalk (or cakedrive, in this case). Either way, these responses might make us all feel a little less alone. Or at the very least, give us a chuckle.

Here are 22 responses with the most horsepower:

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Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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TikTok about '80s childhood is a total Gen X flashback.

As a Gen X parent, it's weird to try to describe my childhood to my kids. We're the generation that didn't grow up with the internet or cell phones, yet are raising kids who have never known a world without them. That difference alone is enough to make our 1980s childhoods feel like a completely different planet, but there are other differences too that often get overlooked.

How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.

One day I described the process of listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could record it on my tape recorder, and how mad I would get when the deejay talked through the intro of the song until the lyrics started. My Spotify-spoiled kids didn't even understand half of the words I said.

And '80s hair? With the feathered bangs and the terrible perms and the crunchy hair spray? What, why and how?

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