Did you know climate science has its roots in the work of a female scientist?
Eunice Newton Foote discovered what’s known today as the greenhouse effect when she compared the temperature of cylinders filled with different gasses and found that water vapor and carbonic acid gas (carbon dioxide) raise the temperature. She theorized that higher carbon dioxide levels in Earth's atmosphere could cause warming. Her work was presented by her male colleague, Joseph Henry, at the 1856 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and was also published. This was three years earlier than the work of John Tyndall, who is known for proving the greenhouse effect. Maybe three years doesn’t seem like it would have made much of a difference, but how many similar stories are out there?
Image of Eunice Newton Foote with a dog, Source.
Eunice Foote also went to the first Woman’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York, on July 19-20, 1848. You can see her name listed under Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Declaration of Sentiments, Source.
Her story reflects how important it is to fight for women to be heard and respected. Equality benefits everybody. EcoWomen is committed to its mission to support women in becoming leaders of their fields and good stewards of the environment.
We’d also like to highlight several women who lead in sustainable careers:
Mary Beth Mandanas, Chief Executive Officer at Onyx Renewable Partners, a leading energy transition provider based in New York, New York. She also serves as Independent Director and Audit Chair for Tortoise Ecofin Acquisition Corp. III; and serves as Independent Director and Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee for Energy Vault.
Tracey Lewis, Policy Counsel at the Climate Group Public Citizen, a climate change action group that fights the climate crisis by promoting clean, affordable energy and holding polluters and profiteers accountable through research, lobbying, and grassroots organizing. She was named to the second cohort of fellows at the groundbreaking climate and community project – which was the incubator for developing the Green New Deal – and was initially based at the University of Pennsylvania’s McHarg Center at the Weitzman School of Design. She spoke at DC EcoWomen’s EcoHour in 2022.
Katie Zdilla, Director of Earth and Life, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a leading organization in wildlife conservation and endangered species protection. In her decade at WWF, she has managed the global program to replicate Project Finance for Permanence around the world and been part of the forest program focusing on promoting responsible forestry and stopping illegal logging. She spoke at DC EcoWomen’s EcoHour in January 2023
Happy Women's History Month!