The Democratic party has found a new consequence of climate change: prostitution. Rep. Barbara Lee and twelve other House Democrats issued a resolution stating that climate change can cause food and water shortages, which could lead impoverished women to turn to prostitution as a means of income:
“[I]nsecure women with limited socioeconomic resources may be vulnerable to situations such as sex work, transactional sex, and early marriage that put them at risk for HIV, STIs, unplanned pregnancy, and poor reproductive health,” it says.
More broadly, the resolution says climate change will hurt “marginalized” women, such as refugees, sexual minorities, adolescent girls, and women and girls with HIV. It also cites Hurricane Katrina as evidence of how climate change can affect women, noting that the storm displaced “over 83 percent of low-income, single mothers” in the region.
The purpose of the resolution was to call on Congress and the President to “recognize the effects on women, and to use ‘gender-specific frameworks in developing policies to address climate change.’”
In the grand scheme of things, this resolution doesn’t really accomplish anything or make much of a difference. However, it does epitomize the way that our culture uses climate change as an explanation for everything these days, while masking (and therefore hindering) the real problem.
YES, women who are living in poverty are more likely to resort to prostitution than those who are not. YES, among other factors, natural events such as droughts, hurricanes and famines do increase poverty. HOWEVER, the resolution fails to recognize that the aforementioned natural events have been affecting poverty since the beginning of time.
Natural disasters are nothing new; they have been taking place for thousands of years and will, in all likelihood, continue to take place for thousands more. Their degree and severity will continue to ebb and flow; this is not something we can control.
So instead of blaming the weather for increased prostitution and spending billions trying to prevent natural disasters from taking place, our government’s time would be better used addressing the core issue, poverty, which can be addressed by encouraging job growth.