William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Global warming causes prostitution!

Update Moved up to allow comments. Originally posted November 2009.

The Beaujolais nouveau (just got in my case for this year) shot out my nose when I saw this, the most delicious story I’ve heard all week: Climate change pushes poor women to prostitution, dangerous work.

At least we can thank climate change for something!

I don’t know who Suneeta Mukherjee is, other than she is the originator of this wonderful new theory. She works for something called the “UN” (they have a small office building down the street from where I live, but they never seem to do much).

Anyway, she is my new best pal, and if anybody can dig up her address, I’m going to send her a bottle of Duboeuf’s 2009—not it’s best entry, true; but it’s still wet, and that what really counts in the end.

If Mukherjee doesn’t drink, she outta. For if she were drunk, she’d have a good excuse for arriving at the following deductions:

Another sunny day in the PI

Hot air, see, will blow a certain class of women towards the sea, especially in the Philippines. Think of it as sort of sultry climatic-induced mass migration. Now, waiting by the hot sea, in earnest expectation, will be sweaty sailors. You’ve seen them! Says Mukherjee, the shore-based women in heat will then “perform sexual services for transient [these] seafarers.” Not for free. For a fee.

I know what you’re thinking. What about those poor seamen without leave? No worries, mate! The prostitutes will be ferried to the “bigger ships” on the rising tide “by their pimps,” who presumably will be master oarsmen all.

The natural question is: will there be enough to go around? Mukherjee assures us there are 92 million Filipinos (she doesn’t say, but I’m guessing that half of these are female types), with the stock increasing to “146 million in the next 40 years.” Further, “60 percent” will be able to see the sea from their abodes. And if these women don’t like baiting hooks—fishing!—some will be “tempted to go into prostitution.”

What can we conclude from these facts? “[W]omen are taking the brunt of climate change.”

Ahem.

Obviously, Mukherjee was juiced when she tossed off her musings, but she must have been near the bottom of the bottle when she came to her recommendations of how to avoid these calamitous events:

  • Improve sex-disaggregation of date related to migration flows that are influenced by environmental factors and prepare now for increases in population movements resulting from climate change; and
  • Integrate gender considerations into global efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Boy, I must have had too much myself, because I have read those bullets a dozen times, and while each individual word appears to be English, the string of them together is incomprehensible.

Perhaps sobriety will improve their meaning, and knowing Mukherjee as I do, I’m sure there’s something naughty to be uncovered.

16 Comments

  1. From “How to write a successful paper for UN distribution, Lesson One.”

    GLOBAL WARMING CAUSES ‘(fill in the blank here)’

  2. Well, in the 60’s — presumably before much global warming — I was stationed for several years at Clark, AFB, PI.

    There were 3000 ‘registered’ prostitutes right outside the base gate. Clark is now closed, but think how many would be there these days if it were still in operation!

  3. Very sad indeed! Obama must do something now before this spreads to other countries! We need to send portable air conditioners there now.

  4. I’d suggest a bottle of “Pisse Dru” if you’re going to send her a Beaujolais. Not for the flavour (it’s no worse or better than its competitors as far as I can tell) but for the name and the label.

    Of course it might be misinterpreted and the poor lady might think you were taking the p….

  5. Rod,

    I have a similar story. I was on a destroyer out of Subic Bay naval base. Right outside the main gate was Olongapo City. We joked it consisted of nothing but prostitutes.

  6. Yes, the bullets need explanation. For example, it’s not particularly clear what it means to “Improve sex-disaggregation.” Should there be more or less? However the second bullet, “Integrate gender considerations into global efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change,” is more understandable. I take it to mean that before trading with a global warming prostitute, one should wear a prophylactic cap. This has been referred to as “Cap & Trade” by the media.

  7. Briggs

    21 November 2009 at 3:29 pm

    FrancisT,

    Love it!

    Ray,

    When I was at Kadena, all the guys that went down to the PI came back with wives. My number one son, when we finally PCSed out, said as we were boarding the plane (he was four), “Where’s my wife?”

  8. I was going to say something about hornblower’s sailors but I thought better of it.

  9. I have a rowboat …

  10. “Integrate gender considerations into global efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change”.

    She appears to be saying that “gender considerations” should be included in attempts to mitigate climate change.

    I wonder how that works.

    Maybe if we really all focus on “thoughts about women”, the ice will stop melting (if it is), the sea will stop rising (if it is), mitigating as she sugests climate change.

    Can’t see it myself. But can we be sure until we have tried it ? I’m sure a few million from the IPCC would be enough to run an initial test. Maybe we don’t need geo-engineering or drastic economic restraints after all.

  11. Briggs

    23 November 2009 at 10:58 am

    Ken,

    I absolutely love it!

  12. Briggs,

    We should be rejoicing!! The lady from UN has uncovered a treasure trove of climate evidence!! No longer must we drill holes in tress to find a proxy for past temperature. Now we need only a reasonably accurate account of prostitution behavior through human history to see when and where global warming has reared it’s ugly head in the past.

    The “Prostitution Proxy” has been birthed by the lady from UN.

    I shall mark my calendar and have a (Single Malt) Scotch to commemorate this day.

    Cheers,

    Ivin

  13. Briggs

    23 November 2009 at 11:21 am

    Ivin,

    I’m certainly not unhappy about it.

    But consider. Just as soon as one paper comes out saying GLOBAL WARMING CAUSES X, another soon follows saying GLOBAL WARMING CAUSES THE OPPOSITE OF X.

  14. Briggs,

    I will chose to live in the moment. Neither frequentist nor Baysian in my revelry.

    And tomorrow when a new paper says that global warming causes a drop in reprodution among humans by depressing the sex drive, I will mourn the loss of such a fertile field of data.

    [In a more serious tone - this kind of analysis sickens me as a scientist. The operative method here is "Ceterus Ignarus" or "All other things ignored". You have to ignore a LOT of other factors to arrive at the idea that Global warming both causes and prevents all things.]

    Cheers,

    Ivin

  15. Briggs

    23 November 2009 at 11:54 am

    Ivin,

    We’d better hope that the theory is wrong, else there will a lot of itinerant seamen spilling out onto the shores of the PI looking for service. Could get messy.

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