Claim: Global Warming Will Cause More Child Marriages

A peasant girl in a field of flowers 1886 -
A peasant girl in a field of flowers 1886 –

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The ongoing effort by climate advocates to find a way to make us care about their failed cause has reached a new low, with a claim that global warming is making young vulnerable girls more likely to be forced into marriage, in barbaric cultures which sanction some forms of child abuse.

Here’s How Climate Change Is Sexist

First, two facts:

1.) Bangladesh has been ravaged by flooding and cyclones in recent years.

2.) Some 30 percent of girls in Bangladesh get married before they turn 15, meaning it has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world.

What could those two things possibly have in common? They’re both the product of climate change.

It might seem crazy, but it’s true: Around the world, climate change disproportionately affects people living in poverty, especially poor women and girls. In Bangladesh, for example, big shifts in weather patterns have caused cyclones, flooding, and droughts, forcing families that spent generations farming the countryside to pick up and leave. To survive, they’re are forced to relocate to cities to look for work, and families often resort to marrying off their young daughters so they have fewer mouths to feed.

Read more:

Leaving aside the fact that even the IPCC admits there is no evidence CO2 is making storms worse, lets assume for a moment that the claim was true – that storms were getting worse, and that this was forcing more destitute parents to sell their girl children to pedophiles.

Would the best way to help these poor girls really be to build more wind turbines? Or would that money better be spent on specific programmes to empower women? Initiatives such as Microfinance programmes to help poor people develop a reliable income, so desperate parents could be spared the agony of having to sell some of their children?

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Tom Halla
October 27, 2016 1:14 am

I think they are trying a bit too hard for a tie to climate change. Economic change always affects peasant farmers adversely, especially submarginal ones.

Reply to  Tom Halla
October 27, 2016 1:42 am

An almost complete list of things caused by global warming:
I suspect it is impossible to keep up with it all.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  RAH
October 27, 2016 8:57 am

I’m still waiting for someone to come along and blame AGW for “the heartbreak of psoriasis.”

Reply to  RAH
October 27, 2016 10:08 am

CO2 is responsible for the heartbreak of psoriasis.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  RAH
October 27, 2016 5:34 pm

It’s quite clear based on a 90 million yr old tree ring with dinosaur skin on it from outer Mongolia that psoriasis was present prior to CO2 rise and therefore caused it.

Reply to  Tom Halla
October 27, 2016 4:53 am

Climate change is the golden key. Put it in your study and you get government funding. It is stupid, but that is how science works now with billions flowing to Climate Change, and pittance to any study not connected.

J McClure
Reply to  Tom Halla
October 27, 2016 10:26 am

I enjoyed coursework in human perception. It was an eye opener.
We, rectilinear perceive very differently from our counterparts circular/amorphic landscape upbringing.
“Once size Doesn’t Fit All”

Reply to  Tom Halla
October 27, 2016 7:41 pm

A lot of this has to do with Islam (Bangladesh is ~92% Muslim) and although the recommended Islamic minimum for girls is 15, some sects allow down to 12 (with their prophet it was 9). So this is one more false claim without investigation. If one wants a temporary shock, look to Mexico where the minimum age for girls is routinely 14 (with parental consent) and in some Mexican states 12 years and also 12 in Massachusetts with judicial approval.

george e. smith
Reply to  Tom Halla
October 30, 2016 2:20 pm

Well the mohammedans are outbreeding everybody else and they also believe in forced child marriage so it stands to reason it is on the rise.

October 27, 2016 2:10 am


October 27, 2016 2:14 am

… forcing families that spent generations farming the countryside to pick up and leave …

1 – Urbanization has been going on for a very long time, arguably centuries.
2 – Bangladesh is a floodplain.
If they don’t deal with the above two facts, their study is complete bunk.

4 Eyes
Reply to  commieBob
October 27, 2016 3:13 am

And the best parts of the floodplain were developed years ago and so the areas most susceptible to anything are being developed now.

Reply to  commieBob
October 27, 2016 8:15 am

One more thing they have to deal with:
We’re used to seeing statistics showing that we are increasingly urbanized. That’s true but it doesn’t mean the countryside is being emptied out. In most countries the rural population is actually increasing; it’s just that the urban population is increasing much faster.
Bangladesh rural population:
1960 – 45,725,596
2015 – 105,811,166
The rural population of Bangladesh has more than doubled. It is probably well beyond its carrying capacity. If people are leaving the countryside, that is the reason. Shay Maunz, the author of the article, is full of crap like a young robin.

Rhoda R
Reply to  commieBob
October 27, 2016 9:23 am

Not to mention that the Islamic culture has no problem with child marriages since their Profit married a 9 yo. as his last bride.

george e. smith
Reply to  Rhoda R
October 30, 2016 2:29 pm

I read a story years ago in Readers Digest about a sixteen year old girl who was just informed that her eleven year old brother was actually her son.

Dodgy Geezer
October 27, 2016 2:22 am

…that this was forcing more destitute parents to sell their girl children to pedophiles….
Not exactly. This is a Western slant on a perfectly normal custom in those countries.
In these countries – and in ours not too long ago – children are seen as assets for the family from the day they are born. Boy children will follow in their father’s footsteps, learn his trade and add to the family income, sometimes watching the sheep or guiding the plough as soon as they can toddle, while girl children will learn to weave and sew, and may be betrothed to a son of a richer family practically at birth to maintain important connections. They may be married as soon as possible – possibly before puberty – in order to secure these connections.
In a culture with little medical support and high mortality, girls are breeding machines, and are expected to start doing this as soon as they are able. As the assets which keep a tribe populated, they are usually locked up and kept away from intrusive males from other tribes, who may wish to carry them away to boost the fortunes of a neighbouring competitor.
The world has now, thanks to Western medicine and technology, reached a position where this way of life is no longer essential – but the culture is still there in many of the less-developed countries. We may find it repulsive now, but it is simply the maintenance of a custom which was originally quite reasonable and justifiable….

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
October 27, 2016 5:25 am

Who defines what a child is? In our culture, anyone under 18 is a child. But is that how it is defined in Bangladesh? This is nothing more than assuming that Western ideas exist in a non-Western culture. Furthermore, what about child husbands? If you want to reduce ‘child’ brides, decrease mortality. You can decrease mortality with cheap, plentiful energy which will provide excellent medical care. The only source of cheap, plentiful energy is coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, and hydro (especially if it rains as much as they complain about).

george e. smith
Reply to  alexwade
October 30, 2016 2:23 pm

And if they are not yet nine months old they are just a fetus. So yes different cultures have different names for the same thing.

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
October 27, 2016 5:39 am

More to the point, in cultures without birth control, girls need to be married before 16 because they’ll turn up pregnant anyway. Then there’s no way they can be married off.
In 17’th century England, this was the norm. In fact, it was only after the widespread introduction of modern birth control in the western world that the marriage age started to increase. You can’t blame Bangladeshis for adopting the same solution to the same problem.

Reply to  Hivemind
October 27, 2016 5:40 am

What I’m trying to say in other ways it that it isn’t pedophilia if it is the cultural norm.

Reply to  Hivemind
October 27, 2016 6:22 am

Starting with your last statement first. The message that came across is, it isn’t pedophilia, if pedophilia is the cultural norm.
The idea that marrying a daughter off at 16yrs was to prevent out of wedlock berths suggest that the common folk were without morals. In the 17th century Men of War had a substantial number of 16yr old men in their crew, with some younger yet. Men at 16? Why not women at 16? That would be more a cultural norm.

Dodgy Geezer
Reply to  Hivemind
October 27, 2016 7:29 am

Yes – amongst other reasons. In fact, cultures all over the world have customs which severely restrict a girl’s activities as soon as puberty arrives – or some years before.
The other issue is life expectancy. Quotes of very low average LE are misleading – If you survived childhood, a man could live to 50-60. Women would have a lower LE, because death during childbirth was relatively common. If we estimate female LE as 40, you can see that women needed to breed as soon as possible if they were to raise children…

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Hivemind
October 27, 2016 12:33 pm

“In 17’th century England, this was the norm.”
Not so. Historians have done detailed studies of Parrish records of births, marriages, and deaths, and have found out that early marriage was not a norm in England in the 17th Century.
Laslett ‘a books are quite readable.

Reply to  Hivemind
October 29, 2016 3:52 pm

I don’t have my references handy, but while the age at which marriage was *permitted* was historically low, the age at which marriage was *common* hasn’t been that low in Europe for centuries, if ever. See for example
More to the climate change point: what is the evidence that the distribution of marriage ages in Bangladesh has *changed*?

george e. smith
Reply to  Hivemind
October 30, 2016 2:31 pm

It’s still pedophilia whether its the norm or not.
This is the 21st century not the seventh.

NW sage
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
October 27, 2016 5:19 pm

Agree – Who are we to impose the supposedly ‘superior’ values of our culture on anyone else? Their culture reflects the forces of the real world as it affects them – ours is different. When are we going to get off our ego trip that our way of doing things is always better? Perhaps it is necessary to marry early in order to produce enough offspring to exceed the death rate and to survive in the long run. Only cultural practice can assure that result. If it works – keep it!

Reply to  NW sage
November 6, 2016 3:54 pm

It isn’t a matter of superior values, it’s a matter of outdated customs. In a world of 9 billion, we can’t support men and women marrying and breeding at the age of 13 any longer. Families of 12 result in massive refugee problems. These countries, like Bangladesh, have exceeded the carrying capacity of the land they live on, they’ve become ‘backfill’ for industrialized countries with falling birthrates.
What’s the point of voluntary population control when you live next door to a fecund population that can’t support itself and pumps out children like rats?

Craig W
October 27, 2016 2:32 am

It is the import of third world ideals that bring more child marriages (usually arranged), not the climate.

October 27, 2016 2:33 am

What will cause more child marriages is the far-left LGBwahtever being pushed in schools, and cow-towing to muslim religion where these sort of predatory activities are the norm.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  AndyG55
October 27, 2016 9:18 am

What you perceive as being “predatory activities” have evolved in more primitive cultures to ensure their survival. As others above have remarked, the mortality rate during child birth is high in societies with poor medical care. They need high reproductive rates and many children to survive.
The Sword Saint of Japan, Miamoto Mushashi, killed his first opponent in a duel at about age 14 or 15. Similarly, Sitting Bull, of Custer’s Last Stand fame, killed his first tribal enemy at about age 14. We see similar activities going on in our urban cores where there are turf wars over drug distribution rights.
In modern Western societies, we attempt to prolong childhood to keep them out of the work force because we have more potential workers than available jobs. I think that you have been brain-washed by Feminist propaganda.

george e. smith
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
October 30, 2016 2:34 pm

There is the fact that it takes a lot of time to teach all that persons need to know to survive in this world.
Millenials cannot survive without their parents, so they are not ready for marriage.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
November 6, 2016 4:00 pm

Clyde I learned to use a sword before I was 14. By 16 I could kill most people with my bare hands in less than a minute. I learned to farm and raise livestock before I was 12.
I was 22 before I could program a computer. That’s the difference between an adult and a child in an industrialized society right there; t takes a whole lot more education to survive and be a benefit to an industrialized nation. My son is still in school at the age of 29, he’s a biochemist. Very different society.

October 27, 2016 2:35 am

As commieBob notes, flooding so severe as to be natural disasters causing hunger and famine is a very old story in that corner of the world. In this regard, “climate change” has not changed anything at all.
As for child marriage, one might suspect the dominant Islamic religion and culture might be more of a cause than global warming. This effort by the Thomson Reuters Foundation seems to willfully ignore obvious facts on the ground. Pure propaganda.

Reply to  TonyL
October 27, 2016 3:47 am

How quickly we forget . In the 1950s a tour of Britain by Jerry Lee Lewis was cancelled after the press found out that he had married his 13 year old cousin – a practice that we , the English public, were led to believe( correctly or maliciously) was common and legal in the Louisiana of that time.
(JLL of course overcame these difficulties and deservedly became a legendary artist.)

Alan the Brit
Reply to  TonyL
October 27, 2016 7:13 am

I remember being around 14/15 or there abouts, a huge collection was raised nationwide , including at schools, in the UK to send money for flood relief in the newly formed country of Bangladesh! I’m 58 now!!!!

Brit in AZ
Reply to  Alan the Brit
October 27, 2016 9:11 am

I remember the same thing in UK schools when I was about 15/16 too…. I’m 68 now and remember a big effort to collect money for Pakistani (pre-Bangladesh) floods.
It was a repetitive thing.

george e. smith
Reply to  Alan the Brit
October 30, 2016 2:37 pm

I remember the same event. Supposedly 150,000 people were drowned.
But the population of Bangladesh, East Paskistan, did not decrease.
The birth rate outpaced the rate at which they recovered the bodies.

October 27, 2016 3:10 am

On this intellectual level one could as well reason, that cold floods might dampen unwanted coming into heat.

Bloke down the pub
October 27, 2016 3:10 am

It might seem crazy, but it’s true: Around the world, climate change disproportionately affects people living in poverty, especially poor women and girls.
OK, provide cheap reliable fossil fueled energy so that they can work their way out of poverty and the problem is solved.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  Bloke down the pub
October 27, 2016 5:45 pm

And birth control!

Bill Hunter
October 27, 2016 3:25 am

its election time. this stuff always increases as the community living on tax payer grants tries to influence our vote.

Paul Westhaver
October 27, 2016 3:37 am

I can see that. In the blue state of Massachusetts, children of 12 years of age can legally be married. The same green haze that makes the lefty socialists walk to the beat of the CAGW drum, allows such laws to be put on the books. Its a green thing Eric.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
October 27, 2016 4:25 am

With the massive import of Muslims from the Mideast and East Africa, that common law provision of Massachusetts law (from 1854) is going to start getting a serious workout.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
October 27, 2016 9:21 am

I think that you will find that the law allowing the marriage at such a young age has been on the books for generations.

October 27, 2016 3:44 am

If the green/lefties cannot correctly determine cause and effect with the climate, they are bound to have the same problem with other issues.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  andrewmharding
October 27, 2016 5:47 pm

Like massive debt begetting economic disaster!

October 27, 2016 3:59 am

The rent seeking “paper” this blog post is based on is another example of how climate consensus true believers suffer from a form of progressive ignorance. Child marriage was more prevalent, not less, in the past. The cultural roots of child marriage are ancient and well understood by those not suffering from climate consensus true belief. The most disturbing pattern emerging in the climate corruption movement is that they now reject not only science, facts and history. They now deny their own IPCC. If the choice is to be honest vs. deceptive, the IPCC position is not a hindrance for rent seeking alarmists.

October 27, 2016 4:20 am

The question is why do you publish their stories? Are we supposed to run after each and every story and prove it wrong?

Reply to  mountainape5
October 27, 2016 4:32 am

“Are we supposed to run after each and every story and prove it wrong?”
I don’t think you’re “supposed” to do anything.

Reply to  Paul
October 27, 2016 4:49 am

Then it becomes a media that is living off of these same people that is trying to prove wrong.

Reply to  mountainape5
October 27, 2016 6:23 am

If ridiculing the ridiculous is not your thing, perhaps you should avoid these articles.

Reply to  mountainape5
October 27, 2016 6:24 am

Yes, just silently stand aside and let the illiberal, intellectually dishonest, historically illiterate climate kooks say anything.

October 27, 2016 4:30 am

From where can I claim compensation for all the damage done to my head by this continual barrage of ‘claims’ from stupid, more stupid, even more stupid and out-of-this-world stupid AGW-troughers?

Reply to  Luc Ozade (@Luc_Ozade)
October 27, 2016 4:56 am

I didn’t mean that to come across as a criticism of WUWT, by the way. I’m grateful they show us the level of stupidity which predominates the entire climate-change scam which, in turn, reinforces my personal determination to do battle with them in every way I know.

Reply to  Luc Ozade (@Luc_Ozade)
October 27, 2016 5:26 am

It seems my previous reply to myself has received moder@tion? I’m not used to this!
All I wanted to say was that I wasn’t criticising WUWT for publishing these so-called ‘claims’ – just that they reinforce my determination to do battle with the puerile Warmistas in any and every way I that I can.
(Now, I bet my original, and I think innocuous, comment will show up!)

Reply to  Luc Ozade (@Luc_Ozade)
October 29, 2016 7:54 pm

“From where can I claim compensation for all the damage done to my head by this continual barrage of ‘claims’”
Not only that, some claims can pass the laugh test and only further investigation can debunk these claims (yes, debunk NOT refute as these claims are NOT merely incorrect, they are patently fraudulent).
What about the hundreds of hours needed to check every one of the ecoloon claims? (anti-CO2, anti-lead, anti-mercury, anti-DDT, anti-CO2, anti-glyphosate…)

Tom in Florida
October 27, 2016 4:57 am

Perhaps they simply meant that as temperature rises, young girls will become hotter.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
October 27, 2016 7:48 am

..or men get hornier faster

Reply to  Latitude
October 27, 2016 10:11 am

I didn’t think that was possible.

October 27, 2016 6:02 am

So “Climate Change” will cause more Pedophilia and Misogyny, eh?
Then guess which Presidential Candidate tries to foist the CO2-Climate Change Hoax upon us in all its Al Gorey Glory while at the same time she:
Nurtures ISIS, The Muslim Brotherhood, and Sharia Law Supremacist Nations, including Iran;
Has as as her personal “World Leader Idol”, Angela Merkel, and likewise wants to bring massive numbers of Islamic “Refugees”, who she admits behind closed doors are likewise ~”not vettable”, into the U.S.;
Promotes PC to the point of wanting to make Islamic Culture and Law “equal” to that of America’s – especially since most recently it was in effect a Totalitarian form of Government which exonerated her of obvious crimes;
And tops it all off by making one of her worst character flaws, incessant compulsive lying, look like it’s a good quality in comparison to the above: by giving us the hope that since she’s always lying, maybe we at least really do have no idea what she’ll do next and despite her record?
And neither does she, just as James Comey argued in so “credibly” excusing her acts and statements, and thereby proudly presenting her to us, “Ladies and Gentlemen, The Next President Of The United States!”

george e. smith
Reply to  JPeden
October 30, 2016 2:42 pm

Lying in the interest of the spread of that plague, is not only approved, but encouraged.

Bruce Cobb
October 27, 2016 6:08 am

Classic Warmunism. They love tapping into and amplifying Western Guilt.

October 27, 2016 6:25 am

Radical Islam and the taking of up to four child brides as young as six years old is a major problem for the world. The EU is being flooded by this rape culture and Western Civilization in the EU is on the brink of collapse.

Paul Marc
October 27, 2016 7:05 am

This: * covers up for Muslim child marriages * covers up for Mexican child marriages (and rape) * disses anthro global warming
Summary: advances leftism

October 27, 2016 7:09 am

The tipping point for negative climate change impact on intelligence is here. Either that or the new hi-tech auto-fill-in-the-blanks research tool has been rolled out in support of climate political science.

Bruce Cobb
October 27, 2016 7:15 am

“Climate Change” and the Leftist narrative; A match made in heaven.

October 27, 2016 7:19 am

Both points of the faux analysis that the pathetic article is based on are demonstrably false. The Bay of Bengal is infamous throughout history for terrible storms and floods with the world’s largest loss of life by storm and storm surge. Check news accounts from the 19th century, and older historical records. And child brides was an issue much discussed ever since Westerners showed up to be outraged. It is the blithering ignorance of the climate consensus true believers that never fails to astound anyone who is historically informed.

October 27, 2016 7:30 am

I would think that the most amazing measure of global warming is that the population of Bangladesh has quadrupled since 1960.
Same with the Philippines.
Same land mass in both countries.
One is predominantly Muslim and the other is predominantly Catholic.

October 27, 2016 7:45 am

“and families often resort to marrying off their young daughters so they have fewer mouths to feed.”
But the family into which the young daughters are married off now has another mouth to feed don’t they? And a mouth that will in all likelihood will create another new mouth to feed in a year or so?
So why aren’t the families into which these young women are being married worried about another mouth (or two or three) to feed? Might it be that this paper’s reasoning is pure male bovine excrement?

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  ddpalmer
October 27, 2016 10:15 am

Except that the author is a woman. But the bovine excrement part is still good.

October 27, 2016 7:50 am

…I think that’s a great idea
We should import more people from these countries….since their culture is so modern progressive and in sync with ours

CD in Wisconsin
October 27, 2016 8:53 am

And let us remind ourselves once again here that climate change is also supposed to drive more women into prostitution…….
Quote: “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….”

October 27, 2016 8:53 am

Just when you think it can’t get more ridiculously bazaar, then it does.

Terry Warner
October 27, 2016 10:21 am

Poverty, not climate change, is the principle driver of child marriage. Solving poverty usually involves fossil fuels to provide food, clean water, waste treatment, etc.
So the choice may be to solve climate change or solve child marriage. The proposition that climate change drives more child marriage is, frankly, laughable.

October 27, 2016 11:30 am

Lets not forget that some of the most noxious groups and governments on the planet are big supporters of AGW. From Bin Laden to the haircut challenged Kim’s these bad actors see AGW mania as a wonderful tool to undermine Western values.
That puts them in the same camp with the UN, Greenpeace, and many others. Junkafied science is the preferred method of creating a false body of work justifying otherwise unpalatable public policy. For this we can thank Al Gore and his boss Bill Clinton.

Richard of NZ
October 27, 2016 11:36 am

All of my reading suggests that as climate climbed out of the medieval cold period, European child marriages decreased. For example, the mother of Henry Tudor, later to become Henry VII gave birth to him at age 13. Anne Neville, the wife of Richard III was first married to Edward Duke of Westminster at age 14. Her later marriage to Richard was at the ripe old age of 16!
Child marriages decreased in frequency as wealth and life expectancy increased for the [population as a whole, the very things brought about by more reliable energy.

Reply to  Richard of NZ
October 29, 2016 4:12 pm

Looking at the marriage age of the nobility is misleading. First, their marriages had serious political consequences, so were planned, and not so much based on mutual attraction, and second, the nobility could afford to marry earlier. Most people had to wait until they could afford to set up a household, which meant mid-20s for men, early 20s for women. In hard times, it’s going to take longer to earn your grubstake; in good ideas, the opposite. In a culture where extended families live together instead of in separate households, the cost of setting up a new couple may be lower, and earlier marriage possible.
Things change again when you introduce polygamy into the picture. To avoid offending Muslims, let’s turn to Here’s a summary of the ages in that table:
> summary(w)
Min. 1st Qu. Median Mean 3rd Qu. Max.
14.00 19.00 27.00 29.06 36.00 58.00
At the beginning of his career, he married a 22-year-old. The 14-year-olds came a year before his death by mob violence, at which time he could well afford a few more.

October 27, 2016 12:38 pm

It looks like old Shay is a true bleeding heart liberal.
Absolutely a SJW and gonna save the world from itself.
No fact could possibly change any belief held.
Honesty can be ignored for the cause.

Walter Sobchak
October 27, 2016 12:44 pm

The problem here is that there are no truthful sentences that contain the words: “Bangla Desh” that do not also contain words predicting a catastrophe. Bangla Desh has far too many people, far too little land, and an absolutely poisonous culture. Catastrophes predicted for Bangla Desh cannot be the basis for sensible policies for any other place in the world.

October 27, 2016 4:04 pm

I don’t know about the capabilities of Global Warming, but Islam does cause more child marriages.

October 28, 2016 1:51 am

Hurrah… another quality science article from Eric.

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