Chris Clarke at KCET has an excellent article up about the far reaching effects of Trump’s wall.
California’s border with Baja California is a complex region with unique environmental issues. Our Borderlands series takes a deeper look at this region unified by shared landscapes and friendship, and divided by international politics.
A female arroyo toad shelters under a streamside cottonwood in early March, twenty years from now. It’s unseasonably warm, and there’s something ancient stirring inside her. She listens. A male is singing. She finds his song beautiful. Everything in her wants to follow that sound, to find the male and mate with him. She would release her eggs for him to fertilize. Those eggs would grow in long submerged strings, until a new generation of arroyo tadpoles hatched from them a week later. Her drive to find that male is irresistable. But she cannot reach him.
A month and a half later, three hundred miles east, a small group of javelinas cools its collective heels in the shade of an ironwood tree. The engaging, pig-like beasts are hungry. A couple of them root in the soil of the wash, looking for tubers. Not far away, a mesquite hangs heavy with last year’s crop of pods. The javelinas can smell those pods, even after a season of drying on the branch. The one tree could feed the entire pack for two days, and the javelinas would disperse a few of the seeds elsewhere to make new mesquites. But that’s not going to happen. There’s something in the way.
In July, wild eyes scan and a pair of slitted nostrils sift the desert breeze. The jaguar finds no good news in the air. He curls back his upper lip and tries again, head held high. He’s not looking for food. Here in the Patagonia Mountains of southern Arizona, game is plentiful enough to keep his ribs well hidden. It’s plentiful enough, in fact, to support a few more jaguars, to provide a launch pad for North America’s largest wild cat to reinhabit the southern Rocky Mountains. But that would require the cooperation of one or more female jaguars. And thanks to a project propelled by destructive politics and fear, there won’t be any lady jaguars in the Patagonia Mountains anytime soon.
In previous articles in this series we’ve looked at a some of the likely unintended environmental consequences of the gigantic border wall proposed by Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, from the climate impacts of such a massive construction project to the wall’s inevitable disruption of stream courses resulting in massive floods.
But some of the longest-lasting environmental consequences of the proposed border wall would result from the wall doing precisely what it’s supposed to do: stop migration across the border. The wall will impede a lot more than just human beings from migrating. It will stop animals as well, and their genes, and even the plant species they disperse.
This excellent, eloquent article can be read in full here. This is a discussion too few people are having, and it is a vital one. If humans are good at anything, they are absolutely great for being self-centered and consumed by the short term. Trump’s wall is a good example of that, but so is the complete lack of concern for just how far out such an abomination would ripple. Read up, learn, pass it on.