Trump’s Wall Would Also Be Terrible for the Environment

During his first week in office, Donald Trump, as we’re all aware, wasted no time in acting on several of the egregious promises he made during his presidential campaign. Among the executive orders he signed was one to build a 1,300-mile-long concrete wall — and as high as 55 feet — between the borders of the United States and Mexico.

There are many reasons why this wall is a terrible idea. As Care2 writer Cody Fenwick pointed out back in August of 2015, the wall is an insult to Mexico, an important trading partner with the U.S. There is little evidence that a wall will actually prevent people from entering the United States. Furthermore, it would be very expensive to build – an estimated $40 billion, according to M.I.T. researchers.

Of course, back then Trump promised that Mexico would pay for the construction of this “great, great wall,” but we know now — and could have guessed then – there’s no way that’s going to happen.

Trump’s recent proposal of a 20-percent tariff on Mexican imports would raise the prices of everything from the food we eat to the cars we drive. The irony, as William Gale, co-director of the Tax Policy Center, told USA TODAY, is that “consumers will be paying for the wall, not Mexican producers.’’

Now that this terrible idea could actually become a reality, scientists and conservationists have also voiced their concerns. In addition to allegedly blocking people from entering the U.S., a concrete wall along the border with Mexico would obstruct important wildlife migration routes for jaguars, ocelots, mountain lions, deer and other animals.

Of these animals, the wall would be the most harmful to highly endangered jaguars, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. If the small population remaining in northern Mexico becomes blocked off, the U.S. population will never be reestablished.

“We already know that walls don’t stop people from crossing the border, but Trump’s plan would end any chance of recovery for endangered jaguars, ocelots, and wolves in the border region,” said Kierán Suckling, the Center’s executive director. The border region, Suckling explained, “is the only place in the world where jaguars and black bears live side by side. It’s this diversity that makes us strong — not some wasteful, immoral wall.”

‘Disruptive, artificial boundary’

Jamie Rappoport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, similarly called the wall “a disruptive, artificial boundary in the natural world” in a Jan. 25 statement.

Dan Millis, a program manager with the Sierra Club’s Borderlands project, also opposes the wall. “In terms of climate adaptation, building a border wall is an act of self-sabotage,” Millis told E&E News. “And the reason I say that is we’re already seeing wildlife migrations blocked with the current walls and fences that have already been built.”

Those 670 miles of fences and barriers along Mexico’s border with California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas were erected after the passage of the Secure Fence Act of 2006. In Texas, the wall blocks both people and animals from accessing the Rio Grande River, “an iconic and vital water source for communities and wildlife alike,” according to the Defenders of Wildlife.

“At the border wall, people have found large mammals confounded and not knowing what to do,” Jesse Lasky, an assistant professor of biology at Penn State University, told the Washington Post.

In addition to the possible extinction of some species, the production of cement used to build Trump’s wall would be a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Many of the existing walls were built “without dozens of environmental protections,” according to Millis. It’s highly unlikely that Trump’s wall will undergo any environmental review process. In a controversial 2008 announcement, the Department of Homeland Security said it would waive environmental reviews for the fences built along the border.

Protesting the wall

In November 2016, leaders of the Tohono O’odham Nation, whose reservation sits on the U.S.-Mexico border, said they would refuse to allow the wall to be built on their land, which is the size of Connecticut. Among their reasons was that the wall would be devastating for wildlife.

If you think the wall is a terrible idea, sign this petition and voice your opposition.

Photo Credit: William Warby/Flickr

99 comments

Siyus C
Siyus Copetallus1 years ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Marie W
Marie W1 years ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Ruth R
Ruth R1 years ago

Dear Jesus, please help so that Mr President will do his job the good way to help all the men, women, and children. Please do not hurt the earth: the air, the water, the land, the animals, the children, the women, the men; the parks. You were not hired to hurt us -- all of us -- the citizens of the USA.

Everything that I say can be used together for good to bless and not curse me.

Thank you for the article. Please through Christ Jesus the son of God, Bless -- bless and not curse -- all the men, women, and children -- who you have chosen before the foundation of the earth, and please God bless the earth to have clean air, clean water, and clean land, and produce good clean produce and foods for the men, women, and children whom he has chosen, and he knows who they are. WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE ? -- JUDGE NOT AT ALL, OR YOU COULD BE JUDGED. MAY GOD SPARE ME, amen.

Through Christ Jesus, the Son of God, God the Father, and Holy Spirit -- who have Love -- Dear God please protect the land, the air, the water, and all the creation from all evil as much as possible. The President is to serve the Lord Christ Jesus, and The Almighty will deal with the president through Christ Jesus Name. The people who the president put in place are to serve the Lord Christ Jesus and The Almighty Lord will deal with them.

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Melania P
Melania Padilla1 years ago

Indeed, what f***** moron, he has no idea of how complex the environment is, how can someone so ignorant of the planet earth can be president of a country like the US???

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Cindy W
Cindy W1 years ago

Not like Trump cares about wildlife or the environment, anyway... :-(

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Jetana A
Jetana A1 years ago

I love when jaguars come up into Arizona! And always give water to the border crossers who come through my place en route to work. I hope for NO WALL, and easier border crossings.

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Janis K
Janis K1 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Brandy S
Brandy S1 years ago

Where were all the caring, intelligent, ecologically minded voters?

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James Travers
James Travers1 years ago

I confess that I hadn't considered the impact that stupid wall would have on wildlife. But then after the buffoon in chief gets done gutting the EPA and building all the oil pipelines, and eliminating regulations on logging, there may not be much wildlife left to impact anyway.

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Lorraine Andersen

Tump wall wold be terrible for everything!

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