If Trump Wants His Racist Border Wall, He'll Have to Start Taking Climate Change Seriously

Screw this wall.
Screw this wall.
Photo: Getty

Ha ha ha. Donald Trump’s impermeable wall ain’t so impermeable, after all. Not even these high walls of racist fury can withstand good ol’ Mother Nature: The Washington Post reported Thursday that the president’s beloved border wall between the U.S. and Mexico would need to leave portions wide open every summer to prevent flash floods from knocking it over.

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Look, I’m all for Mother Nature tearing down the wall, but blocking floodwaters sounds pretty dangerous to any of the people who live nearby, so best to let the water flow.

In the Southwest, monsoon season comes around from June to September. Arizona and New Mexico receive up to half of their annual rainfall during these months. Though these storms—often accompanied by roaring thunder and lightning—can be healthy for the vegetation in need of some water, it’s no good for infrastructure in the area. This phenomenon is a result of the land and the Pacific Ocean warming up, but because the land warms faster than the ocean, the air pressure begins to affect the wind. This air, which is full of moisture, eventually makes its way from northern Mexico into the Southwestern U.S., where it pours.

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What’s worse, climate change is making this monsoon season worse, according to a 2017 study. If the president wants to build this ridiculous wall, he may have to come to terms with the reality of climate change. That, or risk it being washed away by worsening storms. Or, as we’re already seeing, falling due to high winds. Nature is just as over this goddamn wall as I am.

Where the wall already exists, portions have been left open in the past to deal with the floods. Per the Post, this gives people crossing into the U.S. illegally easier access. Sure, that may include drug smugglers, but let’s be real. The people coming into the U.S. via this dangerous migratory route are often women, children, and families escaping violence in their Central American countries or the rapid impacts climate change is having on their homelands.

Unfortunately for Trump, his racist obsession with keeping these individuals out has resulted in a whole lot of headaches. These flood risks create obstacles for the engineers designing the wall. The potential for floods also requires extra manpower to monitor the portions that are left open. But if the president won’t let rivers and cacti stop him from building this thing, I doubt flooding will change his mind. For all we know, Trump may go as far as to lie that this flooding would be good for the wall! After all, according to him, the wall is good for the environment. Nothing surprises me anymore.

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The desert landscape through which the wall traverses is a diverse ecosystem. It’s fragile and needs care and attention, but it’s also powerful and not to be underestimated. Your call, Trump.

Yessenia Funes is climate editor at Atmos Magazine. She loves Earther forever.

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DISCUSSION

I guess we should be glad that it’s a wall that can be opened and moved, instead of a 200 meter tall earthen berm that was topped with a wall.

The Trumpian Wall that can be seen from space!