Four Reasons The Border Wall Would Be Devastating To The Environment 10

Screenshot 2017-06-08 at 2.32.59 PM

Kelsey Bisetti

Ah, yes, the infamous wall. There’s been plenty of debate over the economic effects of its construction, as well as the political impact, but one commonly overlooked disadvantage is to the land and wildlife surrounding the construction site.

1.) Carbon Emissions

Building a massive wall down a two thousand mile path would clearly require the use of a lot of heavy machinery, which, of course, releases unbelievable amounts of fossil fuels into the air. Not to mention, hundreds of new roads would be needed to transport materials and workers to the site, which would decrease the air quality of less polluted areas. But the most significant release of carbon would be from the steel needed to support the wall. Over twenty-four million tons of carbon would be released into the atmosphere via the construction for every foot the wall is thick. To put that in perspective, you would be required to drive along the U.S.-Mexico border nearly fourteen million times to reach that level of carbon emission!

2.) Here Kitty-Kitty!

Do you know how many wild jaguars remain in the U.S.? Two. That’s it. These are the only “big cats” native to the Americas, and yet they’re almost never found in the United States! And what’s worse is they’re male! The only way they can reproduce without being captured and imported to a zoo is by mating with jaguars from nearby countries– Most commonly, Mexico. Without the female lions who currently reside across the border, North American jaguars wouldn’t be able to mate in the wild and would eventually die out. It would also destroy the habitats of ocelots and other wild cats.

3.) Seeing The Light

Birds, unfortunately, aren’t incredibly smart creatures. Artificial lights, like those that will be implanted sporadically along the border wall, will cause significant confusion in migratory birds. Based on prior studies, it’s been predicted that birds will either fly in the opposite direction as the light in an attempt to avoid the possible threat, therefore throwing off their entire journey, or crash into buildings or one another while trying to avoid this foreign luminescence. Either way, this new lighting could lead to the death of hundreds, maybe even thousands, of migratory birds.

4.) More Migration Issues!

Birds aren’t the only ones who need to get moving! Other animals, such as deer, buffalo, etc., survive only on their ability to migrate between Mexico and the U.S. If their path is cut off, they may struggle to find enough food or deal with changes in temperatures. Finding an alternative route would take unimaginable energy and would still endanger the lives of countless animals.

Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion when it comes to the morals of this endeavor, but no one should ignore the unbelievable environmental damage building the border wall would cause.

 

 

10 comments

  1. Same. You do realize that Trump can just put more Jaguars in the United states if he wanted to. One phone call and its done. Any type of animal you name it, They are not in danger. The ocelots would not be in danger because their are plenty of them to reproduce. They hide from danger. We don’t need Mexicans to be in our country selling drugs. No drugs! I want to see were you got this evidence because, most of these things that you call facts aren’t really facts. Show me evidence!

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    • You’re right, Trump could put more Jaguars in the U.S. if he so desired. But either way, they’re still severely endangered all throughout the world (with only about 15,000 remaining worldwide) and the process of finding and catching a Jaguar just to throw it into a completely new habitat is costly and the poor Jaguar may not even be able to adjust in time to reproduce, which would make the entire process a waste of time, effort, and money. I’m not saying it’s a bad idea, but it’s risky and would take quite the budget, so I doubt Trump will approve of it.
      As for the ocelots, there are plenty of them left, but I still chose to include this example because I know animal lovers such as myself often don’t support the destruction of any habitat without absolute necessity. If you feel otherwise, that’s perfectly fine, but I hope you can at least respect the fact that some people feel it’s important to save the environment.
      And if you look above your comment, you will see my prior reply to Brandon where I listed my sources. They are facts, regardless of whether or not you like them. But I do applaud you for requesting confirmation. It’s good to question; It helps you grow and learn.
      I completely respect the fact that you support building a border wall, but I want people to have all the facts before they make a choice. This is just one aspect of many. When all is considered, the decision may be completely different than one made based on solely this article or any other.

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    • The dwindling jaguar population cannot be solved by having the pres. bring some more in, @xr9boy. There is a reason jaguars are not thriving. Things are not as simple as you seem to think. Ecosystems are complex. Solutions as you are suggesting do not exist. This is why people who care about the environment believe a wall will cause irreparable (cannot be undone) harm. While most agree that there is a serious problem that needs a considered solution, many who do understand environmental science see a wall as a very unwise choice.

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