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.