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article imageClimate change is fueling the US-Mexico border crisis

By Karen Graham     Apr 5, 2019 in Politics
Severe weather and wildfires are dramatic events connected to global warming but immigration will soon rise to the top of the list of trends that world leaders will be forced to address by finding more sustainable solutions.
The strange thing about climate change is that it's the pink elephant standing under the Capitol dome in Washington, yet the current administration just doesn't see it. Climate change is the one issue both military and security experts believe will affect future migration patterns more than any other.
In a report to Congress in January this year, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) criticized how the Trump administration has tried to remove any mention of climate change from foreign policy and diplomatic strategies, keeping everyone in the dark over an issue that is becoming more serious as the impacts from global warming displaces millions of people worldwide.
According to the report: "The previous administration issued two executive orders and a presidential memorandum related to climate change. These executive actions had a policy of improving climate preparedness and resilience, factoring climate-resilience considerations into agencies’ international development decisions, and creating forums for inter-agency coordination. In March 2017, the current administration issued a subsequent executive order revoking some of the previous executive actions related to climate change."
Meteorologists say weather patterns over the Indian and Pacific oceans have contributed to recent hi...
Meteorologists say weather patterns over the Indian and Pacific oceans have contributed to recent higher temperatures, but that long-term climate change trends are also involved
Saeed KHAN, AFP/File
The political and economic shifts
It has been shown that global warming has already hit the poor among us the hardest. Across the globe, thousands of people are suffering from hunger because of failed crops, while water has become scarce or too polluted to drink in other areas. Extreme weather has destroyed homes and businesses, including in the U.S. just recently.
Yet not everyone has the means or backing from government funds to rebuild or start over in business. We are seeing this most recently in the number of migrants coming from Central America, and in particular, Honduras.
Most Americans don't realize that as climate change worsens the drought in the “dry corridor” of Honduras and Guatemala. it has left poor families whose farms have failed with no place else to go but the U.S.
Water levels at Los Laureles dam in Honduras have been slashed by rising temperatures
Water levels at Los Laureles dam in Honduras have been slashed by rising temperatures
Orlando SIERRA, AFP/File
“Extreme poverty may be the primary reason people leave,” Edwin Castellanos, a climate scientist at the Universidad del Valle, said. “But climate change is intensifying all the existing factors.”
” Climate change is outpacing the ability of growers to adapt. Based on models of shifting weather patterns in the region, Castellanos told The New Torker, “what was supposed to be happening fifty years from now is our present reality.”
Geophysical symptoms can't be ignored
In President Barack Obama's 2016 Presidential Memorandum, “Climate Change and National Security," Climate change was broken down and federal departments and agencies were directed “to perform certain functions to ensure that climate change-related impacts are fully considered in the development of national security doctrine, policies, and plans.”
The caravan  pictured along the road between Ciudad Hidalgo and Tapachula  in Chiapas state  souther...
The caravan, pictured along the road between Ciudad Hidalgo and Tapachula, in Chiapas state, southern Mexico, set out from San Pedro Sula, in northwestern Honduras, and has grown along the way
By breaking climate change down into "geophysical symptoms," Obama was able to make a case for treating climate change as a threat multiplier. And if you look seriously at global warming impacts around the world today, from civil unrest to catastrophic flooding or droughts, all these events seem to erupt from a common factor.
Meanwhile, Trump continues to show utter contempt for the factual science staring him in the face - relying instead on his own willful ignorance to guide him. He would rather label these climate change migrants as "gangs, criminals, and an invasion, of our borders."
Suffice to say that the immigration problem has become very complicated and there is no easy answer. But militarization is doomed to fail because as long as the root causes, associated with climate change are not addressed, it will only get worse.
More about Climate change, usmexico border, Trump, Obama, Migration
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