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The Real Threat to Our Safety Has Nothing to Do With Our Southern Border

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In his story “The Wall and the Books,” the great Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges wrote,

“I read, in past days, that the man who ordered the construction of the nearly infinite Wall of China was that First Emperor, Shih Huang Ti, who likewise ordered the burning of all the books before him. That the two gigantic operations—the five or six hundred leagues of stone to oppose the barbarians, the rigorous abolition of history, that is of the past—issued from one person and were in a certain sense his attributes, inexplicably satisfied me and, at the same time, disturbed me.”

Trump is very much like, not the real Yellow Emperor, but Borges’s imagining of him, obsessed with a security wall and eager to erase not just history but reality itself.

Nowadays the emperor’s name is written Shihuangdi (259 – 210 BC), and although he did build a great wall, and he may have destroyed some subversive tracts, he did not destroy Chinese history. Borges was a writer of speculative fiction, and his China is as imaginary as Trump’s Mexico.

Donald Trump’s fairy tales about the unicorn of mobs of terrorists invading San Diego and Brownsville, and his made-up statistics were intended to create a sense of dread and alarm among the white lower middle class (whom he is taking for a ride) and to shore up support for the government shutdown among increasingly restive Republican senators (Trump can only afford to lose a handful, and after that Chuck Schumer can shut down the shutdown).

But there is an actual emergency, but not of Mexicans and Guatemalans, the vast majority of whom are perfectly nice, hardworking people who have immeasurably enriched the American tapestry.

The emergency is global heating and our climate crisis, which is expected by 13 government agencies to slash 10% of our gross domestic product by the end of the century, to devastate our crops, and to flood and lash our littoral. The cost to the world in 2018 alone was already in the tens of billions of dollars.

The invading hordes are the wildfires of the Western states. Wildfires in California destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres in 2018. Vox notes that although wildfires are natural in the American West, they are morphing into Franken-conflagrations under the impact of human-driven global heating. Vox says, “Six of California’s 10 most destructive wildfires on record have hit in just the past three years.” And the wildfires in 2018 were 30% larger than the past decade’s average. There is less time between fires for forests to recover, and less moisture in the air. The entire American southwest is being reshaped, as Matthew Brown of AP argued.

Our national amnesia and insouciance is so advanced (sort of like those of our president) that we have already forgotten that Malibu burned down this fall and the celebrities had to flee, many losing their multi-million-dollar mansions. Those who had to flee included Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West, Lady Gaga, Jessica Simpson, Tori Spelling, Orlando Bloom.

It is not that there has never been a wildfire in the Malibu area, but this acceleration and magnification of the phenomenon is not normal.

Another harbinger is the increasing power and destructiveness of hurricanes. The 2018 season was worse than even the seasoned scientists at NOAA expected. WaPo notes,

  • “Counting Harvey, Irma and Maria in 2017, Michael in 2018, and Typhoon Yutu last month, which smashed into the Northern Marianas (a U.S. territory), five Category 4 or stronger tropical cyclones have struck U.S. soil in the last two years, which is possibly unprecedented.”

Possibly unprecedented. Michael at one point had a 15 foot storm surge. Billions of dollars of damage were done to the Florida panhandle and the Carolinas. Floridians, showing that many of them are lemmings, went on to vote for a climate change denier as governor.

Earlier, Puerto Rico was flattened and thousands died (many of them because Trump is such a shitty president). Houston was flooded. Hurricanes form over warm water, and the Atlantic and Caribbean are both getting hotter. That increased heat puts more moisture in the atmosphere, permitting bigger deluges and floods, and it causes the water to expand, making storm surges higher, and it feeds destructive winds, so that we now need a Category 6 to describe the monsters we are creating.

Again, there have been hurricanes all along. But by warming the oceans through burning fossil fuels and putting carbon dioxide, a powerful greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere, we are monsterizing these enormous storms.

As human beings put more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (and our emissions spiked by over a 3% increase in 2018), some of it goes into the seas and makes them acid. We could lose half of all marine species from acidifying the oceans this way. I’m not sure what people think their grandchildren are going to eat, if they kill off the fish and then kill off the pollinating insects.

So what is the Wall that could keep out these invading storm surges, hurricanes, floods and wildfires?

It is the wall of the Green New Deal, of a Manhattan Project-style or moonshot-style crash government program to abolish coal, oil and gas within 15 years. It could be done if we all pulled together. Coal could be gone tomorrow if we wished it so as a society. Natural gas plants are more expensive to operate than wind farms and solar panels. We’d need to re-do our national electric grid and invest billions in a crash program to develop better batteries.

That’s what we need extra money in the budget for– a full court press on green energy and massive and rapid reduction of carbon dioxide and methane emissions.

That’s the emergency, not the southern border.

As for Trump, what he wants is not a wall but in Bob Dylan’s terms, a Watchtower:

“All along the watchtower
Princes kept the view
While all the women came and went
Barefoot servants too.”

The princes on their imagined watchtower are keeping in view all the wrong things, ignoring the real threat. Ironically, the immigrants from Central America that Trump so fears are in part fleeing the effects of the climate emergency to which he is contributing.

Dylan’s opening verses are a good description of the estate of the rest of us commoners:

“There must be some way out of here”
Said the joker to the thief
“There’s too much confusion
I can’t get no relief
Businessmen, they drink my wine
Plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line
Know what any of it is worth.”

Big oil, and Trump, and Fox Cable News don’t know what the earth is worth, amid their deliberately concocted confusion of climate change denial. They are watching the degradation of our only home from their Watchtowers and ineffectual walls. There is a way out of here. It is to stop burning petroleum, natural gas and coal.

Now.



Source: https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-real-threat-to-our-safety-has-nothing-to-do-with-our-southern-border/
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Total 7 comments
  • Syrin

    There is so much stupid in this article, that just by clicking on the link to open it, you lose 15 IQ points. Global frauding? The entire world is experiencing record cold even as the gov’t agencies delete data, cherry pick data, and hide facts from the world. None of their models have ever been accurate, and global temps are decreasing including ocean temps. The coldest temp ever recorded on Earth happened two years ago. These guys get frost bite at their global frauding rallies. We’ve had to rescue of team of these sham scientists studying the frauding SEVEN YEARS IN A ROW because they keep getting caught out at sea trapped in ICE. Let them all f’ing DIE! Plus, there is NOTHING that exists that can alter the global temp either direction. NOTHING! They just want you to give money to the gov’t. And what is the temp of the Earth supposed to be? Who determines this? What is the temperature supposed to be in Gainesville at 3:00 on February 10th? Too specific? What is the average global temp supposed to be for February. These are really SMALL minds trying to sell you on a scam, and oh yeah, the biggest scientific scandal in the history of the WORLD was climategate. These people are EVIL

  • gumby

    wow, it doesn’t take long to realize this is a idiot liberal socialist who hates Trump because he won’t play nice with the demoRATS. truthdig, you people need to come out of that never never land dream and accept reality not the stupid crap from 2 super idiots chuckyboy and nancypants who are taking orders from their masters the globalists and satan. we will have a wall or you will get your civil unrest your Antifa fascists want but it will not last long when tens of millions of armed patriots hit the streets. when that happens all these illegals go back, the crazy traitor liberals are hung and fools like you will be transported to cuba,venezuela or whatever socialist nation you choose but you ain’t staying here cause we are tired of your stupid complaining about everything. got it then deal with it!

  • raburgeson

    BS as usual, Let me tell you what is up with how they protect illegals and throw you under the bus. First off illegals can steal as many articles under $750 they want and even if caught will not face charges. One of the ways they protect thieves is your yard machines have paper and foil identification numbers on them that can be easily removed with the heat from a good hair drier. Are you starting to get the picture here? No investigation, arrest, or, sentence for theft. To top it all off the police will commit highway robbery if you travel with enough money to actually buy something. I do not recommend shopping Route 66 for antiques.

  • faithbrother

    Build OUR WALL.
    VICTIMS OF ILLEGAL ALIENS

    MEMORIAL

    In honor of the thousands of American citizens killed each year by Illegal Aliens.

    http://www.ojjpac.org/memorial.asp
    —————–
    Criminal Illegals commit serious crimes at a significantly higher rate than those in the U.S. legally.
    https://thehill.com/opinion/immigration/407312-one-in-five-us-prison-inmates-is-a-criminal-alien

  • DK

    The poster has strayed from the Washington Post into the free internet and forgot to disable comments. The faithful are not here, they live in their phones and never stray from the firewall. 1 person in 168 recommends the story, the author. :lol:

    Lost me the moment he jumped into man made global warming, and they call us conspiracy theorists.

  • Rockledge

    Bullshit. Border protection is the only real defense any country has.
    Especially in our situation. Our culture is being polluted, our nations average IQ and therefore ability to compete on the world state is being lowered, our money is being sent out of the country making what little gross annual product we have less meaningless, it infects us with diseases we had long ago eradicated and introduces new ones, aside from flooding us with more drugs ( as if the medical industry drug pushers weren’t enough of a problem) , and gives criminals from shitholes a safe haven to hide. That doesn’t even consider that having open borders begs for terrorist acts. Terrorists like easy targets, and we are sitting ducks.

    Look at what has happened to our music and visual forms of entertainment, they have become so putrid they aren’t watchable or listenable by anyone with an IQ of over 75. Our cities are violence wars between cops and criminals, our civilized areas targets for those wanting to build drug labs.

    Our southern border is not only a huge threat, it is an imminent catastrophe waiting to happen.
    The criminal invader population in this country is a massive Trojan Horse waiting for the right time to open.

    And when it does, we will succumb to it. The government is aiding and abetting it, which means our military will not combat the invasion. All the weekend “take it from my cold dead hands” gun freak warriors aren’t going to do shit about it, even though they claim to exist to be a “militia”.

    If President Trump is not successful, this country is fucked. Without Vaseline or a kiss.

  • dennisR8

    “Truthdig” should not be allowed here on “Before ITs News” any more. Failing that, I will remember to not reading his articles in the future. Boycott Truthdig

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