The Hidden Climate-Change Story Behind Trump’s ‘National Emergency’

Source: The Nation

Walls and borders are this country’s most consistent climate-change ‘adaptation.’

It’s official: Twenty eighteen was the fourth-hottest year on record, and among the hottest in the last 120,000 years. Thanks to El Niño, 2019 will likely be still hotter—perhaps by as much as 1.5 degrees Celsius, the Paris accord boundary we were hoping not to cross until 2050. The globe is not just warming: It is warmed.

As the jet stream fails, the insects die, and the glaciersmelt, the president of what is still the most powerful country on Earth has just declared a national emergency—not for this full-on planetary crisis, which he has insisted is a hoax, but for a truly imaginary one, a bad-trip jumble of official untruths, racist fantasizing and fevered, psychosexual ravings. His proposed $8 billion solution to this ginned-up nightmare is no less an absurdity. Trump’s wall represents a fundamental confusion, as if the earth could be bullied into respecting human fantasies, and nations were actual, physical entities rather than consensual hallucinations, willed into coherence by the machinery of the state.

And yet as maddeningly distant as the topics may seem from one another, border militarization is unavoidably a climate-change issue. In fact, these two crises—one manufactured, the other terrifyingly real—have been overlapping for decades, and not just in the United States. It may seem that governments have been doing little to prepare for the coming cataclysms, but they’ve been doing plenty. They’ve been building walls, fences, prisons, and camps. From Bangladesh to the Rio Grande, rendering borders lethal has become the one climate-change “adaptation strategy” that has been almost universally embraced across the globe. As the winds and seas make a mockery of transitory hominid political boundaries, governments are spending billions to try to make them real.

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