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Rewriting Biological History: Trump Border Wall Puts Wildlife at Risk

Rewriting Biological History: Trump Border Wall Puts Wildlife at Risk

Rebecca Kessler

Rurik List began studying wildlife south of the U.S.-Mexico border in 1994, doing research in the expansive grasslands of the Janos Valley in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Back then, the international boundary was pretty porous there, marked only by barbed wire fencing. Most animals could easily pass over, under, or if they were bison, bust right through it, in their quest for food, water, mates, or suitable habitat as they moved between Chihuahua and New Mexico.

In late 2008, things changed.


My recommended solution is to photoshop an image from GoogleEarth with a “great big wall” and tweet it to the twit. Be sure to name it after him, too.

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So sad, and so true, and emblematic of the general attitude of the military / industrial / automobile / petroleum complex toward the living Earth.

We can see the devastating effects on species and ecosystems of this wall. Can we imagine, for one moment, the devastating effects on species and ecosystems, of the whole highway system? Orders of magnitude worse than the border wall. And the construction / destruction just continues.

Seriously, sincerely, we need to unbuild much of what has been paved, pull back the highway system, and re-wild much of the Earth.

Ooh, wait for it: That’s so unrealistic!

And so, the literal dis-integration of the Earth’s ecology continues to accelerate. With predictable consequences, such as mass extinction, and climate chaos, and civilizational collapse. So much less “unrealistic” than genuine restraint and humility. So much easier than challenging industrial power, or giving up “our right to drive.”

A lyric from a song i’m working on:

Keep on driving, baby
Driving to war


Trump’s policies ignore the consequences to wildlife and people. The boarder wall is a good example. It’s only purpose to create a symbol for white supremacy. It would say loud and clear that US is a white supremacist nation and non-whites are not welcome here. That is what Trump’s base wants. Those are the people who played a major role in his winning the Republican primary and general election. The number of people trying to cross the border is a small fraction of the number 20 or 30 years ago when there were large numbers. Now there probably is no net inflow of undocumented immigrants. The present fence, drones, border patrols, etc. are probably more than sufficient to deal with what is not much of a problem to begin with. The Republicans wanted the existing fence and Democrats when along to get what they wanted in return. The present fence is causing problems for wildlife and Trump’s wall would make matters much worse. Democrats should not no along with building this wall no matter the deal is. The US should be presented by the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor not a wall along the Mexican border.

There is really nothing natural about walls, they eventually become a cultural artifact of a failed civilization. The Great Wall of China maybe an exception.


Wildlife is disappearing as human population grows and encroaches in its habitat. The wall is another nail in its coffin.

In case you missed it, watch “Trophy” on Netflix.

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