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    Children play at a newly built section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall at Sunland Park, U.S. opposite the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico November 18, 2016

    In an Attempt to Stop Trump Wall, Protesters Turn to Climate Change

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    US environmentalists claim construction of a concrete wall on the country’s border with Mexico will contribute to climate change by producing millions of tons carbon dioxide. If US President Donald Trump was really worried about national security, they say, he would tackle climate change first

    Environmental activists claim Trump will never achieve his goal of stopping the flow of what he has described as migrants and criminals from Mexico by building a wall. And in addition to being a political and humanitarian disaster, the wall will take a huge environmental toll, as the production of concrete needed to erect a wall all along the border will emit 1.2 million to 1.9 million tons of carbon dioxide.

    "In terms of climate adaptation, building a border wall is an act of self-sabotage," says Dan Millis, a program manager with the Sierra Club's Borderlands project.

    While Trump never said specifically what kind of wall he wanted to build, Bloomberg New Energy Finance made a calculation based on a steel-reinforced concrete wall 1,000 miles long, 35ft high and 18 inches thick.

    Cement production is indeed a process connected with carbon dioxide emissions; the rough approximation of CO2 emission can be counted as nine parts of CO2 per 10 parts of cement. However, the United States is far from being the biggest contributor.

    According to US Geological Survey statistics, in 2012, the United States produced about 74 million tons of cement (we can assume about 66.4 million tons of carbon dioxide were emitted in process). However, that figure looks very modest when compared to the 250 million tons of cement produced in India that year, and even more so if compared to 2,150 million tons produced in China.

    In fact, the United States produces about the same amount of cement as Brazil, Vietnam, Iran, Russia, Turkey and Japan; all of the abovementioned states produced more than 50 million tons of cement in 2012.

    Total production of cement in 2012 was estimated by USGS as 3,700 million tons. Again, environmentalists claim the Trump Wall will emit about 2 million tons of carbon dioxide.

    "If President Trump was as concerned about our nation's true national security issues, he would be tackling climate change head-on while safeguarding refugees and immigrants from the worst impacts of a warming planet and ongoing turbulence in their homelands," says Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters.

    Judging by Trump's recent meeting with US business leaders, during which he expressed his intent to cut regulations by 70%, including environmental regulations that impede domestic US productions, Karpinski's sentiment sounds like exactly the opposite of what Trump is going to do.

    Another argument of environmental activists regards animal migration routes. The construction of a concrete wall (which will likely go some distance into the sea) will affect the migration routes of animals that live both in Mexico and southern parts of the United States.

    "We're already seeing wildlife migrations blocked with the current walls and fences that have already been built. We have hundreds of these walls that were built without dozens of environmental protections," says Millis.

    Replying to OutsideOnline.com's query, the US Fish and Wildlife Service responded by saying the construction of the wall will "potentially impact" 111 endangered species, which include gray wolves, sea turtles and the only one sole jaguar living on the US territory (and known as "El Jefe"). In fact, jaguars' range spans from Mexico to Paraguay and north of Argentina. El Jefe is really a hermit in this regard.

    As for the gray wolves, the situation is reverse: while they lived in US and Mexico earlier, they were nearly exterminated in the United States during first half of the 20th century. Efforts to restore wolf populations in some of their native hunting grounds have had mixed success.

    Thus, the assessment of US Fish and Wildlife Service clearly needs a more thorough examination.




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    Carbon Dioxide, assessment, Trump's wall, Protest, environment, US Geological Survey (USGS), US Fish and Wildlife Service, Dan Millis, Donald Trump, Mexico, United States
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