Goodbye Butterflies- Trump and the Environment

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Danaus gilippus, Queen butterflies on retama [PHOTO CREDIT: National Butterfly Center]

Goodbye Butterflies- Trump and the Environment

It’s well documented that President Trump’s border wall will have long lasting effects on the environment. To confirm that, just look at our past to look into the future.

There has been reduced populations of the rare jaguar, armadillos, bobcats, and at times the wall has served more as a damn than border security when rivers have overflowed.

Of course, there will also be damage to rare plants and with six national parks within 100 miles of the border line, what damage that does remains to be seen.

One study found 134 mammals, 178 reptiles, and 57 amphibian species living within thirty miles of the border wall. Fifty of those along with three subspecies’ existence is threatened in Mexico, the United States, and globally. Take for example the Mexican gray wolf which as of 2016, there were only 113 in the U.S. and about thirty-six in Mexico.

Besides the environmental impact, there is the financial impact. Estimates range from $25 to $40 billion for the wall. That is about $25 million per mile and if private land isn’t sold to the federal government at extremely exaggerated prices, then eminent domain actions could be litigated in the courts for years. And that price tag doesn’t include maintenance. Just imagine if we invested $25 billion for Veterans instead.

But, yelling at Trump rallies “build that laser grid” or “get more drones” or  “build that fence” just doesn’t sound catchy like “build that wall.” We all the know the President is about marketing. Why  else give a press conference with Trump Steaks in the background? By the way, it is just me or do you find it weird that someone that eats McDonald’s for fear of being poisoned would sell steaks?

Now at risk because of the border wall is 100 acres at the National Butterfly Center. How is this done? Simple. The Department of Homeland Security uses waivers under the guise of “national security” to dance around the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Conservation Act, the Clean Air Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Now you know how people like Scott Pruitt ended up heading the EPA since he was never a friend of the environment and Andrew Wheeler isn’t much better.

Show me a 20 foot high wall and I’ll show a 21 foot high ladder.

Alexander Hernandez, Esq.
Twitter @mcatty_alex

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The Costs of President Trump’s Stupid Border Wall

The GAO (Government Accountability Office) which is non-partisan, released a report on what the estimated costs of the wall will be.

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