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“Earth Day has become a very general celebration festooned with music, food and feeling good about being with others who are politically correct, acknowledging the importance of Mother Earth on the most abstract terms, specific foci for action being impotent in the face of our real authentic challenges.” — A teen attending the Flannery O’Connor Academy

“The future of the bison and many other species that the two countries share is at stake at the border.” — Rurik List, an ecologist at Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-Lerma in Mexico, writing in an issue of Jornada Ecologica

Research published by ecologists from the Mexican National Autonomous University has shown that an impassable physical barrier placed into ecosystems inhabited by jaguars, black bears and bighorn sheep will so disrupt patterns of migration as to cause “a natural catastrophe”… irreparable damage that will impact — distort abominably — the entire biological history of North America.

The U.S.-Mexico border is made up of mountains, jungle, coastline and many other diverse ecosystems. Wildlife has populated these regions for millions of years, and has always had the freedom of movement to hunt, reproduce and migrate. To make these animals suffer as a result of man’s political agenda is entirely immoral. Worse, it’s ecocidal, suicidal.

Of the 800 species that will be affected by President Trump’s border wall, 140 are in danger of extinction, including the bald eagle, grey wolf, armadillo and jaguar, a big cat of which remain only 10 in the highlands of the Sonora Desert that straddle Arizona. Those animals whose range will be halved by the border wall’s construction will be impeded in their ability to reproduce with other members of their species, thereby creating a shallower gene pool and heightening the chance of inbreeding.

It goes against the very principles of evolution that has created these amazing natural environments. But Earth Day will not be addressing this, not in any way that will have a shot at stopping the building of the wall in the name of the endangered species or the human beings who are being targeted inhumanely, senselessly.

I was in on the first Earth Day, founded by Gaylord Nelson. That first celebration on April 22nd was monumentally important, truly attempting to deal with our war momentum and the environmental dangers down the road represented by the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill. But look at how little Earth Day “festivities” have helped over the decades to deal with that oft-repeated abomination. Or others.

Sunday seems like it’s slated to be a Generic Earth Day.

Richard Martin Oxman has been an educator for over half a century, and an activist for longer than that. He can be reached at aptosnews@gmail.com. The author — in the spirit of what’s touched upon in the opening quote above — wants to recommend Past Imperfect, one of many excellent volumes addressing the gap which exists between History as per the movies and History as per the so-called real world… which is not the whole story either.

 

 

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