As President Elect Biden announces his team for our nation to deal with climate change after a four-year hiatus, I want to speak to the idea that our pre-existing deserts are the laboratories of the future for much of what life on earth will be like over the next century:
“The ongoing discussions about the nature of deserts has generated and refined a certain set of questions that may be pertinent to our own survival today, more than ever before. That is because of the degree to which global climate change is already forcing an ever-larger proportion of the world’s human inhabitants to deal with ever more hot, dry, and sparsely vegetated landscapes. These recently “desertified” or biologically impoverished landscapes – which often lack the integrity and diversity found in ancient deserts – are becoming all to common on every one of the major continents.”
It is our moral obligation to help others discern the difference between ancient deserts and the recently impoverished analogs to them – and the serious implications or consequences of confusing the two.
As Paco Cantu notes, the damage to Sonoran Desert vegetation we have witnessed as part of Trump’s ill-conceived and executed-border-wall project suggests that his honchos in CBP (like Paul Enriquez and Roy Villareal) assume that deserts are empty spaces or expendable commodities that have nothing of value in them to begin with.
It is my hope that these enablers of Trump should be tried for Crimes against Humanity and Crimes against Nature – even though Trump waved 41 laws for their activities, they themselves ignored or violated other laws in both the U.S. and Mexico that have not been waived!