The government shutdown ended on January 25, lasting 35 days. The reason for the shutdown was the supposed need of $5 billion to build a full border wall separating the US and Mexico. Depending which side of the political spectrum you’re on you probably followed one of two different story lines. On the one side there were hoards of criminals, drug dealers, rapists and terrorists from Latin America coming to destroy us and our way of life. On the other side, the wall is a big, unnecessary and a useless waste of money, the caravan of migrants were looking for a better life and promise of freedom in America.
The side of the story that really didn’t gain all that much media attention, or was lost in the political cacophony was the underlying cause that was driving the caravan(s) north to the US border, climate change. To be fair, climate is not all to blame, poverty, violence and the usual suspects are also high on the list, but Central America has been suffering through an unprecedented drought for the past five-ish years. A large swath of Central America is now called the “dry corridor” and includes parts of Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Most of rural Central America still relies on subsistence farming. The spring rains, for more or less the past decade, have been slow and irregular to come.
The commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection Kevin McAleenan, has publicly said that the drought and crop failures in Honduras and Guatemala “directly translate into who’s arriving at our border.”
It’s been estimated that up to 2 million people are in danger of starvation in Central America due to the drought, a staggering number to comprehend in our own backdoor. However that number is just a drop in the bucket compared to the 17 million people who could become refugees and forced to relocate by 2050 if we continue on a business as usual path without addressing climate change.
A number of stories have been published detailing the issue, but they were overshadowed by our local politics here. CNN did an amazing piece, that is rather long, but absolutely mandatory reading on the subject One Suspected Driver Of The Migrant Caravan Climate Change. We’ve included a couple of further links to other stories from other sources too.