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Al Gore: the real Emergency is Climate Change, and drought due to climate change, followed by bankruptcy and starvation is forcing entire families to flee their homes in Central America and head for the US.


According to Al Gore, there is an area of Central America known as the “dry corridor” which includes parts of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.  This area has suffered extreme drought for a full year, and all the crops this year have failed.  The farmers have been forced into bankruptcy, starvation, and emigration.  The sudden increase in immigrant families coming into the United States at the Mexican border is apparently caused by farmer families fleeing after their fall harvest failed.  The farmers went to the cities in their regions at first, and found them over-run by criminal gangs who operate with complete impunity and the cooperation of the police.  None of them had the money to pay smugglers for transport, so they organized into caravans– large groups of ordinary people who try to protect each other by force of numbers.  The most idealistic, and persistent, of the caravan members announce that they are going to the United States, and they are starting from such and such a city at such and such a date.  It doesn’t matter if only three people show up– as long as they get some publicity, they continue on the strength of new members attracted by the coverage.

Naturally, the president whose name we cannot use has called the immigrants “rough hombres” and criticized the involved nations for “not sending them their finest.”  He ignored the fact that the governments have nothing to do with the caravans or the people who join them, who are self-selected, not “sent.”

Al Gore’s comments came in an interview with “The Circle” on Showtime.  He described climate change as second only to nuclear war as a serious risk.

The basic issue here is that climate change is causing droughts in some areas and excessive rainfall in others.  These effects are difficult to predict, but once they happen the problems become obvious.  Entire populations of indigenous people already on the edge of economic or resource survival are forced to migrate by the destruction of their farming environments.  In addition to the poverty of these displaced people, there is the inadequacy of governments in the area– mostly small, corrupt, inept or even criminal– to relieve and support them.

The humanity of the distressed immigrant population is impressive to see.  They are mostly young women, under 30, with small children from birth to sixteen, and cousins, uncles, grandparents, and friends.  Mothers with one or two children and often a husband or boyfriend comprise the majority of the emigrants now.  Twenty years ago, the emigrants detained were mostly young men; the border patrol personnel have difficulty adjusting to this remarkable difference now.

Although the total number of detainees is still much less than it was twenty years ago and the border patrols have been greatly beefed up, the officers have difficulty adjusting to the fact that most of the people they detain are mothers with children rather than young men.  Detainee numbers also show this alarming pattern.  Total numbers went down after he who must not be named came into power.  A year later, numbers began rising.  At the same time, the composition of detainees rapidly changed from individual men (looking for work) to entire families (fleeing famine due to drought and criminal governments in their countries)…


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