Many Americans have rightfully been outraged at the inhumane conditions of migrant families detained at the border. Refugees have been packed tight into cages that don’t leave them room to lie down, denied basic amenities like showers and toothbrushes, and separated from their children.
Meanwhile, there was a record heatwave that gripped most of the United States. At face value, these issues may seem entirely unrelated. The reality is the crisis at the border is deeply connected to the climate crisis.
What the world’s scientists warned us about 30 years ago is emerging before our eyes. In Central America, prolonged and escalating droughts have choked the water supply and turned crops to dust. Famine, thirst, poverty and crime is creating a generation of climate refugees who uproot from their homes and loved ones. These refugees come to the United States, seeking refuge, stability and dignity.
Instead, they face guns, dogs and jails at our border. Make no mistake, this is what American climate policy looks like in the age of President Trump.