No one contends the migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border is not an issue requiring immediate attention. What to do, exactly, about the problem is where most Americans deviate. Some say provide the migrants with political asylum while others, like President Donald Trump, do not want to aid the foreigners off the American tax dollar.
Then there are others seeking to understand why migrant caravans are now, almost routinely, making their way from Central America through Mexico to the U.S. Indeed, understanding the why behind the politically charged caravans could help alleviate future controversy.
And it appears CNN may know the reason behind the caravans: climate change, of course.
How can climate change be responsible?
According to a new article CNN published Tuesday, climate change is the impetus behind the caravans due to drought conditions plaguing parts of Central America, specifically in Honduras.
The article, penned by CNN investigative reporter John Sutter, shrewdly bashes Trump for claiming many of those in the migrant caravans are “gang members and some very bad people” seeking “an invasion” of the U.S. But Sutter claims Trump is missing one major detail.
“Overlooked is this factor: climate change,” Sutter claims, adding:
The “dry corridor” of Central America, which includes parts of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua, has been hit with an unusual drought for the last five years. Crops are failing. Starvation is lurking. More than two million people in the region are at risk for hunger, according to an August report from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
To bolster his theory, the reporter quotes Edwin Castellanos, the dean of research at Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, who is billed as a “global authority on climate change in Central America.” The drought is so bad, Castellanos says, that children in extremely impoverished areas of Central America are dying of starvation, an unusually rare occurrence even for that part of the world.
Further solidifying his pre-arrived to conclusion, Sutter quotes Kevin McAleenan, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. McAleenan said last week that drought conditions, which has led to widespread crop failure, is directly related to the migrant crisis.
But what does scientific data show?
While theories may allege the migrant crisis is, at least, partially related to climate change, Sutter admits empirical data does not confirm his hypothesis.
“Studies have not definitively tied this particular drought to climate change, but computer models show droughts like the one happening now are becoming more common as the world warms,” Sutter explains.