Several gates of the U.S.-Mexico border wall were damaged by monsoon flooding in recent days along the San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge in Southern Arizona.
But tempting as it might be to see that as some sort of heavenly karma, the damage to the last guy's pet wall was not only predictable but predicted. Here's a take from Gizmodo:
"It turns out ignoring bedrock environmental laws may not have been the best choice for a multibillion-dollar construction project. Photos show former President Donald Trump's border wall in deep disrepair after summer monsoon rains literally blew floodgates off their hinges.
"Who could of predicted this? Ah yes, just about everyone.
"I will build a great wall—and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me—and I'll build them very inexpensively," Trump said when he announced his run for president in 2015. "I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."
"Mexico did not, in fact, pay for the wall, which led former Trump to declare a national emergency so he could funnel money from other federal projects and programs to build the wall. Nor was the wall inexpensive, costing the public billions in cost overruns. It was, however, chintzily built.
"In the rush to build the wall, Trump sidelined environmental and cultural protection laws. Those laws are meant to protect the natural world and historically significant artifacts and sites. But they also serve the purpose of ensuring multibillion-dollar construction projects don't face catastrophic failures within a few years of being built."
And there was also this reporting from The Sentinel, a local not-for-profit newspaper in Tuscon, AZ, noting that the government is already reviewing the Trump effort to rush through the wall.
"While there have been previous sections of wall constructed in the Douglas area, during the waning days of the Trump administration CBP and the Army Corps of Engineers moved headlong to quickly finish border construction projects, attempting to close the gaps on 398 miles of new primary border wall, and nearly 54 miles of new secondary wall system constructed since January 2017.
"In June, the Government Accountability Office said it was reviewing the impact of border wall construction under the Trump administration following U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva's urging. In May, Grijalva demanded a review of the wall, arguing that 'in an effort to expedite construction of the border wall, the Trump administration's Department of Homeland Security blatantly abused its sweeping and potentially unconstitutional authority to waive all laws and legal requirements standing in the way.'
"The laws that the Trump administration waived included critical environmental and public health protections—like the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, and Clean Air Act—and Native American cultural resource protections," Grijlava wrote to the GAO. 'They ripped through pristine landscapes like Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, literally bulldozed and blasted sacred Native American sites, and drained the fragile desert ecosystem of vital groundwater resources. This careless, lawless action inflicted catastrophic harm on border lands and communities, much of which is irreversible.'"
The issue is far from settled, as the horrendous effects of Trump's malfeasance live on. Gizmodo reports:
"It remains to be seen what the future holds for the wall. President Joe Biden has put a construction moratorium in place. Still, Trump managed to get 452 miles (727 kilometers) of wall built. That has created an environmental catastrophe for one of the most fragile ecosystems in North America, a place where the wildlife from the tropics, desert, and mountains mingle. Images captured during construction of iconic saguaros being razed as well as numerous environmental impact statements laid the risks bare, and Traphagen described camera trap photos his group has taken documenting everything from rare jaguars to common javelinas pacing along the wall in search of a way around.
"The severe floods may have given them a passageway near San Bernardino. And the monsoons—which have become more intense due in part to the climate crisis—could rip further parts of the shoddily constructed wall asunder. But it's clear that there's a need for a much deeper reckoning and remediation."