The “crisis” at the border is dominating the news. This might also be a moment for thinking about what globalism means in a world where borders ultimately can’t offer protection against the most serious threats. To give an example: owing in part to climate change, there was a record hurricane season last year, with the last two storms, Eta and Iota, striking Central America, leaving 3.5 million people facing food insecurity, but the floods from those two storms produced even more savage damage. As a percentage of G.D.P., the damage is greater than that done by the worst storms ever to hit the United States, yet the people of these countries did comparatively little to cause the climate crisis—whereas the four per cent of us who live in this country have produced more greenhouse gases than the population of almost any other nation. So there’s really no way to pretend that migrants arriving at our southern border have no claim on America. There’s a rough analogue emerging right now around access to covid-19 vaccines.
By Bill McKibben. New Yorker. March 31, 2021.