Walls and water

There are two pieces I’m reading this morning — really reading, in the sense that each piece is giving me pause and encouraging me to open up new tabs with more information, pushing me to stay a while and ruminate on these themes. One is about walls. The other is about ice.

The first story, published by the New York Times, is about the trends in H-1B and H-2B visa denials. It’s rooted in the plight of a Cleveland Clinic scientist who’s now “stuck in India.”

The second story is about the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s damning outlook on the “New Arctic.” It was published by Grist.

Both of these stories point to alarming trends that are gripping the world suddenly and with no clear path toward reversal. The immigration policies of the U.S. are ushered in by a myopic, xenophobic presidential administration and the erosion of trust in American culture. The warming of the Arctic Circle is brought on by a spectrum of climatic forces (air pollution, overpopulation, etc.), and it grows only more grim when that very same presidential administration — the variable is taken into account.

iceThings are falling apart, as they do, but this new variable is taking regular statistical wobble and throwing it far out of whack. Visas get denied all the time; now they’re causing worrisome trends in how the American workforce will continue developing apace and how attitudes about the rest of the world will change in future generations. Arctic temperatures fluctuate; now, the drop is steep and horrific.

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