Why a Solar Border Wall isn’t sensible
The paradox of the current administration continues to baffle me. One in particular that is hitting a nerve is a US/Mexico border wall with solar panels. I am all for an increasing commitment to renewable energies… but let me be clear, I am strongly against a border wall between the USA and Mexico. Immigration issues aside, putting solar panels on a large wall would actually be counter-intuitive to decreasing climate change. Here is a simple reason why:
The production of concrete is a high contributor of CO2. In fact, the concrete industry accounts for 5% of global CO2 emissions (read more from Columbia University : http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2012/05/09/emissions-from-the-cement-industry). Despite the weight of solar panels, an effective wall would need to be made of concrete and steel. Concrete is usually made near the site in which it will be implemented (its heavy, transportation costs are high, and the gasoline required to power trucks to move the concrete is also a producer of CO2). Thus, we would be producing CO2 in parts of the USA that previously do not have large industries creating carbon dioxide.
America posses vast space of beautiful, natural resources. While I applaud Trump for the idea of increasing the United States commitment to renewable energy sources (none withstanding the pull out of the Paris Agreement….), this is a non-sensical idea to finance a structure that ultimately is a waste of American taxpayers dollars, and the ingenuity of the Mexican people. For $100bn, lets install fields and fields of solar panels AND boost funding for Border Patrol Agents, but more importantly the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to properly document, and simplify the immigration policy.
Let me be clear, I am strongly against a border wall between the USA and Mexico.