Published on April 17th, 2017 | by Steve Hanley0
Technology From Fiendish To Fanciful Could Help Build Trump Wall
April 17th, 2017 by Steve Hanley
Donald Trump’s absurd idea to build a wall between the United States and Mexico has attracted hundreds of proposals ranging from fanciful to fiendish. The guidelines from the administration say the Trump Wall must be an “impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful wall” up to 30 feet high and 2,000 miles long. As many as 400 proposals are expected before a final design is selected.
The Trump Wall must be tough enough to withstand attacks from “sledgehammer, car jack, pick axe, chisel, battery operated impact tools…propane or butane or other similar hand-held tools” for up to four hours. It also be “aesthetically pleasing” — a requirement that presumably only applies to the side facing north. It must be “physically imposing in height.” 30 feet is suggested as the ideal elevation (equivalent to a 4 story building) but shorter options of not less than 18 feet “may be acceptable.”
The Wall, we know now, will be paid for entirely by American taxpayers, despite assurances to the contrary Trump made during his campaign. Trump’s budget asks for $2 billion to get the project started. Republican leaders say the total project could cost $12 to $15 billion but independent estimates run as high as $38 billion.
A Moat Filled With Nuclear Waste
One of the most fiendish ideas come from Clayton Industries of Pittsburgh, which claims to be “revamping the energy sector through matter manipulation,” whatever that means. It wants to dig a 100 foot deep trench along the entire length of the border and fill it with nuclear waste. First there would be a simple chain link fence on the Mexican side followed by a field of electronic motion sensors.
Then comes the moat filled with toxic waste. Anyone who manages to navigate that gruesome gauntlet would then be faced with the actual 30 feet high wall. Clayton Industries sees a silver lining to their plan. The trench would serve as a “conduit” to some mysterious facility where the nuclear waste would be turned into electricity. How’s that for American ingenuity?
A Solar Powered Prison Wall
Gleason Partners, which describes itself as a “a 100% Vietnam veteran owned small business,” has a more practical suggestion, It wants to build a wall covered with solar panels The electricity provided would power all the lights, patrol stations, and sensors along the route. Any excess could be sold to local utilities. Gleason says the proceeds would pay for the wall in 20 years. It would be “a sleeping lion,” says Gleason, “that will not hurt a climber except for the fall but will protect itself if somebody tries to break into or through the structure.”
Bring On The Sensors
vScenario of San Diego wants to use drones to make a 3-D map of the terrain. Then they would install cameras, “volumetric microwave sensors” and fiber optics to detect intruders. Another company with the rather sinister name of DarkPulse Technologies — which calls itself a “leader in distributed fiber sensor solutions” — proposes a wall made of ballistic grade concrete wall embedded with special sensors that would notify border agents electronically of any attempt to breach the wall. It would use a special coating to prevent the use of grappling hooks.
An Idea Based On The Great Wall Of China
The entry by Crisis Resolution Security Services of Clarence, Illinois may have been inspired by the Great Wall of China. It features parapets, buttresses and watch towers built on top of a earthen berm. This idea sprang full blown from the brow of Michael Hari, a former sheriff’s deputy who ran an agricultural food safety certification business before deciding to become a security expert. He claims his creation would be “as pretty as the Parthenon.”
“This wall is meant to defend what is truly American,” he says “and it can start by being beautiful in a way that ordinary American citizens appreciate, rather than by being starkly institutional or by catering to the controversial and perverse tastes of the elites.” It has room for a foot path and bicycle lane on top, which would allow right thinking Americans to get in some much needed exercise while observing the rapists and murderers on the other side.
3 Million Hammocks
An all female team of designers and artists from Pittsburgh who call themselves the JM Design Studio have a kinder, gentler notion. Their entry depicts a wall of organ pipes 30 feet high with openings every 20 feet to allow people to pass freely from side to side. Another of their sketches shows three million hammocks strung across the border hanging from 30 foot tall trees. Apparently anyone who wanted to could come the border for a much needed siesta.
Why Not A New Nation?
A collective comprised of architects and engineers from the US and Mexico has a radical proposal: a new bi-national territory along the border built collaboratively by Mexico and the US and connected by a supersonic Hyperloop transit system. “We propose the eradication of the entire US-Mexico border via a trans-national ‘New Deal’ to create a shared co-nation called Otra Nation, built on local economic empowerment, energy independence and revolutionary infrastructure and transit.” The group includes Cameron Sinclair, co-founder of the non-profit group Architecture for Humanity.
The Wall To Nowhere
None of the proposals may ever come to fruition. John F. Kelly, Trump’s homeland security secretary, recently admitted that “it’s unlikely we will build a wall or physical barrier from sea to shining sea.” instead, the list of proposals will be whittled down and a collection of 30 foot tall prototypes will be erected in the desert outside San Diego. Hopefully, they will stay there in perpetuity to remind us of the time when a special form of madness cast a shadow upon the land.
Robert Frost wrote a poem in which he said, “Before I built a wall, I’d ask to know what I was walling in or walling out, and to whom I was like to give offense.” Americans don’t need some winking, blinking high-tech barrier. They need to stop huddling in fear and learn how to embrace the world around them. Instead of making America great again, it will become a permanent reminder of precisely when America decided to make itself irrelevant.
Source: The Guardian
Buy a cool T-shirt in the CleanTechnica store!
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.