This article appeared in the March 28, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.


A bold idea: Green New Deal meets the border wall

Purdue University/Jorge Castillo Quiñones
A new plan proposes that the United States and Mexico jointly build a 1,954-mile energy park along the border instead of a wall. The proposal, by 28 prominent U.S. scientists and engineers, says that the effort would bring abundant energy and water to the region while also providing border security and economic stability.
Noelle Swan
Deputy Daily Editor

What could the border wall and the Green New Deal possibly have in common?

The two proposals have come to epitomize the political divisions in the United States. The goals behind them are not mutually exclusive. But for many Americans, they have become two sides of an increasingly impenetrable gulf. To support one is almost assuredly a vote against the other.

But must these two ideas exist in total isolation?

Earlier this month, a coalition of 28 U.S. engineers and scientists sketched out a vision that would unite the goals of both proposals in a nearly 2,000-mile energy and water corridor along the U.S.-Mexico border. The proposal calls for construction of desalination plants powered by a network of solar, wind, and natural gas plants across the border. These facilities would serve as a physical barrier along the border while bringing jobs and clean water to the region.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the idea has garnered little attention in Washington. But the thought behind it represents the kind of innovation that can arise when people take a step back from political grandstanding and dare to think boldly.

As Ronald Adrian, a coalition member and Arizona State University professor, put it, “At first blush the idea seems too big, too aggressive, but consider the Roman aqueducts or the transcontinental railroads – enormous undertakings that gave enormous benefits.”

Now onto our five stories for today, including a 39-way tug of war over the future of Ukraine, a critical look at the popularity of “simple fixes,” and a newfound embrace of art on the Arabian Peninsula.

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This article appeared in the March 28, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.