by Julia Robins ´20
Most Presidents during this quarantine would be focused on rebuilding the economy, creating safe reopening measures, and distributing medical supplies. But you see, this president, Donald Trump, is unique in that instead of focusing on those issues, he has recently poured time and energy into his U.S. Mexico border wall.
In latest border wall news, Trump’s recent expansion plan for another 17 miles (back in April) will cut off and pollute the San Pedro river and endanger the lives of wildlife by habitat destruction, which he was sued for on May 12. But the more ridiculous agenda is his fascination and order to paint the wall black, which will pull at least 500 million dollars and up to 3 billion dollars out of the defence budget, according to a copy of the cost estimation report The Texas Tribune got their hands on.
Trump’s reasoning for painting the border wall black comes from his scientific “knowledge” that painting the steel rods black would make the rods hotter during the summer, discouraging climbers by burning their hands and feet. In theory, this makes sense, and while it is proven that darker objects can get up to 10 degrees hotter than white ones, the medium brown color of the current border will only make the difference of perhaps two or three degrees compared with only a shade or two darker of black. A main disadvantage is that black objects also radiate better, so they’ll cool much faster during the night than the current color, and the increased absorption of sunlight would erode and will fade the paint almost completely by at least a decade, requiring millions in upkeep costs contrary to the almost double what the existing brownish color will last. This would be a different story if the wall was currently white, but the little difference that it will actually make is not worth the 500 million and the millions, even billions more the upkeep will cost in the future.
Not to mention, 500 million dollars is enough money to purchase/make 150 million N95 masks! Which do you think is more important for the President to be focusing his priorities on? Coronavirus, or how to prevent Mexicans from climbing the 60 feet high wall?