Forget the fearmongering and the President’s stunt visit to the nation’s southern border. Ignore the rancor and partisanship on Capitol Hill.
Concentrate instead on this simple, sustainable solution that will end the border stand-off, put 800,000 desperate federal employees back to work, and achieve two absolutely contradictory goals: giving President Trump a victory in his fight to build a wall while allowing Democrats block his benighted Berlin-like barrier.
During the partial federal shutdown, which on Saturday will become the longest ever, our national parks have been overrun by waste and misuse. At least one park — 429,000-acre Joshua Tree in southern California — has closed completely so unpaid officials could empty overstuffed toilets, clean up debris and stop people from riding off the roads. Yosemite, too, has had to shut some facilities. Just down the street from the White House, the National Mall is festooned with piles of plastic bottles and food clamshells.
There’s an obvious opportunity here: Let’s use all this trash to create a new barrier along the 1,952-mile border between the United States and Mexico. Call it GASP: the Great American S— Pile™.
This proposal is all upsides:
1. The President gets his wall — which he has already acknowledged does not have to be a wall.
2. Mexico will pay for it — at least in foul odors, when the wind blows the right way. (Any suggestion that Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California will stink if the wind blows the wrong way is Fake News.)
3. In approving GASP, Congress will not fund a wall; the berm of trash will cost far less than the concrete or steel ribbon the President has been talking about.
4. GASP is removable — so if the next President decides it’s a bad idea, it can be hauled away straight away.
5. It will benefit Mexico — because Mexicans and people from Central and South America who journey to the wall can stay where they are and earn a healthy living scavenging from the detritus of comparatively wealthy U.S. citizens. In fact, high-quality compost could be finished in Mexico and sold back to gardeners in the United States without tariffs because, though it will be processed south of the border, it originated in the north and thus is truly made in the USA.
6. GASP will be super-high-security: garbage and plastics, when piled, function like fluids, so this barrier will be more effective than a wall, because anyone who tries to scale it risks drowning and anyone who tries to tunnel under it risks cave-ins and landslides.
7. This wall is recyclable and reusable — with appropriate sorting and processing.
8. GASP is sustainable and renewable. Visitors to our national parks leave behind more than 100 million pounds of trash a year. This can be continually trucked to the border and used to top off any parts of the heap that might be sinking.
9. GASP, if expanded to accept state and local trash, will take enormous pressure off America’s landfills. As a country, we generate more than 250 million tons of waste every year. Now, we can divert most of that flow to the border, thus removing pressure on municipalities to pay for disposal or to incinerate excess leavings.
10. GASP will be in the grand American tradition of exporting our crap to the developing world.
11. Finally, though the logistics of transporting waste from all 50 states to the border may seem insurmountable, I’d bet that the President, with his vast experience in New York City real estate, has many connections with the top echelon of the private carting industry. We know that his fellow patriotic trash moguls will joyfully seize this opportunity.
GASP can unite America’s craziest environmental lefties with its wackiest national security hawks. So let’s get to it. Let’s Make American Garbage Available!