Over two dozen scientists have proposed a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border that we should start building right now.

Donald Trump’s promise to build a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border is one of the most grandiose and unnecessary policies ever pursued in U.S. history for seven simple reasons:

1. The population of undocumented people living in the U.S. is at its lowest point in a decade.

2. In 2017, the number of illegal border crossings is at a 46-year low.


3. Over 40% of people who come to the U.S. illegally do so via airplane.

4. Most unauthorized immigrants came here legally and overstay their visas.

5. Most drugs that enter the country don’t come across the southern border.

6. It’s a ridiculous waste of taxpayer dollars.

7. Undocumented immigrants actually cause less crime than native-born Americans.

Facts be damned, Trump’s supporters are in love with the idea of walling ourselves off from our neighbor to the south.

So a consortium of 28 engineers from a dozen universities have come up with a genius idea that satisfies their fiendish desire for a wall while making a huge commitment to alternative energy.

The engineers devised a plan to create a 2,000-mile long industrial park on the border that would include desalination facilities, solar energy panels, wind turbines, and natural gas pipelines.

The park would require heavy security that can do double duty making sure that nobody crosses the border with a pocket full of weed.

via Purdue University

According to a white paper released by the group, the border is an ideal location for generating alternative energy. “Given that most of the southern border lies in arid or semi-arid regions having high solar irradiation and wind, an energy park along the border is both feasible and desirable,” the paper reads.

The amount of solar energy production would be staggering.

The white paper estimates that a solar park along the entire border would produce the same amount of energy as the the hydropower production along the U.S.-Canada border and approximately the same amount that would be generated by a nuclear plant.

The eco-friendly wall would also create jobs and help foster cooperation between the two nations instead of division. It will also help bring together Americans of all political stripes for positive change.

“Democrats want a Green New Deal. Republicans want border security,” Luciano Castillo, a professor of energy and power at Purdue University who leads the group, told Scientific American. “Both parties could win. It could be a win–win for the U.S. and Mexico, too. This idea could spark a completely new conversation about the border. And we need that.”

The team has presented the plan to three U.S. representatives and one senator.

For many people, seeing any animal in captivity is a tragic sight. But when an animal cannot safely be released into the wild, a captive-but-comfortable space is the next best thing.

That's the situation for a dozen female pachyderms who have joined the Yulee refuge at the White Oak Conservation Center north of Jacksonville, Florida. The Asian elephants, who are endangered in the wild, are former circus animals that were retired from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 2016. The group includes two sets of full sisters and several half-sisters. Elephants tend to live together in multi-generational family groups led by a matriarch.

Philanthropists Mark and Kimbra Walter, who fund the refuge for rare species, say they are "thrilled to give these elephants a place to wander and explore."

"We are working to protect wild animals in their native habitats," the Walters said in a statement. "But for these elephants that can't be released, we are pleased to give them a place where they can live comfortably for the rest of their lives."

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The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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