By Stanley Heller
Driving I listened to NPR news show. They were interviewing a contractor who was eager to build Trump’s Mexico wall. He estimated that it would take 250,000 truckloads of concrete to do the job. Knowing that concrete production is a big greenhouse gas producer I did a quick calculation.
3600 pounds in a cubic yard of concrete
10 cubic yards per concrete truck
So there’s 36,000 pounds of concrete per truck
250,000 trucks of concrete needed for Trump’s 1,000 mile wall according to contractor who is willing to build the wall (NPR)
That’s 9 billion pounds of concrete = 4.5 million tons
Producing a ton of cement requires 4.7 million BTU of energy, equivalent to about 400 pounds of coal, and generates nearly a ton of CO2.
That’s 4.5 million tons of CO2 to produce the concrete for the wall.
Of course driving all those cement mixers to the Texas/Mexico border would release lots more CO2, but that’s not in my calculation. That would be on top of the 4.5 million.
So though climate activist Bill McKibben warns us that we shouldn’t launch a single new pipeline or dig a new fossil fuel mine, Trump wants to build a wall on the Mexico border that would cause cement factories to belch forth 4,500,000 tons of CO2.
Not to mention that the wall is an asinine project in the first place…