Editorial: Biden’s big railroad bridge to Africa

Column By Mike Bibb

We have plans to build a railroad from the Pacific all the way across the Indian Ocean.

President Joe Biden speaking to the League of Conservation Voters, Washington, D.C., June 14, 2023

Wow, when he thinks, Joe thinks big!

Speaking before the League of Conservation Voters in Washington, on June 14, Biden informed the gathering “We’re talking about building – and I had my team putting together with other countries as well – to build a railroad from the Pacific Ocean – from the Atlantic Ocean all the way across to the Indian Ocean.”

Basically, it would be the greatest construction project in world history.  Probably, in the history of the galaxy.

A railroad traversing over 10,000 miles of deep water, from California to East Africa.

Not sure how he figured the route would also pass over the Atlantic Ocean, but what the heck?  If Joe believes it, then who am I to question his, or his team’s engineering and building skills?

If Joe says it can be done, that’s good enough for me.

But, before he begins, it might be a good idea he glances at a world globe.  There’s one in his office.

Looks to me like Africa is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean.

Not the Pacific Ocean.  That’s several thousand miles east of Africa, on the other side of Indonesia and Australia.

Maybe, when Joe was going to school, Africa was in the Pacific Ocean.  A lot can change in a few hundred million years.

In selling his plan, he reminded the crowd “We’ve mobilized the world’s leading emitters to help poorer countries deal with the impacts of climate change.  They called it, at the G7, the Build Back Biden — Build Back Better.  And, we realized that got confusing” C-Span reported, June 14, 2023.

Actually, I don’t think it’s any more confusing than anything else he says.

Other news sources also carried Biden’s amazing construction announcement.

Snopes later confirmed the validity of the statement a few days later, on June 16.

Then, predictably, he blames us for the climate issue, “Here’s the bottom line.  We’re the ones that caused the problem, the United States.  We cleared all our land.  We did all the things that make things more easy for us to make money.  Not a bad thing at the time.  No one fully understood.  But we, the major emitters in the world, have an obligation to help those countries”

Suppose we’re now fashionably referred to as the United States of Emitters.

I can only guess when he says, “We cleared all the land,” that there are no more national and state parks or untouched wilderness areas.  Alaska is a barren wasteland, Yellowstone and Old Faithful have been paved over, oil wells and wind turbines cover Texas, and the Great Smokey Mountains are no longer smokey.

Grasses in the Plains’ states have been plowed under to make room for corn and wheat.  No more cow farts polluting the atmosphere.

Locally, it appears the San Simon Valley looks pretty much the same as it did when I was a kid.  Must be the only remaining uncleared parcel of land in the entire country.

However, he did admit making money wasn’t a bad thing.  He should know.  According to Congressional and whistleblower reports, he’s made a lot of it under the table over the past 15 or 20 years.

When you’re “The Big Guy,” certain perks come with the job.

Since he insists unfettered climate change will soon destroy all of us, I’m a little confused about what a railroad trestle crossing over two – or, three – oceans will do to the ecology and environment.

Equally important, is there still time left to complete the bridge before rising waters from the melting poles overwhelm us?

Joe better make sure he builds the bridge extra high.

Since it’s important for the train to be environmentally friendly, is it going to be an EV train, capable of traveling 10,000 miles on a single charge?

Perhaps, solar panels mounted atop the rail cars will help charge the batteries and save the planet.

An electric trolly system, with overhead wires, or an electric third rail might work.

Or, old-fashioned, high-rigged canvas sails to catch the trade winds.

Whatever it is, Joe’s team probably has it all figured out.

Just hope they don’t forget to include a few lifeboats in case a typhoon is spinning in the area, or the train derails and plunges into the Marianas Trench; a 36,000-foot-deep chasm – almost seven times deeper than the Grand Canyon.

This isn’t a Disney fantasy, although it sounds like it is.  It’s actually a proposal, springing from Biden’s brain – or, his handler’s.

There was no mention of cost, anticipated difficulties, or how long the project would take.  

In essence, he’s suggesting we couple 1800s train technology with a 2020s trans-ocean bridge illusion.  Modified, multi-wheeled diesel-electric locomotives, pulling 125 freight cars thousands of miles over open water.

What could go wrong?

Actually, I don’t know if there’s enough paper available to print all the money needed to finance this super-colossal boondoggle.

It staggers the mind.

Believe it or not, there are a few skeptics.  A tweet by freelance columnist Ian Haworth wonders “Who’s going to run that train, Sponge Bob?”

I doubt it, he’s overqualified.  That assignment would probably be more in line with Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s expertise. 

We all know how good he is at what he does.  Just ask the folks in East Palestine, Ohio who are still cleaning up after the disastrous rail chemical spill last year. 

Is there going to be a second phase of this grand plan – when Joe announces because the train travels from America to Africa, we could be liable for slave reparations for everyone living in Africa the past 450 years?

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any loonier.  .  .  

The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author.