How Sand Mining Could Destabilize the World
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She noted the world uses “around 50 billion tons of sand, gravel, and crushed rock to produce concrete for our houses and to build roads and infrastructure.” But sand is also a source of other essential products, including refining quartz sand to make silica that goes into everything from windows to vaccine vials to microprocessors that power our laptops and solar panels. Some kinds of sand are also used in fracking to hold open cracks deep underground to pull out fossil fuels.
Since sand supply is poorly regulated and managed, there’s not much data on all that activity, so we don’t have exact numbers on how much of it we use. But what is clear is that demand for sand for all these uses is increasing rapidly, which is creating huge problems. In fact, over the next 30 years, eight cities the size of New York will be built each year, the study says.
“Sand and gravel are the world’s most extracted solid materials by mass and their annual consumption is predicted to double by 2060,” said Torres. “This situation is putting pressure on threatened ecosystems, triggering social conflicts, and fueling concerns over sand shortages.”
Increasing extraction, the authors write, will make these issues all the more severe and lead them to compound. For instance, the study says, sand can lead to riverbed collapse and erosion in coastal communities. That means affected populations in places like India and Vietnam may be pushed to migrate inland toward cities, which could in turn lead to increased demand for sand for development. This very process played out in 2016 after Cyclone Winston hit Fiji, according to the study.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction
May 25, 2021 at 12:43 PM #425418retired liberalParticipant
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We are an arrogant species, believing our fantasy based "facts" are better than the other person's fake facts.
If you are wrong, it will be because you are not cynical enough.
The older we get, the less "Life in Prison" is a deterrent.
Always wear a proper mask when out and about. The life you save could be both yours and mine.
May 25, 2021 at 1:59 PM #425444NV WinoModerator
- Total Posts: 7,426
Too many people. We are depleting the earth’s resources. It is not limited to sand. Sand will be the least of our worries when we run out of water.
May 25, 2021 at 3:32 PM #425472RCW2020Participant
- Total Posts: 537
his hilly areas of his farmland. Scrapes off the topsoil for later restoration of farmable land. Making a ton of fucking money, indeed.
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