Running Out of Sand? Why It Matters.

We are running out of sand.  Who cares?

Well, it wouldn’t matter much to me, but because of the class I took in college in 2009, Environmental Sociology, it means everything.  And . . . it is just the beginning of many things that are coming down the pike.

That class changed my life.  I knew something about climate change . . . but not really.  I recycled and composted.  Then, there is the rest of the story.  Let’s include resource depletion and overpopulation to climate change, and we have . . . the perfect storm.  And anymore, it is called a climate crisis or climate emergency, which is fine with me.  Let’s call it what it really is.  If I get anymore emails telling me how much Greenland is melting . . . you understand . . . I am hoping.

And for anyone not thinking about resource depletion . . . I mean . . . who is really thinking about it while going to work, picking up kids, groceries, etc.

Just a little science review here.  We are on a finite planet with 7.6 billion people, and there is this consumer economy going on with CEOs planning on infinite growth at board meetings.  Hmm, how is that going to work?  Yes, I ask myself that same question.  Well, some things are bound to run out, and sand is one of them.  Who knew?

In the class I took, water was one of the first things to run out of . . . even before oil.  Yes, we are going to run out of oil.  Extracting tar sands is one big indication.

But this sand thing?  I came across an email from the Frac Sand Sentinel which keeps us informed on what is going on in northwest WI where most of the sand comes from to do fracking to extract natural gas and oil.  In there, was a TED talk from Vince Beaser, which turned out to be very interesting.  I have attached it here and highly recommend watching it.

Sand is used for making concrete and glass, among many other things.  Concrete emits a lot of CO2 somewhere in the process of producing it, so maybe it is not such a bad thing if we can’t make it anymore.  But what will replace it?  How will we build all those roads and big cities?  He doesn’t have the answers for those questions but does have a lot of information on the sand issue.

Here is the message in the email on sand.

In other news, awhile back, Vince Beaser visited NW Wisconsin and interviewed a number of people.  He is an author and has written a new book entitled The World in a Grain. Having traveled the world over, we play a role in a small portion of his published work.

Please take some time to watch the TEDX video with his presentation on the shortage of sand!

Here is a message from Vince:

Dear friends, colleagues, readers, and folks involved somehow …. with sand—I wanted to let you know that my TEDx talk on the deadly global war for sand went live yesterday! It’s essentially a 15-minute distillation of my book, The World in a Grain—so if you haven’t read it yet, here’s an easy way to get the gist. I’d be honored if you would take a look, and even more so if you would like it, tweet it, and generally spread the word. TEDx talks can reach millions of people, so I’m really hoping to use this opportunity to raise awareness not only about the sand crisis, but the larger issue of how we’re over-consuming natural resources across the board. Please help! You can find the TEDx talk below.

Please watch the TED talk!  Thank you!

It does matter.

One thought on “Running Out of Sand? Why It Matters.”

  1. Your post got me thinking even before watching the TedX talk. Running out of natural resources is a very scary proposition.


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