The worldwide sand crisis


Today, many wide-scale issues dominate the news and get everyone’s attention, just as they should. However, some issues don’t get that special attention and are swept aside. So today I’d like to talk about the serious issue of the worldwide sand shortage.

According to NPR station, sand is actually being used up faster than it’s created. Sand is being used up near bodies of water like oceans and rivers. It is used to create windows and glass, the concrete that makes roads and buildings, and even the silicon in phones and computers. More and more sand is being made to supply constantly expanding cities around the world. It may seem crazy to think that sand is running out when you see it everywhere on beaches, but certain areas can be completely stripped of sand and ruined. The main problem is that sand is not recycled easily. Once it is used to make a road or a building, it stays there. The only way to get more sand would be to crush up rocks, which would not be very effective or efficient, or wait for more to form naturally, which can take hundreds or even millions of years.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, “The Guardian” reported that violent crime has taken place against government intervention to help. The sand business actually has organized crime. Did you ever imagine you would read that in the paper? Ignoring the environmental concerns, some just want to make money from the sand and oppose law enforcement agencies in order to get paid, even going as far as murdering people who get in the way of sand mining operations.

This is not a hopeless issue. People are trying to solve it through mining laws, and some are even trying to find ways to use other types of sand like desert sand. Research the worldwide sand shortage to find out more, and be sure not to waste any glass.