Note: this article is based on a New York Times Op Ed essay in July, 2016.
As if we didn’t have enough troubles already. On this Op Ed page, a knowledgeable writer in the field stated that we’re running out of sand.
I never thought of sand.
He said that virtually all the new construction in the world uses sand, since most of the buildings use concrete. Also, roads usually use asphalt, which is made up largely of sand. You might think, “well there’s enough sand in the desert for all of us.” But you’re wrong. That kind of sand is too dry and doesn’t have the constitution needed for cement.
Contractors need the sand found on beaches and on the bottom of lakes and oceans near the coastlines. And that sand is getting more scarce with the construction of thousands of buildings and hundreds of thousands of miles of roads every decade.
The digging up of this sand is ruining coastlines and ecosystems. It’s killing fish that we need for food.
This is another case of the need for international austerity. All governments throughout the world want economic growths, at least 3% a year. And the U.S. has as it’s main economic and political foreign policy to encourage economic growth in every country. We can add onto this neurotic demand the continuing increase of the population of world, which went from only a few billion a couple of decades ago to 7 billion now. The world population is predicted to be 9 billion by 2050. And each one of these persons wants to consume more goods and services than they do now.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist – and you don’t have to understand international economics – to see that this goal will end in complete disaster in only a few decades — if it doesn’t end up in World War III before then.
The only alternative to this complete disaster is to have an economic model that aims at a stable GDP in the international economy, an emphasis on sustainable use of resources, and strong population control – ideally limiting the world’s population to 7 billion, or less.
How can this be achieved? Simple!! Make a collective decision to pursue this goal and put our heads together. “The answers, my friend, are blowing in the wind.”
Many of these answers are found in RG’s economic polices.
And one of these answers is to limit our consumption of sand.