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The Sand Man Cometh


You have all heard the international media reports about how the world is running out of sand. I have previously written about it in this space.

Well brace yourself for a huge new media onslaught. A much-anticipated book, “The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization,” is about to hit the shelves.

It was written by international journalist Vince Beiser, whose work has appeared in Wired, The Atlantic, Harper’s, The Guardian, GQ (UK), The Village Voice, The Nation, Mother Jones, Playboy, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal Magazine, The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times.

Beiser has reported from more than 100 countries, states, provinces, emirates, kingdoms, occupied territories, liberated areas, aircraft carriers, no man’s lands and disaster zones. He has exposed conditions in California’s harshest prisons, trained with troops bound for Iraq, and ridden with the first responders to disasters in Haiti and Nepal 

The book is being touted as the “gripping story of the most important overlooked commodity in the world – sand – and the crucial role it plays in our lives.”

From the book: “After water and air, sand is the natural resource that we consume more than any other – even more than oil. Every concrete building and paved road on Earth, every computer screen and silicon chip, is made from sand. From Egypt’s pyramids to the Hubble telescope, from the world’s tallest skyscraper to the sidewalk below it, from Chartres’ stained-glass windows to your iPhone, sand shelters us, empowers us, engages us, and inspires us. It’s the ingredient that makes possible our cities, our science, our lives – and our future. And, incredibly, we’re running out of it. “

The good news is the book makes a case for the critical importance of sand. And that’s good for business. It also makes the case that the world better “conserve and protect” its sand resources. That isn’t good for business.

If you have a manufactured-sand operation, you are sitting in a good place, if you do not, you may want to look at getting one.

“The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization,” is going to provoke a national and international conversation on sand. And we need to be right in the middle of it.