By Mark J. Krumenacher, PG
“Reality Check on a Purported Global Sand Shortage: Sensationalism Extrapolated From Isolated Occurrences to Global Phenomena,” was written by Mark J. Krumenacher, PG, and originally published in the Electronic Green Journal, Volume 1, Issue 47. – Ed.
This essay presents how an almost sidebar reference in the back pages of a book, became the topic of a highly promoted documentary on the alleged shortage of a certain type of sand and grew into “conventional wisdom” that the world is confronted with a general sand shortage. Research for this article demonstrates how a story can be blindly repeated until it becomes considered conventional wisdom and how sensationalism about what is commonly believed to be ubiquitous facilitated the spread of a false narrative. The sand that is the topic of the stories, articles, papers on the global sand shortage topic is not the same “industrial sand” that is used by the fiberglass industry. Relating the alleged global sand shortage, as purported in obscure and seemingly credible media outlets, to the fiberglass insulation manufacturing industry is inappropriate, misaligned and inconsistent with very basic and easy to find facts. While there is an abundance of articles and stories that purport global sand shortages, there are no scholarly articles or scientific facts reported that relate the isolated sand shortages acknowledged in the stories to the use of industrial sand for the manufacture of fiberglass insulation or any other fiberglass product.
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