Dr. Best will discuss the research process behind Time is Running Out for Sand.
Sand is a key ingredient of modern life. Sand is all around us and we rely on sand resources every day - we use sand in building construction, roads, glass and microchips. On a global scale, sand is the most mined mineral but, with an increasing global population and host of anthropogenic impacts, it is becoming a scarce resource. So scarce, that the global demand for sand will exceed natural renewal rates within the next 20 years. Sand has thus become big business and a profitable industry in many developed and developing countries. This has placed increasing burdens upon the regions in which sand is mined, with illegal operations and unregulated mining activities having potentially enormous implications for humans and nature.
This talk will lay out the background for the looming global sand crisis and its possible effects.
The talk will illustrate how not all sands are equal in their suitability for various uses, discuss the various sources of sand and summarize on the issues surrounding sand scarcity – from extraction to environmental degradation to crime and social justice. In doing so, we will examine the data and resources needed to examine the issue of sand extraction. In planning ahead, the talk will address what essential elements must be considered to establish a global agenda for sand, and what information and data are required to make this happen.