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The Weekender: Are we running out of sand? We won't have cities (or smart phones) without it.

July 15, 2018


The Weekender features a longer form publication or multimedia production from a reputable source. We select articles or things to watch or listen to that discuss issues and opportunities we deem just off the radar for many business people, students, and faculty. We aim to expand the mind, broaden the heart, and sharpen the analysis. Have a great weekend.


My notes:

One of Barry Commoner's famous Four Laws of Ecology is "there is no such thing as a free lunch."  Everything must come from somewhere. There is always a price to pay. Like many truths, it is obvious, common sensical and therefore deceiving in its simplicity. Modern humans have treated many resources like a "free lunch" and exploited fisheries, forests, water, metals, minerals and even the atmosphere itself.  It has been an "all you can eat" buffet and, Commoner points out, eventually the bill comes due. And so it is with sand, that makes up 26% of concrete and is a key ingredient to many things we enjoy from smart phones to solar panels. This is a fun and fascinating telling of the "peak sand" story from the Planet Money podcast. 


Peak Sand (by Planet Money)