Wind and water morphing rock, a slow process, glacial scale, not something we can wait for in our life time. Sand, long time in the making, nonetheless seems to be abundant. It comes in many forms and colors, depending on the local rock source, but all share a common ingredient, silicon dioxide. It is a non-renewable resource on human time-scale, like other resources we are rapidly consuming. Sand that is used for satisfying our construction hunger, however, is running low. Unlike other scarce resources, sand mining is not well regulated and the total amount we currently extract from riverbeds and coastlines can only be approximated by the amount of concrete used in building activity. A simple rule, of course, would be that sand extraction should not exceed the rate of resupply from upstream, but current use is far beyond that, impacting river flows and ecosystems wherever sand is mined. 

The speed of our current lifestyles feels more like panic than a well thought out strategy or ‘roadmap for the future’. Slow, apparently is not the way to go, even though slow movements, such as slow food are still on the menu. The just presented EU Green Deal policy is focused on reduction of CO2 emissions, economic growth and innovation, all at the same time. Reduction of (over) consumption is nowhere mentioned. The spiral sand trap however is real. Sand is not only used for building construction, but also for reinforcing our coastlines, a challenge that will only get more urgent with depleted coastlines and rising sea levels.

Everything changes, motion is a given, but we can modify the rate and direction.

The way of the rock, contemplating sand. Fluvial and aeolian force, fundamental stuff. The planet keeps spinning,

taking time. 

https://e360.yale.edu/features/the-hidden-environmental-toll-of-mining-the-worlds-sand