FFS, Now We’re Running Out of Sand

Sorry, but this kind of sand just won't do.Hollandse-Hoogte via ZUMA

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We are running out of sand. No, really, and here’s a chart to prove it:

Now wait a second. The Sahara Desert is brimming with sand. Why can’t we use that?

Desert sand grains are too smooth to be useful, and most of the angular sand that is suitable for industry comes from rivers (less than 1% of the world’s land). This extraction of sand and gravel has far-reaching impacts on ecology, infrastructure and the livelihoods of the 3 billion people who live along rivers.

Huh. How about that?

Current estimates of global sand mining are unreliable and undoubtedly too low….There are few long-term, basin-wide programmes monitoring sediment. It is technically hard to quantify how sand moves or is deposited along rivers….In many countries, sand mining is unregulated and might involve local ‘sand mafias’….In the Mekong delta, the Vietnamese government estimates that nearly 500,000 people will need to be moved away from river banks that are collapsing as a result of sand mining in the channel.

Click the link if you want to read more about what we can do to support a sustainable, eco-friendly sand industry.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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