The Earth Is Running Out of Sand and It Could Cause a Global Crisis

The Earth Is Running Out of Sand and It Could Cause a Global Crisis


It’s time we talk about a new global crisis:
the Sand crisis. And no, I’m not talking about the frustration
from getting sand out of your underpants after a day at the beach. For most of us, that’s the limit of our
experience with sand: it’s at the beach, we maybe make a castle out of it, it clings
to things, and then we go home. Few of us stop to think about the role sand
plays in our daily lives. Sand is used to make glass, electronics, and
in fracking. Huge quantities of sand have been dumped into
the sea to reclaim land for development while other cities need it to shore up islands against
rising sea levels. But it’s mostly used in construction. Sand is the remains of pulverized and weathered
rock mixed with shell fragments and other bits and pieces washed up and left as sediment
from a body of water. And because of that, sand is unique to where
you find it — its composition depends on the rocks and minerals in that part of the
world, some of which are sturdier and last longer than others. This means with populations rising, sand is
quickly becoming a hot commodity. Because, not all sand is created equal. The fine-grained sand of the Sahara, for example,
does not make an appropriate building material. Instead, coarser sand must be mined. Usually from the banks of local rivers and
coastlines, and this brings a whole host of environmental and human problems, but also
makes for a valuable export. You’d think sand is everywhere, but it’s
NOT. Modern cities use a lot of sand in construction;
the global total for sand mining in 2010 was about 11 billion metric tons (12 tons). Sand is a globalized commodity, whose trade
value has increased sixfold in the last quarter-century. FOR SAND. Some cities are built on sand-heavy foundations
but mostly it’s used to make concrete and asphalt. Nations like Dubai import the “right”
kind of sand for construction — even though they’re surrounded by desert sand it isn’t
strong enough for concrete, so the necessary sand is imported from Australia. And cities experiencing incredible growth
rates are using a lot of sand. According to estimates, China used more concrete
from 2011 to 2014 than the US went through in the entire 20th century. And their rate isn’t slowing down. There are plans to build cities that will
dwarf New York! And because of this booming urbanization — sand
mining has increased — with some pretty negative consequences. Sand for construction in Shanghai was originally
dredged from the bottom of the Yangtze River. But bridges were damaged, the riverbank collapsed,
and the shipping industry was disrupted so much that dredging the river bottom was banned. Now nearby Lake Poyang is dredged. But it’s not just structural. Sand dredging is taking a toll on the environment
too. Dropping water levels can damage nearby wetlands,
destroy the habitat for migratory birds, and putting animals that rely on that water source
on endangered species lists. Sand extraction in Kenya damaged coral reefs. In India it’s a threat to rare crocodiles. In Indonesia sand mining wiped out whole islands. So, what can we do about this “sand crisis”? One solution could be developing new materials
with all the properties of sand for use in construction. Another could be to find an alternative to
concrete for building. Whatever the case, this is soon to be something
we can’t ignore. Recycling concrete could help, but some countries
might not be able to set up the infrastructure to do that. Finding an alternative to sand is ideal, but
difficult; it would be hard to replace something that has, until now, been so abundant and
cheap. So, next time you’re shaking sand out off
your shoes at the beach, remember, this material is important. It’s a natural resource. It’s not renewable. And like a lot of nature — it’s got a lot
of value. We’re finally recognizing our insane use
of sand as a problem, and that is the first step to finding a solution. There are OTHER ways we’re making construction
more environmentally friendly, like building skyscrapers out of WOOD. How? Find out here. Fun fact: Shanghai has built as many high
rises in the last decade as have been built in New York in the last century!

100 thoughts on “The Earth Is Running Out of Sand and It Could Cause a Global Crisis

  1. This is the same girl (Amy), along with Trace Dominguez, who said that EVERYONE smells their own hand after they shake hands with someone else, so I'm having trouble believing Seeker much anymore…
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGCZB8jUxRc&t=36s)

  2. Nice to see you again, Amy, since your analysis of a problem is always so succinct. This was new to me. You mentioned recycling concrete. Is the limestone too chemically, tightly bound to the sand to separate and reuse?

  3. Even though rare crocs and coral reefs are good and important you forgot one thing… dropping sand levels could disrupt a lot of Aussies

  4. Doesn't it seem like the BETTER idea would be to figure out how to use the sand that the Sahara and other deserts have in abundance?

  5. (*see's this video*) At first i thought how can Sand cause a global crisis? (*Watches this video*)Oh that's how. Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. why not melt desert sand
    then ground the product into a more round'nt molecules
    then use that as concrete material?

  7. Utter bull shit. There will always be plenty of sand, the Earth is a fucking rock. This is the dumbest, pointless, fear mongering bull shit video this channel has ever made.
    Unsubscribe

  8. WTF! Running out of sand! Humans SUCK! What’s next , running out of ………..can’t think of anything new we’re running out of . We take everything 😔

  9. The world is not running out of sand you idiots.
    Canada has mountains and mountains of it.
    From brown to bright white. Course to fine.
    But the moronic environMENTALists force us to put it back in the ground after we extract the oil from it.
    Billions and billions of cubic meters. of it.

  10. It's obvious to me that this is being perpetuated by greedy capitalists. Soon they'll be lobbying for a sand tax and regulation on the use of sand. Children will be deprived of sand boxes. Home Depot will require and ID to buy a bag of sand and a registry will be established to make sure that no one uses more than his/her annual allotment. Roads will have to be resurfaced with gravel at least until the gravel gangsters figure out that they now have a more valuable commodity. Wall Street will then be selling futures on the gravel/sand exchange. THE END IS NEAR. On the other hand may be NASA can find another planet that's covered in sand and Elon Musk can get govt. grants to bring it back to earth. The futures market bubble will then collapse and start a new global recession and children will starve. I would go on but my fingers are tired of typing.

  11. "there are other ways to make construction more environmentaly freindly, like making buildings out of wood."
    wow i though this ways a science channel. Damn, that was dumb, where you think the wood comes from

  12. You don't necessarily need natural sand to make concrete, there is another type of sand called manufactured sand you can also use.

  13. In case anyone's wondering, desert sand can't be used for concrete because the particles are very spherical. This means that instead of interlocking with each other, they slide past one another. Hence the sand's structural properties are very poor. As for why the particles are so rounded, that's because the desert has existed for so long that any irregularities in the particles' shape has been eroded away by constant motion because of the wind (analogous to how pebbles at the bottom of a river are generally rounded).
    Source: am a civil engineer

    EDIT: It's not that desert sand can't be used for making concrete. It can. However, we prefer not to because the concrete would be much weaker than that which uses coarse sand.

  14. Building more environmentally friendly structures out of wood? So what happens when everything is deforested then, start building down into the ground instead of upwards?

  15. Why don't they export the desert sand they can't use and replace the sand they extract? It's not a perfect solution, but it will help rebuild ecosystems they destroy

  16. What a load of bullshit:) It would be funny, but this stupid bitch is serious:) DO NOT FALL FOR ANOTHER "SKY IS FALLING" BULLSHIT "CRISIS":) Get a fuckin' life…

  17. This is why space exploration is needed for tera forming we need resources our planet is running out of resources by the 30th century we would be a deserted planet OMG WE NEED A SPACESHIP THAT CAM EXPLORE SPACE

  18. I watched a TVO or PBS documentary on this a few years back .. This is a huge issue at the moment ..
    Unfortunately it is not a free watch .. but here is the link and a trailer for it!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyqZkDPHTMs&has_verified=1

    One of the interesting parts was that sand dredged from the ocean cannot be used for making buildings
    due to it's high salt content, yet the Sand "Mafia's" don't give a damn and still sell it to construction companies.
    Issue is the salt content kills the rebarb which can make the building really unsafe over the years.

  19. Women everywhere are now rejoicing that there will soon be a day when sand will no longer get inside their Va Jay Jays

  20. Sand mining, gold mining, ANY mining, logging, ALL human activities are impacting the Earth's thin bio-shell negatively now BECAUSE THERE ARE TOO MANY OF US. It is the EXTENT of human activity, NOT the specifics, that is slowly but surely destroying all life on Earth. Capitalism has set the agenda in that GROWTH is NOT up for debate, and sadly most of the 'slaves-to-fashion' younger generation have fallen for it. Human selfishness is destroying life on Earth.
    "This is the way the world will end, not with a bang but a whimper." — T. S. Eliot
    "Capitalism is accumulation for accumulation's sake." — Karl Marx ('more for the sake of more', which is insanity)

  21. Humanity and greed are a disease.I wish thanos was real and snapped his fingers, but only killed the scum of the earth.

  22. Sure, there's sand on other worlds, and more sand will form over time, but we need to deal with the sand crisis. And the environmental crisis we have now.

    Joke comment: Anakin likes the fact that the world 🌎 is running 🏃 out of that coarse and rough and irritating 😠 stuff that gets everywhere.

  23. And to think that dams halt the sandmaking process…

    The building of dams is quite the testament to the wisdom of Homo Sapiens.

  24. One solution could be getting it from the ocean bed. We already drill from under the ocean floor bed for oil.
    We could also harvest sand similar to the way we farm. Crop rotation but with ocean shores. The ocean naturally breaks down rocks and creates the sand we need that come from the plates moving every year. Its only a problem to developing countries who have massive demands for it. But the Earth does not answer to anyone's demands. Those countries will eventually be halted and put back into line by the Earth.
    But if they cant wait theres always another solution that is the recycling of building materials so they can be used again.

    No matter the way you look at it, we haven't lost any sand that wasent already on the planet. Sand is not like oil that is burned up and released as a gas. Its just used for something else and we will always have the same amount on the planet (Unless SpaceX starts launching rocks into space). This seems to only be a problem because the locations we are used to getting sand is drying up. Its time to move to a new location and let the old ones replenish.

  25. Just waiting on the fox news idiots to come in and deny this, or maybe they really do pick and choose what science to believe… #ThatsNotHowItWorks

  26. no debate. no opposing wiews. not even a wikipedia entry. obvious bullshit. how can we have facts without debate?

  27. There are sand everywhere, when was the last time you check the deserts, florida, Brooklyn, around the rivers and beaches around world. Next people will be crying for earth.

  28. It's amazing how there's a constant effort to undermine what Asian countries are doing. Development in US and Europe is industrialization. If it happens in Asia and Africa it is pollution and environmental degradation. It's amazing to see how there's constant effort to undermine the work that's been done in many developing Nations to alleviate poverty. The rich countries want to remain rich and want others to serve them. They don't want others to flourish. No one in Western countries talk about cutting down their lifestyles. They live in mega homes which consume lot of energy and water. Drive huge cars and have multiple of them where on the other hand in another country you have children going to sleep with empty stomachs. The way this video was structured was really bad.

  29. [ "k, i confess, i am a sinner. I used to play in a sandbox as a child. Hands over all legal rights to a fictitous-authority… " ]

  30. We are reshaping earth like never before…living dangerously is already taking its toll on climate and all lifeforms on earth.we need more energy per person to live in the next year than today.globalisation is attacking the traditional living and culture.
    What's the point of all this.we need to find happiness and joy not by more and more things…
    Humans are cancer to this planet.
    We are dealing with change like never before
    Our lifestyle has adapted rapidly towards urbanisation.
    Population control seems to be the only solution

  31. So we built a civilization that is so unsustainable and resource consuming that it will soon collapse and take the people who would never exist without it along with it? Oh my. Let's have a toast to the brilliance of human ingenuity and our collective pride. Great to know that people are blindly following and defending tooth and nail a system which will end up killing them. And all that BPA in plastic and chemicals in food and water have really made us a much stronger and advanced species. At least we can contaminate the planet some more before we are gone. Isn't progress great?

  32. Where do you guys come up with this bullshit? Lmao….running out of sand? Go walk across the entirety of the Saharah Desert with a bottle of Aquafina and report back that we are out of sand. Even tho it takes almost 5 hours to fly East to West over it lol. 😂

  33. No worries yall i got this GO SANDSHREW!!!!! QUICK USE SAND ATTACK ON THIS GLOBAL CRISIS !!!! ATTACK MISSED!!! Dammit sorry i tried

  34. Basically – unless its organic, its a limited resource which will run out. And even if it is organic, if its not recyclable or we use it too quickly, it will run out.

  35. Ocean sand cannot be used for construction as it is too smooth and contains chloride and salt. Chloride rusts rebar and salt absorbs moisture making the combo into weak concrete.

  36. The real problem is NOT lack of sand, lack of rare-earth metals, lack of oil, lack of clean water, etc; the REAL PROBLEM IS TOO MANY PEOPLE. THAT is the CAUSE of shortages in EVERYTHING ELSE. I predict we won't be able to address this root cause of our eventual destruction, because capitalism (including the old Eastern Bloc State-capitalism) has made us too selfish — especially would-be mothers. The 'right' to have as many children as you want is no more valid than the 'right' to buy lots of things packaged in plastic and throw that plastic away so that vast amounts of it end up covering vast areas of our oceans.

  37. The Earth is NOT running out of sand. What a rubbish clickbait heading. around the 1:00 mark the vid even admits this, and that the heading should really be about course sand of most cost-effective building material suitability, but I guess that wouldn't make as catchy a headline.

  38. Sand futures have no future? Building with sand is like a foundation built upon sand? Seriously though, we need to (and to some degree, we are) develop better types of concrete using other, better materials. One possible solution is plastics – which we're trying not to put in landfills or into the ocean anyway. Polymers are light & strong, & can easily be mixed with other things. There are always other options – if you look for them. 𝓡𝓲𝓴𝓴𝓲 𝓣𝓲𝓴𝓴𝓲.

  39. Yes the problem with the sand exists. The robbery of sand exists. The incredible damage to nature exists.
    But there is also a solution to this problem, no one even in the problem countries is interested in it. Even the UN with its environmental protection experts is not interested.
    We are manufacturer of UHPC Binder (Ultra High Performance Concrete) which is far superior to any standard concrete in its technical properties.
    More than two years ago, we developed a binder based on this UHPC technology that can be used to process desert sand into a high-strength concrete. This desert sand concrete is significantly better in its technical properties than most standard concretes. This desert sand concrete is a mixture of UHPC desert sand binder + desert sand + water, that's absolutely everything. It can be produced as mortar, potting compound and spray mass. Mass production of the UHPC desert sand binder is easily possible. Today we are able to produce 1000 tons per day. WHERE IS THE SAND PROBLEM?
    Interested? www-hhbc-consulting.de – www.facebook.com/hhbc-consulting – www.instagram.com/hhbc_consulting

  40. Yes the problem with the sand exists. The robbery of sand exists. The incredible damage to nature exists.
    But there is also a solution to this problem, no one even in the problem countries is interested in it. Even the UN with its environmental protection experts is not interested.
    We are manufacturer of UHPC Binder (Ultra High Performance Concrete) which is far superior to any standard concrete in its technical properties.
    More than two years ago, we developed a binder based on this UHPC technology that can be used to process desert sand into a high-strength concrete. This desert sand concrete is significantly better in its technical properties than most standard concretes. This desert sand concrete is a mixture of UHPC desert sand binder + desert sand + water, that's absolutely everything. It can be produced as mortar, potting compound and spray mass. Mass production of the UHPC desert sand binder is easily possible. Today we are able to produce 1000 tons per day. WHERE IS THE SAND PROBLEM?
    Interested? www-hhbc-consulting.de – www.facebook.com/hhbc-consulting – www.instagram.com/hhbc_consulting

  41. Yes the problem with the sand exists. The robbery of sand exists. The incredible damage to nature exists.
    But there is also a solution to this problem, no one even in the problem countries is interested in it. Even the UN with its environmental protection experts is not interested.
    We are manufacturer of UHPC Binder (Ultra High Performance Concrete) which is far superior to any standard concrete in its technical properties.
    More than two years ago, we developed a binder based on this UHPC technology that can be used to process desert sand into a high-strength concrete. This desert sand concrete is significantly better in its technical properties than most standard concretes. This desert sand concrete is a mixture of UHPC desert sand binder + desert sand + water, that's absolutely everything. It can be produced as mortar, potting compound and spray mass. Mass production of the UHPC desert sand binder is easily possible. Today we are able to produce 1000 tons per day. WHERE IS THE SAND PROBLEM?
    Interested? www-hhbc-consulting.de – www.facebook.com/hhbc-consulting – www.instagram.com/hhbc_consulting

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