Building hotels in Kerala, India from 2010 to 2017 we came to know about sand pirates from a very close up perspective. When their boats were speeding past the houseboats we operated, we detected the carefree sense with which they carried out their mission. Perhaps they did not know the damage they were doing? Not likely. The law was chasing them, and they knew that for sure. Thanks to Genevieve Valentine for this review titled A Day At The Beach Won’t Be The Same After ‘The World In A Grain’ about this book to the left:
The first time you see ‘sand piracy,’ it might sound surreal — a misguided Pixar villain whose lackeys race down the beach with empty buckets and sinister intent, doomed to fail in the face of a resource that spans the whole ocean.
Then you find out about someone stealing 1,300 feet of sand from a beach in Jamaica, or the many sand miners whose dredgers suck sand from the ocean floor by the ton and, suddenly, it doesn’t sound as funny — or as impossible — as it did before.
In The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How it Transformed Civilization, journalist Vince Beiser peppers research with first-person interviews in an engaging and nuanced introduction to the ways sand has shaped the world, and how globalization — both its possibility and its greed — has turned it into one of the most important and most controversial substances on the planet.
Sand (particularly in quartz or water) is a critical component of modern life: concrete for the building you’re standing in, roads for how you got there, glass and microchips for the screen you’re reading this on, fiber-optic cable for the network that sent it.
Like many other natural resources, sand is finite. Like many other natural resources, it’s in trouble. And as with any other necessary commodity, the industries and governments that need it will do whatever it takes to get more…
Read the whole review here.