Our beaches are disappearing as we are running short of…sand!!


Have you heard of the new ecological time bomb? Everybody knows of the diminishing reserves of drinking water that we are heading for but have you heard that we are also running out of sand? It’s not a joke..and not many people seem to care. I’ve never heard of it before I’ve seen this incredibly breathtaking documentary realised by award-winning documentary filmmaker Denis Delestrac.

Our beaches are about to vanish -9 out of 10 beaches in the world are concerned and the impact on our environment is enormous.
The reasons are many. Sand is the third most used resource after water and air. The construction of streets and buildings:  2/3 of our constructions are made out of concrete (concrete consists 2/3 out of sand: a house means about 200 tons of sand!)
Somebody had the great idea -and others are following- to create artificial islands which on the other hand caused the disappearance of over 15 islands in the indian ocean already.
It gets to the point that Sand is even STOLEN clandestinely from the beaches today! There is something like a veritable ‘sand mafia‘ nowadays that is doing a lot of damage, strikes terror and doesn’t even flinch back from killing. With their connections to high positioned politicians they are very often left alone.

If sand is taken from the beaches or from the grounds of rivers or seas so massively like it is at the moment, it has an enormous effect on the whole ecosystem. A demonstrative example was the cyclone Sandy last year. Beaches serve as natural barriers. If they’re diminished to a high point or disappear completely the results can be flooding of cities that are close to the sea like New York. The diminishing of beaches and dunes aggravates the impact of every storm in coastal urbanised area.

Our construction habits have to change. On the highway you’re literally rolling over some of the most beautiful beaches without even knowing it. It’s crazy!
Another reason is the inconsiderate way of how and where we construct – way too close to the water. Which doesn’t leave the beaches the space they ‘need’.
Needless to think all the sand in the Sahara will release us – it’s useless, its consistence is unfit, too fine – at least for construction.

There is a big problem of collective non-awareness of the emergency as sand is still not regarded as a resource in danger. No alternatives to sand are sought (and alternatives exist) as nothing is as cheap as sand – which is basically for free – only labor has to be paid.  But just like water and air it is regarded as unlimited and everyone’s property.

So basically if we don’t watch out our grand children might not know beaches anymore like we did. This only talking about beaches, but the effects on our entire ecosystem will be disastrous.

See the movie on arte (german version)
see also sand mining

… suddenly The day after tomorrow doesn’t seem so surreal anymore


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