Love Letters In The Sand Karaoke

Love Letters In The Sand Karaoke – Insatiable demand from the global construction boom has unleashed an illegal market for sand. Gangs are now stealing clean beaches for bid and island paradises are being dredged up and sold to the construction industry.

Paradise is a beach, they tell us. Pristine white or pink coral. We leaf through the leaflets in search of the perfect sand. There is a Paradise Beach in Barbados, and Croatia, and Thailand and South Africa too. Tourist hunger everywhere in the world, in fact. Naturalist Desmond Morris believes that, as descendants of water-loving apes, we are hard-wired to seek out these places, the ocean’s rhythmic advances and retreats as we bask in the sun, shedding grains of sand from our idle fingers. .

Love Letters In The Sand Karaoke

Love Letters In The Sand Karaoke

And so much to walk. Humans have always used waste as an analogy for the infinite, a limitless, mundane, yet magical resource that cannot be exhausted. When astronomers want to impress upon us the size of the universe, they say that stars are more numerous than grains of sand. There are quite a few, as it happens – 7.5 x 10 to the 18th power, according to researchers at the University of Hawaii. That’s 7 quintillion, 500 quatrillion – give or take the odd trillion.

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However, except for infinite sand in the right places. New buildings, roads, coastal defenses, glass, fracking, even electronics, the places that evolution designed us to love the most, threaten our insatiable hunger. The world consumes between 30,000 and 40,000 million tonnes of construction aggregates per year, half of which is sand. Enough material to build a wall 27m high and 27m wide around the equator. Sand is second only to water as a natural man-made material, and our society is literally built on it. Global output has risen by a quarter in just five years, fueled by China and India’s insatiable demand for housing and infrastructure. Of the 15 to 20 billion tons used each year, about half goes into concrete. Our need for concrete is such that it costs almost 2 cubic meters per year for every man, woman and child on the planet.

But what about those oceans of sand that stretch from the Atlantic to the Persian Gulf: the Sahara and the Arabian desert? The wrong sand, unfortunately. The action of the wind in deserts creates rounded grains, too soft and too small to bind well in concrete. Builders like the angular sand found in riverbeds. Sand, sand everywhere, not even a grain to use, to paraphrase Coleridge. A textbook example is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest skyscraper in the world. Despite being surrounded by sand, it was built with concrete containing the “right type of sand” from Australia. The sand of the river bed is precious, having the right texture and purity, washed with fresh water. Sea sand from the seabed is also used in increasing quantities, but it must be washed with salt to prevent metal corrosion in buildings. Everything has a cost.

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Burj Khalifa, Dubai: “Despite being surrounded by sand, it was built with concrete containing the ‘right kind of sand’ from Australia.” Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images.

China is in charge of today’s sand-fueled construction boom, consuming half of the world’s concrete supply. Between 2011 and 2014, the United States They used more concrete than in the whole century. Aggregate is the main component for roads, and China laid 146,000 kilometers of new highways in a single year. By 2050, two-thirds of humanity will live in urban areas, due to migration and population growth. By mid-century, India’s population, second only to China in its appetite for concrete, is expected to grow from 1.32 billion to 1.7 billion. Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, is one of the top 10 megacities in the world with a population of 22 million. China and India rely heavily on national supplies of sand – to minimize transport costs – but as skyscrapers rise in Shanghai and Mumbai, so does the price of this once humble ingredient. China’s hunger for sand is insatiable, with the largest dredging site in Poyang Lake producing 989,000 tons per day.

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The international trade in sand is growing as local supply exceeds demand. The destruction of habitats for fish, crocodiles, turtles and other types of river and marine life is accompanied by the destruction of the sandbars and coral reefs that protect coastal communities, as in Sri Lanka. Sand mining lowers the water table and contaminates drinking water, as in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, while stagnant pools created by land mining promote malaria.

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No one knows how much damage it is doing to the environment, because sand mining is a largely hidden threat, little researched and often occurring in isolated places. “We depend on sand, but we don’t know it, because we don’t buy it as individuals,” says Aurora Torres, a Spanish ecologist studying the effects of global sand extraction at Germany’s Center for Integrative Research on Biodiversity. “In the last four decades, extraction has grown strongly and since 2000 it has accelerated. Urban development is putting increasing strain on limited accessible reserves, leading to conflicts around the world. Sand dredging degrades corals, algae and grass meadows and is a driver of biodiversity loss, threatening species that are already on the brink of extinction. Our sand consumption is outpacing our understanding of its environmental and social consequences.’

Why buy expensive sand from a legal mine when you can siphon it from a river bed? Or cancel a beach? Or a whole island?

Love Letters In The Sand Karaoke

Sand accounted for 85% of the total weight of mine material in 2014, but rock erosion only renews it every thousands of years. Rising demand means scarcity, scarcity means money and money means crime. Globally, sand extraction is estimated to be worth £50 billion a year, with sand selling for over £62 a cubic meter in areas of high demand and low supply. This makes it vulnerable to illegal exploitation, especially in the developing world. Why buy expensive sand from licensed mines when you can anchor your dredger in a remote estuary, blast the sand from the river bed and suck it up with a jet of water? Or steal a beach? Or destroy an entire island? Or whole groups of islands? That’s what the “sand mobs” do. Criminal enterprises, their illegal mining operations in Asia, Africa and elsewhere, are protected by officials and police paid to look the other way, and powerful clients in the construction industry who prefer not to ask too many questions.

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From Jamaica to Morocco to India and Indonesia, sand mobs destroy habitats, truck away entire beaches overnight, and pollute farmland and fishing grounds. Those who stand in the way—environmentalists, journalists, or honest policemen—face fear, injury, and even death. “It’s very attractive to these sand mobs,” says Torres, who is one of the few academics studying this Cinderella theme, overshadowed by climate change, plastic pollution and other environmental threats. “Sand has become very profitable in a short time, which makes for a healthy black market.”

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Reporting this illegal trade can get you killed in India. In March this year, Sandeep Sharma, a local TV reporter, was mowed down by a sand truck after filming a policeman accepting a bribe to turn a blind eye to sand mining in a crocodile sanctuary. Last month, a special branch in Tamil Nadu also paid with his life for gathering intelligence on an illegal mining site. Mumbai-based environmentalist Sumaira Abdulali is India’s leading campaigner against illegal mining, a distinction that led to an attempt on her life in 2010. “The problem also extends to tourist beaches in Goa, Kerala and other places,” he says. “Most people are afraid to complain; even government officials and police are afraid to go near the illegal sites. The killings, threats and acts of intimidation between them are probably in the hundreds.”

In Southeast Asia, sand is a crucial component of geopolitics. China is furthering its imperial ambitions in the South China Sea by building artificial islands in the sand that house its military bases in the region in order to strengthen its claims in the region. This new form of territorial expansion is also seeking wealthy but tiny Singapore, creating conflicts with its larger neighbors. Since independence from Britain in 1963, the city-state’s population has tripled by more than 6m, resulting in a literal land grab. Singapore has become the world’s largest importer of sand by increasing its land area by 20% using sand from Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia and Thailand, much of it illegally. In 2008, it claimed to have imported only 3 million tons of sand from Malaysia, but the real figure, according to the Malaysian government, was 133 million tons, almost all of which was allegedly smuggled in. As Singapore grows its vast neighbor Indonesia shrinks. Illegal sand mining threatens the very existence of some 80 small

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Halo, Saya adalah penulis artikel dengan judul Love Letters In The Sand Karaoke yang dipublish pada September 9, 2022 di website Caipm

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