”World in a Grain” by ”Vince Beiser” is the compelling true story of the massive important and diminishing natural resource that grows more essential every day. It’s also a provocative examination of the serious human and environmental costs incurred by our dependence on sand which has received little public attention.
After water and air, sand is the natural resource that we consume more than any other even more than oil. Every concrete building and paved road on Earth, every computer screen and silicon chip is made from sand. From Egypt’s pyramids to the ”Hubble telescope”, from the world’s tallest skyscraper to the sidewalk below it and the stained glass windows to your iPhone.
The book is at it’s urgent best in chapters on the black market in sand and the sand mafias that brutally exercise control over resources.
”World in a Grain” included a rich study of one of the world’s most abundant natural resources with a balance of statistics, science, history, on the scene reporting and some healthy environmental skepticism as well as highlights the ways this ubiquitous global commodity has been essential to human development.
The a ward winning journalist ”Beiser” delves deep into this world taking readers on a journey across the world from the United States to remote corners of India, China and Dubai to explain why sand is so crucial to modern life. The trip along the way filled with surprising characters.