The unknown scarcity of sand

Sand, a resource that is well under the radar when we talk about scarcity of resources, is increasingly demanded for the production of concrete and asphalt. Global urbanization generates a mind-boggling demand for certain types of sand which is extracted intensively with (potentially) devastating environmental outcomes.

“There is so much demand for certain types of construction sand that Dubai, which sits on the edge of an enormous desert, imports sand from Australia. ”

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/feb/27/sand-mining-global-environmental-crisis-never-heard

 

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Deutsche Bank to stop investment in coal-fired power plant construction and thermal coal mining

Answering to increasing public pressure after controversial deals with coal-related activities and living up to their pledges made in Paris 2015.

However, Deutsche Bank “only” commits not to finance NEW projects – the consequent step would be to divest from existing investments, too. It will be interesting to see if Deutsche Bank voices their thoughts on divesting, too.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/feb/01/deutsche-bank-pulls-out-of-coal-projects-to-meet-paris-climate-pledge

ROAR Issue #4: State of Control is

Article by Jerome Roos (PDR Cambridge, founder and editor of ROAR magazine), in ROAR issue #4

A concise account of the current state of (drum-roll) state control in neoliberal systems, exemplified by armed riot polices opposing civilians, mass storage of personal data, and the phenomenon of handling disorder (aka consequences and symptoms) rather than bringing order (aka addressing root-causes and improving these).

On his argument that private companies are increasingly profiting from the increaseing state-control (data mining, private military forces), Roos remains a bit vague and, especially towards the end, the article carries a slight conspiracy-esque character when it paints its doom and gloom scenario.

The management of disorder — this becomes the main paradigm of government under neoliberalism. Rather than directly confronting the underlying causes of political instability, ecological catastrophe or endemic social ills, the state of control considers it “safer and more useful to try to govern the effects.”

 

 

 

Philanthropism a symptom of economic inequality, not its cure

Convincing argument outlining how American Liberalism’s model of  corporate freedom at all costs combined with Philanthropism is rather a symptom of inequality than a promising cure. However, the author misses to highlight another point: that Liberalism’s promise that everyone has the chance to “make it to the top” is a mere illusion.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/transformation/michael-edwards/privilege-of-being-privileged