Built on Sand
Our civilization is built on sand. This may sound like a metaphor, but it isn’t. Sand actually is the key ingredient in the production of concrete, glass, asphalt and silicon. And as grantee Vince Beiser explains in this interview with WYPR, Baltimore’s public radio station, “sand is the essential ingredient that makes modern life possible. And, incredibly, we are starting to run out.” To report this story, Vince traveled to China and Cambodia. As populations explode and mega-cities expand, “there’s so much demand that riverbeds and beaches are being stripped bare, ocean beds denuded, and landscapes devastated.”
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One Crisis Breeds Another
Nadja Drost and Bruno Federico
Grantees Nadja Drost and Bruno Federico report that as Venezuela’s economy collapses—mainly a result of falling oil prices—an environmental disaster looms along the shores of Lake Maracaibo, which sits atop the country’s oil reserves.
Julia Barton and Misha Friedman
Ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych lived lavishly while ordinary citizens suffered. Grantees Julia Barton and Misha Friedman take you on a tour of his over-the-top former residence.