“Since he had the audacity to consciously and voluntarily tap a stone to change its shape, man has not stopped acting on the environment for his own benefit” Yves Coppens, paleoanthropologist .
Water is life, water is mineral therefore life is mineral, syllogism or aphorism?
Whether they are small or large, white or black, we all consume them, every day at any time of the day, I called them stones or pebbles.
Drink from a glass (made of silica) then take the train (runs on the ballast) or the car on a road (made of aggregates) to arrive on time thanks to our watch (quartz) at an address (building in concrete: aggregates, sand, cement) in a glass room (made of silica) covered with plasters (gypsum-based), then go home with your GPS and your Smartphone (with minerals inside) go to the toilet ( in feldspars) and wash your teeth (with talcum powder).
After water, it is stones that we consume the most, around several tonnes per inhabitants per year. Aside from specific rocks, pebble production is profitable, taking into account the cost of transport, within a limited area around the extraction site, which qualifies the notion of globalization in this area. For example, there are very few inhabited islands (themselves pebbles surrounded by water) that do not have quarries. Beyond this materialistic aspect, pebbles also nourish our spirit like Japanese gardens like Ryoan-ji in Kyoto (cover image) where the rocks represent the mountains and the raked white pebbles, the sea with its undulations.
The notion of scale is also important, in geology, a stone can reveal information both in its internal structure and in its regional context, from the thin section to look at the structure of the rock under the microscope (30 micrometers) to tectonics plates (30 kilometers on average for the thickness of the continental lithosphere) or a ratio of 1 billion (multiply by ten, 9 times!).
And it is precisely the knowledge of geology on the scale of an open-air or underground deposit which will allow man to extract these pebbles which he needs so much to the point of becoming with what it borrows from the mineral resource a real geological actor. For millennia, information engraved in the mineral (from tombstones to DVDs) has made history about this material common to humanity and its habitat, the earth. With several hundred million tonnes per year and as much waste produced, independently of its action on the air, climate and water, it is already enough to qualify the era we are experiencing since the industrial revolution as " Anthropocene” (geologically it is neither more nor less than a sixth great extinction, after those of the Ordovician, the Devonian, the Permian of the Triassic and the latest that of the Cretaceous with the disappearance of the dinosaurs).
The quote from J. Kessel has never had so much meaning: “Behind History there is Man”.
Because it is men who act on our system of overconsumption, from the rudimentary tools of the Stone Age to highly mechanized machines, doped with ore of all kinds. Speaking of machines, it is also so-called space machines that have made us aware of the finiteness of our pebble in the universe, like this pebble lost in the middle of the ocean that we calls an island. Our globe island is not deserted, let's prevent it from becoming so.