All Things Geography
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All Things Geography
Teaching and learning material for geography education or for curious minds
Curated by Tom Rees
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How do we stop lights going out?

How do we stop lights going out? | All Things Geography | Scoop.it
Consumers could see an extra £105 per year on their bills by 2030, to help pay for a new generation of nuclear power stations and wind farms.
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Busting the carbon and cost myths of Germany's nuclear exit

Busting the carbon and cost myths of Germany's nuclear exit | All Things Geography | Scoop.it
Damian Carrington: Critics of the atomic phase-out said energy emissions, costs and imports would all rise.

 

With the UK taking another step towards supporting new nuclear power on Tuesday – at either no extra cost to the consumer if you believe ministers, or substantial cost if you believe most others – it's worth taking a look at what actually happens when you phase out nuclear power in a large, industrial nation.

 

Germany may have exited from their nuclear programme, yet are still on track to meet a 40% emissions cut by 2020.

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Hans Rosling: Religions and babies | Video on TED.com

Hans Rosling had a question: Do some religions have a higher birth rate than others -- and how does this affect global population growth? Speaking at the TEDxSummit in Doha, Qatar, he graphs data over time and across religions. With his trademark humor and sharp insight, Hans reaches a surprising conclusion on world fertility rates.

 

In Hans Rosling’s hands, data sings. Global trends in health and economics come to vivid life. And the big picture of global development—with some surprisingly good news.
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Illustrated Glossary of Alpine Glacial Landforms - Arete

Illustrated Glossary of Alpine Glacial Landforms - Arete | All Things Geography | Scoop.it
Excellent website with descriptions, photos and maps for all glacial features. Well worth a look.
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Energy bill expected to favour nuclear and gas over renewables

Energy bill expected to favour nuclear and gas over renewables | All Things Geography | Scoop.it
Government's draft energy bill will replace current subsidies with complex new support system that may favour larger suppliers...

 

A dash for gas, a major fillip for nuclear power and blows to renewable energy – these are widely expected to be the contents of the government's much-anticipated draft energy bill, the main contents of which will be outlined by ministers in the afternoon.

 

The nuclear industry is expected to be one of the big winners, with a set of policies designed to favour low-carbon power – which will, controversially, include atomic energy as well as renewable sources such as wind and solar.

 

But renewable companies are concerned that they will lose out, because the current system of subsidies will be replaced with a complex new system of support that could favour big companies over their smaller rivals.

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Fixing America's Soon-To-Be Waterless Cities

Fixing America's Soon-To-Be Waterless Cities | All Things Geography | Scoop.it
Urban areas around the country are drying up - are there any easy solutions?

 

When you look at the official U.S. drought monitor map, you immediately see that many American cities may be in the wrong places for long-term water sustainability. In particular, note the presence of "long-term" severe-to-extreme drought conditions across most of Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona.

It’s a very sobering set of facts, especially when you consider that essentially every high-growth part of the US is experiencing significant dryness.

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Using local agricultural biodiversity - A Kenyan farmer's story

Peninah Mwangangi has a smallholder farm in the arid region of Kitui, in eastern Kenya. She explains how using local traditional food crops have helped mitigate against harvest loss when the rains don't come.


Via Luigi Guarino, Mr. David Burton
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Maldives' 'apocalyptic' waste island

Maldives' 'apocalyptic' waste island | All Things Geography | Scoop.it
Although the Maldives are known as an unspoilt tourist paradise, the islands struggle with managing their waste, as the BBC discovered on a visit to an 'apocalyptic' island waste dump.
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Draining of world's aquifers feeds rising sea levels

Draining of world's aquifers feeds rising sea levels | All Things Geography | Scoop.it
Trillions of tonnes of water have been pumped up from deep underground reservoirs in every part of the world, says report...

 

Humanity's unquenchable thirst for fresh water is driving up sea levels even faster than melting glaciers, according to new research. The massive impact of the global population's growing need for water on rising sea levels is revealed in a comprehensive assessment of all the ways in which people use water.

 

Trillions of tonnes of water have been pumped up from deep underground reservoirs in every part of the world and then channelled into fields and pipes to keep communities fed and watered. The water then flows into the oceans, but far more quickly than the ancient aquifers are replenished by rains. The global tide would be rising even more quickly but for the fact that manmade reservoirs have, until now, held back the flow by storing huge amounts of water on land.

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Rare Snow in Atacama Desert, Chile

Rare Snow in Atacama Desert, Chile | All Things Geography | Scoop.it

These images from July 7, 2011, provide an unusual sight: snow covering one of the world’s driest deserts.


Via Seth Dixon
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Global Warming: An Exclusive Look at James Hansen’s Scary New Math | Ecocentric | TIME.com

Global Warming: An Exclusive Look at James Hansen’s Scary New Math | Ecocentric | TIME.com | All Things Geography | Scoop.it
How can NASA physicist and climatologist James E. Hansen, writing in the New York Times today, “say with high confidence” that recent heat waves in Texas and  Russia “were not natural events” but actually “caused by human-induced climate change”?
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Oil in the Niger Delta

A non-biased case study of the Social, Economic and Environmental Impacts of oil extraction in the Niger Delta. Focussing on Shell and the Ogoni people.
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Why Canada needs a flood of immigrants

Why Canada needs a flood of immigrants | All Things Geography | Scoop.it

"Between now and 2021, a million jobs are expected to go unfilled across Canada. Ottawa is making reforms to the immigration system but isn't going far enough. We need to radically boost immigration numbers. With the right people, Canada can be an innovative world power. Without them, we'll drain away our potential."  This article clearly articulates some of the economic ramifications of the later stages of the demographic transition and some of the difficulties that are associated with a declining internal population. 


Via Seth Dixon
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Kendra King's curator insight, January 28, 2015 7:50 PM

The article makes a strong case for Canada to increase their immigrant quota. According to the article, by 2021 one million jobs will be vacant. Since the population of the country is only 34 million, simple math dictates that a lack of supply means the country needs to turn outward. Admittedly, a mass increase in people won’t solve the problem entirely. However, the article goes on to explain how “innovations” occur more when people of different backgrounds work together. Looking at the United States, many of our startup companies have immigrants on the board of them. So, immigrants will do more than just fill the one million open jobs. All this means that no Canadian can really be angry at immigrants for “taking their jobs,” which one of the immigrants interviewed for this article (Keiron Tanner) said was his experience thus far. So in one way an economic justification is a good way to go because of the clear need that no one can really argue about.

 

However, an economics justification really needs to be implemented in a manner that continues to support the strength of the aforementioned argument. Even though more people are needed, the government is assigning immigrants temporary visas, thereby giving the impression that these people are just going to leave. Yet Mr. Tanner, the immigrant mentioned earlier, wanted to become a permeant resident. He said “he knew…this (Canada) is where I would be staying.” Yet, what happens if the Government doesn’t get back to him before his visa runs out? The article mention an increase in immigration workers would be need to help process all of this information. I am thinking that if there aren’t enough government workers to keep up with the increase in immigrants, some will just let their visas expire and stay illegally like some people in the United States. When this happens more economics arguments will be thrown around, but this time in a negative light because now the immigrants aren’t paying taxes. Furthermore, other arguments, like the legality of the workers, will be put into the mix as well.    

 

Another issue in framing the immigration problem solely on economics is that it underscores the human nature of this issue. People often do not adapt to change well. I imagine Canadians’ won’t either, especially given how proud they are of their heritage. I remember learning in French class years ago that they had their own committee called the Académie Française who review the language to get rid of words that aren’t French sounding enough. What happens with the language they guard when it is mixed with the language of their new immigrants? A business owner in Steinbach claimed he just hired workers who all spoke German, so his workers could just keep speaking German and language wouldn’t be an issue. Yet the langue could still mix as people try adopting to their new home. I also wonder how citizens will react to the new comers when it comes to other values. Do all the teachers react empathetically to the students who did not want to take yoga for reasons related to culture like Mr. Klassen? Or were the students just lucky he gets the final say because he is the superintendent? All of these questions eluded to the point that conflicts will arise. I just hope it isn’t  pushed aside as a minor issue like this article does on numerous occasions or seen as a one way equation in which only the immigrants need to adjust (i.e. section on Mr. & Ms. Lima).  

 

Overall, keeping the American notion of immigration in mind while I follow this topic will be interesting. Canada doesn’t exactly have a border issue like we do. The country is smaller, their government reacts differently, and their values are different too. Still though some human phycology is just universal (i.e. difficulty with change). Immigration is therefore bound to affect Canadian’s in a different manner, but just how differently is the question? 

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Sustainable Development - High Stakes at Rio: The World Bank's Key Issues for Rio +20

Sustainable Development - High Stakes at Rio: The World Bank's Key Issues for Rio +20 | All Things Geography | Scoop.it

These are the stakes: In the next 40 years, the Earth’s population will expand from 7 billion to 9 billion people, and they will all count on the planet to provide them with energy, water, and food. The course we are on right now will make that extremely difficult.

 

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, known as Rio+20, offers an opportunity to build the planning and policy structures, measurement systems, and ambition that we need to prepare for the future and to deal with the converging food, water, and energy crises that we face today.

 

Around the world, there is a growing understanding that to make progress we must give equal attention to the economic, environmental, and social pillars of sustainable development. The conference—expected to draw 75,000 people including over 100 heads of state and thousands of people from the private sector to Rio de Janeiro in June—is a chance for the global community to harness the power of inclusive green growth as the pathway to sustainable development, to move beyond just GDP and incorporate natural capital and ecosystem services into national wealth accounting, and to scale up new integrated public and private sector approaches to cityscapes, landscapes, and oceans.

 

At Rio, the global community can also begin developing a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) for energy, food, and water to complement the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and put us all on a better path that benefits planet, people, and progress all at the same time.

 

The World Bank Group has been working closely with governments, civil society, and the private sector and will be going into Rio +20 with six key messages

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Debate: Does the world need nuclear energy? | Video on TED.com

Excellent video discussing the future of energy production and whether Nuclear should have a place in the world. Very relevant for IB Resources topic on the pattern of energy consumption.

 

Nuclear power: the energy crisis has even die-hard environmentalists reconsidering it. In this first-ever TED debate, Stewart Brand and Mark Z. Jacobson square off over the pros and cons. A discussion that'll make you think -- and might even change your mind.

 

Since the counterculture Sixties, Stewart Brand has been a critical thinker and innovator who helped lay the foundations of our internetworked world.

 

At Stanford, Mark Z. Jacobson uses numerical models to study the effects of energy systems and vehicles on climate and air pollution, and to analyze renewable energy resources
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Debt and the developing world

Debt and the developing world | All Things Geography | Scoop.it
Despite successful debt abolition campaigns, World Bank figures show external debts owed by developing countries have increased by $430bn over 12 months to $4tn...
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Report: 'Over-Consumption' Threatening Earth

Report: 'Over-Consumption' Threatening Earth | All Things Geography | Scoop.it

If rampant misuse of resources continues, even two planets would not sustain us

 

Humans are using 50 percent more resources than the Earth can provide, and unless fundamental changes are made in the way we produce energy, food, and if we cannot curb our consumption of other natural resources that number will continue to skyrocket, according to a new report. Released today by the the World Wildlife Fund, The Living Planet Report, warns that if humans cannot shift their behavior by 2030, even two planets will not be enough to support modern society.

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Hans Rosling's shortest talk

This talk 'happened' during a spontaneous interview with Hans Rosling, the famous TED speaker. Hans joined us at the TEDxSummit 2012 in Doha, April 15 -- 20,...
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Good news from Africa

Good news from Africa | All Things Geography | Scoop.it

Africa is experiencing some of the biggest falls in child mortality ever seen
CHILD mortality in Africa has plummeted, belying the continent’s “hopeless” reputation.

 

Also see: http://www.economist.com/node/21555571?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter  for updated article.


Via Matthew Wahl, Mr. David Burton
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Concentric Zones of Building Age in Chicago

Concentric Zones of Building Age in Chicago | All Things Geography | Scoop.it
Many of the original and innovative contributions to the field of urban sociology came out of the University of Chicago in the early 20th Century. Influenced by the natural sciences, in particular evolutionary biology, members of the Chicago School forwarded an ecological approach to sociology emphasizing the interaction between human behavior, social structures and the built environment. In their view, competition over scarce resources, particularly land, led to the spatial differentiation of urban areas into zones of similar use and similar social groups.
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Climate change, irrigation threaten Murray-Darling basin with disaster | Green Left Weekly

Climate change, irrigation threaten Murray-Darling basin with disaster | Green Left Weekly | All Things Geography | Scoop.it

The rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin are dying. While average inflows decline due to climate change, extractions for irrigation remain at environmentally damaging levels.

But the plan for management of the basin’s water resources drawn up by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA), due to be adopted by federal parliament later this year, ignores fundamental problems.

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Clean Water for All

A community in Bonsaaso, Ghana learns that their local water supply contains unsafe mineral concentrations. See how they implement a filtration system design...

 

Ghana is one of the more stable nations in the region, and yet even it has serious issues with fresh water. This video shows how low-tech solutions can combat the tainting of water by environmental factors such as mineral contamination of water sources. The $5,000 price tag for such technology seems high, but is very affordable considering the benefits given.  Another organization working on this issue is: http://waterwellsforafrica.org/


Via McDerder, Seth Dixon
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Photos of the Canadian Oil Sands from above

Photos of the Canadian Oil Sands from above | All Things Geography | Scoop.it
The oil sands hold up to two trillion barrels of oil spread over more than 54,000 square miles, making it the second largest oil deposit in the world after Saudi Arabia.


The amount of energy spent recovering that oil and the pollution created in refining it is immense and the impact on the environment profound.


Limiting that impact is important as oil companies are required by law to return the land to its original condition when they're done mining, but the amount of time required to do that has long been criticized.


Today's environmental focus at the mining companies is figuring out how to get the land back to its original state more quickly and efficiently.
And that is something that everyone who lives and works near the oil sands would be happy to see.


It used to be that people would come to work the mines for a couple of years and go back where they came from. That is changing as people put down roots and raise their children and grandchildren.


About 140,000 people are involved in working the oil sands with 100,000 more jobs expected in the next five years.

 

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/canadian-oil-sands-flyover-2012-5#ixzz1vEfaTQfl
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