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Geography in the News: Keystone Pipeline and Canadian Tar Sands

Geography in the News: Keystone Pipeline and Canadian Tar Sands | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM and Maps.com KEYSTONE PIPELINE AND CANADIAN TAR SANDS CONTROVERSY Supporters and protesters continue to lobby both the White House and U.S.

Via Neal G. Lineback, Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

One thing I bet most people did not know is that we get most of our foregin oil from Canada ans not an OPEC country at all.  This source really can help the US, but it does have drawbacks.  Expensive to refine, dangerous to ship in the proposed pipeline as it can corrode the pide easily.  Again seems a cost benefit analysis needs to be done, especailly with the US have large oil reserves in shale oil.  Is that source of oil cheaper to produce thereby growing domestic oil production??  Or is it cheaper to import the oil because of other considerations, like labor and environmental regulations?

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Paige Therien's curator insight, February 22, 2014 4:01 PM

This controversial pipeline project would allow the transportation of crude oil from Alberta, Canada's Athabasca Oil Sands to the United State's Gulf Cost.  This proves to be a difficult feat.  Extracting oil from this source is very difficult since it is also mixed with clay and sand, making it very dirty.  Transportation of this dirty substance through the pipeline would be equally as hard and risky since there is a risk that the oil could corrode the pipe.  This poses severe environmental and safety risks.  This pipeline passes through an international border and seven U.S. states which play huge roles in feeding the country.  A pipeline passing through this area could easily pollute the Mississippi River Basin, which is the main water source for the people and the crops located in the central area of the country.  There have also been cases where corroded pipelines have allowed widespread fires to occur, which is a possibility here.  Extracting oil from this source would allow North America to be self-reliant, however, there are many drawbacks to creating such a huge pipeline which originates in such dirty oil sources.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 15, 2014 12:57 PM

The three main arguments against Keystone XL is, one; making liquid fuel from tar sands keeps the United States dependent on a very polluting source of energy. Instead of moving towards cleaner sources of energy, the US would continue being one of the highest in CO2 in emissions. Secondly; the pipeline  has risks that include spills because the tar sands oil could corrode the pipe line and leak. And thirdly, the oil from keystone could be sold to foreign markets instead of staying domestic. Although the US needs to start being less dependent on foreign oil the Keystone pipeline is not the way to do so. Oil itself is not a permanent solution, it will run out and it continues to harm the environment. This pipeline defiantly poses more risks than anyone should be comfortable with.

Raymond Dolloff's curator insight, November 23, 2015 2:43 PM

The Keystone Pipeline is a pipeline bringing natural gas from Canada into the States. Many politicians are against the XL project to connect the pipeline from the Tar Sands in Alberta to the Gulf Coast. However, there has been much rebuff from the Democrats within the Congress and the White House.

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Dhaka: fastest growing megacity in the world

A five-part, multimedia series on the coming dystopia that is urbanization.

 

This is a great introduction to the explosion of the slums within megacities.  This video as a part of the article is especially useful.   Click on the title to read the accompanying article.


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

It is amazing to see a city grow like this and the issues it can create.  There is no city planning involved and by need these "slums" spring up all over the sprawling landscape.  People are moving into Dhaka from the rural areas because these areas have suffered from one natural disaster or another and because the poverty there is immense.  Even though there is poverty in these slums, right next to the "richer" side of the city, the life is still better an there is hope that it will be better here than in the rural areas. The government knows that this is happening and that is has been happening for decades, but has still done nothing in that time ti make the situation better.  In fact becasue of this lack of action, for decades, the problems have been made exponentially worse and will continue this way as more and more people move into the city.  Lack of accountability of the government to its people is one main casue of this.  It is so inefficient that each offical blames the other or states that they are not the one to blame and it is some other offical's problem.  How could this have been avoided?  When the problem first arose, coudl have it been avoided if action was taken right away?  What if there was some urban planning?  Is this a result of only recently, 1971, becoming an independant country and not having the experience in city planning?  Could the blame be put on the British, the former colonial rulers of this entire area?  Could the division of this area by the British also be the cause?  There are many questions that could be asked.  One thing I do know, a sprawl like this is just not sustainable unless the infrastructure is done.  It can lead to disease, think crowed, Middle Age, Westen European cities overrun with the bubonic plague, lead to civil strife, riots, they already riot with water shortages, and outright revolts.  Another question, Can we learn from this pattern?  As the video suggests this is a global pattern as more and more people move into these Megacities.  Should we all start planning now for a bigger New York, Los Angeles, Mexico City etc.?  Well if we don't want to repeat history, we should start planning now and work on the infrastructure now..that leads to my last question...who pays for it????

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, November 20, 2013 11:43 AM

The city of Dhaka has experienced a massivie boom in population. Both the rich and the poor are flowing into this city causing many problems that all complain the government is ignoring instead of fixing. The city is very inefficient, with traffic so bad that it is costing the city millions of dollars. There are frequent water shortages resulting in protests in the streets. There is much infrastructure throughout the city as well. But it is also represents a sense of hope to the people that are coming in and moving into the slums, that with the better jobs and money they will be able to get they can better provide for themselves or their family.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 6, 2014 11:23 PM

Dhaka is the fastest growing city in the world, as rich and poor people move to the city everyday. So many poor people are moving here due to the fact there is no other place worth living in Bangladesh. The city is facing many problems, such as lack of traffic signals, minimal clean drinking water for residents and horrible housing for many people. However, some feel the city’s slums offer the best chance for an improved life.   

Sarah Cannon's curator insight, December 14, 2015 10:48 AM

There is a lot of poverty and pollution in Dhaka. The demands for energy and water are high in Dhaka as well. I personally don't see how these people and migrants can live in such a polluted and dirty place and the reason why I can't imagine living in such a place is because I never have. I'm lucky enough to not experience poverty and I greatly appreciate  my life and home. Hopefully things improve in Dhaka and places like Dhaka. Hopefully there will be less pollution and poverty in the future any where in the world.

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Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal

Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Workers at an ailing paper mill in Siberia are clinging to their jobs in the face of financial pressure and criticism from environmentalists.

 

The environment, industry and politics play key roles in this story of an old style Soviet mono-town on Lake Baikal.  Monotowns had planned economies that revolved around one industry and today many of these are struggling in the post-Soviet era.  While the particulars of the political situation are a bit dated, the overall issue is still quite relevant to understanding Russia today.   

 

Tags: Russia, industry, labor, environment, economic, water, pollution, environment modify, unit 6 industry.


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

We never heard about this during the Soviet Union as the news was controlled.  Also during the Soviet time I do not believe environmentalists would have gotton the chance to investigate the area.  With the fall of the USSR the world can now see some of the environmental effects that communism had on Russia.  These towns are built around the factory.  Much like the old steele towns in PA, like Allentown.  However Allentown chnaged with the times and is able to support, although it is difficult, the population that was focused on the steele industry.  Here is this remote area of Russia, there is nothing else in the area.  There is no service economy in the area, just the paper factory.  It has been kept open because of Putin who basically said to ignore all environmental laws and regulations and he made sure the environmental groups are not an issue anymore.  Not surprising from a former KGB Lt. Colonel and the Director of the FSB, the sucessor of the KGB.  To solve the issue in these monotowns I think there needs to be government intervention to transition the economies in theses areas.  To keep these factories running in the long run will just hurt all the people in the towns with no end in sight.  However, I do not think this will happen unless there is a change in the leadership of Russia, something I do not think will happen anytime soon.

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Alex Vielman's curator insight, November 18, 2015 11:12 PM

Lake Baikal is one Russia's oldest and deepest body of freshwater but is turning into a swamp, Russian ecologists warn. They say that tons of liquid waste from tourist camps and water transport vehicles is being dumped into the lake. The financial crisis in Russian has been a big problem because it is leaving factories abandoned and leaving waste all over towns. If Baikal is ruined, it is going to put tons of peoples lives at risk for people who depend on this water. Also, a part of this Lake is frozen. This is fresh clean water that makes this lake what it is. 

The paper factory has caused some major pollution into the lake and all the chemicals are affecting the lake each and everyday. This beautiful land could possibly be destroyed for measures aren't taken, and can also just be another wasteland. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, November 25, 2015 2:31 PM

This mill on Lake Biakal was created in the soviet era. This was created and made a increasing well place to work with the promise of a bright future for its workers. Instead when it comes to the post soviet era its a failing community. Not because of the workers but because of the era that they live in. The age of environmentalists. because of this the mill and its workers are suffering. Many of the people that had moved there to work in the mill in the 60's with a promise of a bright future. However today the people who originally moved there and the descendents are paying the price for the soviet promise. If the mill were to forever close then the people of the area would basically have no life and future. They wouldnt even have enough money to move out of look for jobs.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 1:28 PM

Seeing this video and the lack of human development in this small town is astounding. They are destroying a lake and the environment about them, they do not care though. Unfortunately, they have to not care about the environment, they are so desperate for work to make money to live and support themselves and family, that they are willing to do what it takes to keep their jobs at the mill. The workers and citizens of the area know about the consequences of the pollution, they know it needs to be taken care of, but with the depravity they have, they have to. They are faced with a situation no one want to be in... work and destroy the environment so they have money to live, or be without life necessities. 

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50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster

50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster: Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. ...

 

A haunting gallery that displays the effects of environmental and political mismanagement. 


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

I was 15 when this happened.  The scare of fallout was huge as this was a total meltdown.  I also remember Three Mile Island, PA in 1979 where the scare was not as big as it was only a partial meltdown.  Today though it is the newly independant countires of the Ukraine and Belarus, former Soviet republics, that have to deal with the long term issues.  The pictures here are just errie, like this place just stopped in time and since in can't be inhabited for 10,000 years, it will always look like 1986!

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Brett Sinica's curator insight, October 20, 2013 3:03 PM

The pictures are breathtaking.  What was once a modern and prosperous area is now completely devestated and basically irreparable for hundreds of years to come.  In some of the pictures it is possible to see the haste and desertion of buildings and rooms which gives a sense of fear and panic that the people experienced.  There is surely still so much that can be explored, but the radiation limits people and the danger of the area is hard for civilians to be within the boundaries of Chernobyl.  Places like this show how drastic the rise and fall of the Soviet Union really was.  Similar to mono-towns in Siberia, these areas were set up for people to flourish and become successful, but as history went on and disasters ensued, the great empire came crashing down.

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 3:51 AM

These photo's are rather gripping.  Many of the images seen here are of objects that have not moved or been touched in 25 years.  The entire population of Pripyat had to pack their bags and leave all in an instant. The chaos that must have ensued after the nuclear meltdown must have been haunting. Pripyat will remain like this for years to come, and one can imagine what it will look like in 25 more years.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 5:06 PM

this is a haunting reminder that we must always try to prevent the horrifying failures that result from mismanagement. that this was an event that had impacts as far away as France is often forgotten, and the thoughts of what may happen if something larger happens is even more horrifying.