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California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth

California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it
A punishing drought is forcing a reconsideration of whether the aspiration of untrammeled growth that has for so long been the state’s engine has run against the limits of nature.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 6, 8:30 PM

Major urban areas in California have limited local water resources so they draw water from large area to bring in sufficient water for these burgeoning metropolitan regions.  With this current drought getting worse, California has ordered emergency water restrictions on residents while companies and large farms have been granted exemptions even though they account for 82% of the state's annual water consumption (residential accounts for 12%). Almond farms alone consume 10% of the state's water, and many agricultural crops are incredibly water intensive land uses.  A better way to think of it isn't just about raw water usage though.  A better question to ask would be this--how does one gallon of water translate into calories that most efficiently feed people?


Questions to Ponder: How does the concept of carrying capacity relate to California urban growth/drought issues?  California passed its carrying capacity?  How are demographics, economics, politics and the environment intertwined in California?  What are the environmental limits on urban growth and development? 


Tags: physical, weather and climate, consumptionCalifornia, water, environment, resources, environment dependurban ecology.

LEONARDO WILD's curator insight, April 9, 8:49 AM

The mathematics of endless growth due to economic monetary rules has a clear outcome.

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Mapping the Spread of Drought Across the U.S.

Mapping the Spread of Drought Across the U.S. | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it
Maps and charts updated weekly show the latest extent of the drought in the United States.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, August 15, 2014 2:58 PM

I've shared numerous links here about the drought situation in California over the past few months, but the situation extends far beyond California as these animated maps and charts demonstrate. Some of the best public data on drought can be found at the National Drought Mitigation Center


Tags: wateragriculture, environmentresources, environment depend, physical, weather and climate, consumptionCalifornia.

hailey thornton's curator insight, August 21, 2014 10:19 AM

this is a map that shows the  drought in the united states of america. 

over the past decade the drought has gotten ever so more drastic. most of the drought is in the central parts  and the west coast of america .I  assume  that as the years progress the conditions for these parts of america will only progress to worsen. 

                  ~h.t.

Nancy Watson's curator insight, August 24, 2014 8:00 PM

Whether global warming or just one of the heat and cooling cycles, this drought is extensive and making an impact on food prices.

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America’s recent drought history, animated

America’s recent drought history, animated | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it

"California's drought just hit a new milestone: As of this week, 32.98 percent of the state is experiencing "exceptional" drought, making it the worst drought in the 14 years that the Department of Agriculture's Drought Monitor has tracked data."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, June 23, 2014 9:23 AM

The recent drought in California has only deepened and this Washington Post article shows an animated map that highlights the temporal and spatial patterns in the drought data (hint--it's not pretty).  In a related note, May 2014 was the hottest May in recorded history.     


Questions to Consider: What are some reasons (both from human and physical geography) for this severe drought? What can be done in the short-term to lessen the problem? What can be done to make California’s water situation better for the next 50 years?


Tags: physical, weather and climate, consumptionCalifornia, water, environment, resources, environment dependurban ecology.

Leslie Kelsey's curator insight, June 25, 2014 12:24 PM

As California's rain shortage continues, this may be a useful site for teachers and students to explore the drought over time. 

Character Minutes's curator insight, June 25, 2014 12:56 PM

Use to emphasize the need to apply character traits of resourceful and thrifty.

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Bolivia: A Country With No McDonald’s

Bolivia: A Country With No McDonald’s | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it
What America can learn from one of the most sustainable food nations on Earth.

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Lena Minassian's curator insight, February 13, 11:29 AM

I absolutely love this! Here is a country that takes a lot of pride in eating fresh foods. They do not have any fast food chains because Bolivians prefer their traditional foods just the way they are. They still eat hamburgers but prefer to buy them from women who make them instead of a McDonald's. Bolivians value that interaction and relationship with the people surrounding them and that genuinely makes food more enjoyable. Their food relationships do not involve money but the effects of what these fresh foods can do for them. 

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, February 28, 5:50 PM

This is a fine example of people looking out for one another.  It might be easier to industrialize their food market but it's more admirable to preserve tradition, help small indigenous business, and try your best at making the country more healthy.  I applaud them for doing this.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 22, 3:33 PM

I think I might want to move to Bolivia one day! Reciprocity is often a term used for corporate culture; you but from me and I'll buy from you type of relationship. This is still true in Bolivia only they do it on a much more personal level. Farmers share equipment, they share crops, seeds and develop a rapport not easily undone by corporations such as McDonald's. Bolivia's multiple micro-climates allow it to grow a wide variety of foods for their citizens, thus making it easier to trade within their circle of neighborhood farmers. "I'll trade you ten pounds of potatoes for five pounds of Quinoa."

The article goes on to state that Bolivians do indeed love their hamburgers, a handful of Subway's and Burger King's still do business there, but the heritage of picking a burger from a street vendor has been passed down by generations. These cholitas, as they are called, sell their fare in the streets of Bolivia and this type of transaction is not easily duplicated by large corporations. I have added Bolivia to my bucket list...

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What the world eats -- a week's worth of groceries

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Jen-ai's curator insight, May 1, 2013 10:03 AM

!  This is so informative.  

Laurie Diamond's curator insight, May 3, 2013 9:03 AM

An interesting look and different cultures

Samuel Yeats's curator insight, May 8, 2013 12:40 AM

Q1) How does this slideshow depict the differing socioeconomic situations of countries around the world? (Use the example of at least 2 countries)

Q2) Do you think that the image of an Australian weekly diet is accurate to your own family and why?

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A New Way to Illuminate Inequality Around the World

A New Way to Illuminate Inequality Around the World | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it

Want to know where the poor live? Look at where the light isn’t.

 

"Satellite photos of Earth’s artificial lights at night form a luminescent landscape. But researcher Chris Elvidge of NOAA and colleagues from the University of Colorado and the University of Denver realized that they could also illuminate something much darker: the magnitude of human poverty. By comparing the amount of light in a particular area and its known population, they realized that they could infer the percentage of people who are able to afford electricity and the level of government spending on infrastructure development. This allowed them to extrapolate levels of human development—a measure of well-being that includes such factors as income, life expectancy and literacy."


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EU horse meat scandal exposes dangers of globalism

EU horse meat scandal exposes dangers of globalism | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it
When horse meat was discovered in beef hamburgers in Ireland last month, governments, corporations and regulators assured a panicked public that it was complete

 

Tags: food, agriculture, consumption, unit 5 agriculture, globalization, agribusiness.


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chris tobin's comment, February 28, 2013 3:44 PM
Yes the industry is all about money. The US needs to change their ways, especially in the beef and poultry business. Its mass production, inhumane to animals, and unhealthy .
Adrian Bahan (MNPS)'s curator insight, March 7, 2013 8:12 PM

What trends in agribusiness are conveyed in this map?

Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 5:30 PM

Why would someone want to do that to a horse? Horses are a great addition to the world because they can come in handy when it comes to pulling cargo and other objects also. Horses are having helped people for hundreds of years. I would go crazy if I found out I was eating horse meet. I am very surprised that those people from Ireland did not find out. There should really be an organization that checks the meet before it goes to supermarkets and other places. 

 

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Top 10 Ways to Go Green this Holiday Season

Top 10 Ways to Go Green this Holiday Season | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it
10 ways to go green this holiday season. Zero Waste holiday tips from Eco-Cycle.

 

This infographic combined with these recommendations are some simple reminders that mass consumption and waste does not contribute to global joy or cheer. 


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Mary Rack's comment, November 25, 2012 8:10 PM
I shared this on Facebook and Google+. Hope for lots of readers and followers!
Seth Dixon's comment, November 25, 2012 8:36 PM
Thanks Mary!
Javier Curso CFIE's curator insight, April 8, 2013 7:37 AM

beautiful, as Susan

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The Global Food Waste Scandal

TED Talks Western countries throw out nearly half of their food, not because it’s inedible -- but because it doesn’t look appealing. Tristram Stuart delves into the shocking data of wasted food, calling for a more responsible use of global resources.

 

No one should be surprised that more developed societies are more wasteful societies.  It is not just personal wasting of food at the house and restaurants that are the problem.  Perfectly edible food is thrown out due to size (smaller than standards but perfectly normal), cosmetics (Bananas that are shaped 'funny') and costumer preference (discarded bread crust).  This is an intriguing perpective on our consumptive culture, but it also is helpful in framing issues such as sustainability and human and environmental interactions in a technologically advanced societies that are often removed form the land where the food they eat originates. 

 

Tags: food, agriculture, consumption, sustainability, TED, video, unit 5 agriculture.


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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 6:13 PM

Ted explains it well how we all waste perfectly good food that people would like to eat. Also it was amazing how much food was in the dumpsters that was just a day or week old. That meat could feed hundreds of people that are struggling to eat and all that meet to waste. 

megan b clement's curator insight, December 16, 2013 1:51 AM

Ted talks about just how wasteful our planet is. How we just ignore the issue and act like it will  not affect us in the future. When he shows you video and pictures of massive piles of the ends of a loaf of bread or all the food that Stop and Shop throws out because it does not "look" good for the customer. How every little bit of help counts you can try to make a little bit of an effort to be less wasteful. We have so much unnecessary waste. Like when he uses the example of how many people throw away the ends of a loaf of bread then he shows the waste of the ends of bread in massive piles it makes you sick. Especially with all of the hungry people in the world we need to be more resourceful.

 

 

Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 21, 2014 2:13 PM

No one should be surprised that more developed societies are more wasteful societies.  It is not just personal wasting of food at the house and restaurants that are the problem.  Perfectly edible food is thrown out due to size (smaller than standards but perfectly normal), cosmetics (Bananas that are shaped 'funny') and costumer preference (discarded bread crust).  This is an intriguing perceptive on our consumptive culture, but it also is helpful in framing issues such as sustainability and human and environmental interactions in a technologically advanced societies that are often removed form the land where the food they eat originates. 


Tags: food, agriculture, consumption, sustainability, TED, video, unit 5 agriculture.

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Waging War Against Global Food Waste

Waging War Against Global Food Waste | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it
National Geographic Emerging Explorer Tristram Stuart wants the world to stop throwing away so much good food.

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hailey thornton's curator insight, November 6, 2014 8:56 AM

what do we do when we have leftovers from our dinner. we throw it all away . if we just took the salvageable veggies that we can use to feed the animals that we end up eating . the landfills are being filled faster than we can get rid of what is in them .  we need to find alternative ways to get rid of our waste cause

we will be living in a land fill in the future if we dont

Rebecca McClure's curator insight, November 15, 2014 11:13 PM

Year 9: Food Security

Alex Lewis's curator insight, November 21, 2014 12:18 PM

I think this is a great idea, and the more we reduce our food waste, the better. We can use this food to feed the starving, which would solve two problems at once. Also, the idea of feeding the excess food to the pigs is a good idea. Not as good as conserving the food to give to the needy though. 

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'The Great Fish Swap': How America Is Downgrading Its Seafood Supply

'The Great Fish Swap': How America Is Downgrading Its Seafood Supply | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it

"One-third of the seafood Americans catch is sold abroad, but most of the seafood we eat here is imported and often of lower quality. Why? Author Paul Greenberg says it has to do with American tastes."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, July 9, 2014 8:00 PM

The United States exports the best-quality seafood that Americans catch, but import primarily low-grade aquacultural products.  This is just one of the counter-intuitive issues withe U.S. fish consumption and production.  This bizarre dynamic has cultural and economic explanations and this NPR podcast nicely explains these spatial patterns that are bound to frustrate those that advocate for locally sourced food productions. 


Tagsfood production, industry, food, agriculture, agribusinessconsumptioneconomic, sustainability.

HazelAnne Prescott's curator insight, July 31, 2014 10:56 AM

Seems like a messed up system.  We do not have "taste"

Abigail Mack's curator insight, July 31, 2014 11:27 AM

What would make Americans opt for the lower quality, imported fish?

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California's Drought

California's Drought | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it

"California has had three consecutive years of below average rainfall and most reservoirs are far below their designed capacity; for a state with a growing population with limited water resources this is alarming news that has many politicians, officials and residents worried. This winter was especially mild; nice for bragging to friend back East about how gorgeous the weather is during a polar vortex spell, but horrible for the snow pack and accumulation."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 10, 2014 2:45 PM

Most of California’s water originates for the snow pack in Western mountains ranges so this drought is expected to get worse this summer. The major urban areas have limited local water resources so they draw water from large area to bring in sufficient water for these burgeoning metropolitan regions.


Questions to Consider: What are some reasons (both from human and physical geography) for this severe drought? What can be done in the short-term to lessen the problem? What can be done to make California’s water situation better for the next 50 years?


Tags: physical, weather and climate, consumptionCaliforniaLos Angeles, water, environment, resources, environment dependurban ecology.

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An Underground Pool Drying Up

An Underground Pool Drying Up | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it

Portions of the High Plains Aquifer are rapidly being depleted by farmers who are pumping too much water to irrigate their crops, particularly in the southern half in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Levels have declined up to 242 feet in some areas, from predevelopment — before substantial groundwater irrigation began — to 2011.

 


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 20, 2013 12:29 PM

The article connected to this map from the New York Times can be found here.  "Two years of extreme drought, during which farmers relied almost completely on groundwater, have brought the seriousness of the problem home. In 2011 and 2012, the Kansas Geological Survey reports, the average water level in the state’s portion of the aquifer dropped 4.25 feet — nearly a third of the total decline since 1996."


Tags: wateragriculture, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend.

Michael Miller's curator insight, May 20, 2013 1:41 PM

The recent PBS special on the Dust Bowl also addressed this current problem and how some American farmers are not learning from past mistakes.

Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, September 2, 2013 5:58 PM

Really helpful information. Thank you. I had been wondering about this.Students should have an awareness of the water problems we have , and of various groundwater problems. Thank you.

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Freshwater Stores Shrank in Tigris-Euphrates Basin

Freshwater Stores Shrank in Tigris-Euphrates Basin | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it
An arid region grew even drier between 2003 and 2009 due to human consumption of water for drinking and agriculture.

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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 19, 2014 9:14 AM

The use of water is an increasing problem in the arid regions of the world.  The use of more sophisticated irrigation systems allow for more planting which requires more water.  Coupled with increasing towns and cities needing fresh water for the inhabitants this decrease in fresh water will only continue to trend.

Amy Marques's curator insight, April 24, 2014 12:52 PM

What's happening in the Tigris-Euphrates Basin is similar to what is happening to the Aral Sea. Freshwater Stores Shrank in just 4 years. Humans are drastically altering the landscape and if we don't start to find others ways of doing things and change the way in which we do agriculture and use our water, there could be a serious water shortage for millions of people.

James Hobson's curator insight, October 22, 2014 6:24 PM

(Southwest Asia topic 2)

The area known as the Cradle of Humanity is becoming less hospitable. Though natural climate change can be attributed to the dryer conditions, humans have made just as much of an impact. Increased water usage leads to less reserve. Impacts stretch further, however. Less water flow below the dam can lead to changes in sedimentation patterns and disrupt wildlife habitats, potentially causing harm to wildlife.

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NASA Satellites Find Freshwater Losses in Middle East

NASA Satellites Find Freshwater Losses in Middle East | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it
A new study using data from a pair of gravity-measuring NASA satellites finds that large parts of the arid Middle East region lost freshwater reserves rapidly during the past decade.

 

"[This] data show an alarming rate of decrease in total water storage in the Tigris and Euphrates river basins, which currently have the second fastest rate of groundwater storage loss on Earth, after India," said Jay Famiglietti, principal investigator of the study and a hydrologist and professor at UC Irvine. "The rate was especially striking after the 2007 drought. Meanwhile, demand for freshwater continues to rise, and the region does not coordinate its water management because of different interpretations of international laws."

 

Tags: water, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend, Middle East, Iraq.


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 24, 2013 10:00 PM

This is a perfect example of geospatial technologies can lead to a better understanding of how the Earth's physical systems are changing because of human geography.  Teaching geography is about showing how these systems are interconnected.   

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 19, 2014 9:24 AM

Water is a big issue in an arid area.  The fact that we can measure the amount of groundwater present in an area with a satellite is amazing to me.  The issue of water rights and control in this region will someday over take that of oil rights and use in my opinion.  Once people get used to free flowing water to use on demand it will cause problems politically when these sources of ground water inevitably dry up.

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Fresh Water Resources

View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/where-we-get-our-fresh-water-christiana-z-peppard Fresh water accounts for only 2.5% of Earth's...

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 12, 2013 2:45 PM

How much of the Earth's water is fresh water?  How much of that is used for industrial, agricultural or domestic uses?  Why is groundwater becoming increasingly utilized?  Enjoy this TED-ED video for the answers. 


Tags: water, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend.

Agron S. Dida's comment, December 17, 2013 5:33 AM
Ben, there is a good link about the lack of water: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131216154330.htm#.UrAC_n3F2FA.twitter
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Where Does Your Water Come From?

Where Does Your Water Come From? | ApocalypseSurvival | Scoop.it

This interactive map documents where 443 million people around the world get there water (although the United States data is by far the most extensive).  Most people can't answer this question.  A recent poll by The Nature Conservancy discoverd that 77% of Americans (not on private well water) don't know where their water comes from, they just drink it.  This link has videos, infographics and suggestions to promote cleaner water.  This is also a fabulous example of an embedded map using ArcGIS Online to share geospatial data with a wider audience.  

 

Tags: GIS, water, fluvial, environment, ESRI, pollution, development, consumption, resources, mapping, environment depend, cartography, geospatial. 


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Nic Hardisty's comment, October 15, 2012 9:01 AM
I was definitely unaware of where my drinking water came from. This is nice, user-friendly map... Hopefully it gets updated regularly, as it will be interesting to see how these sources change over time.
Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, July 1, 2013 3:55 PM

water is a resource we all depend on. Some of my best studies were on local Chesapeake Bay issues.