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A Core Set of Global Environmental Indicators

A Core Set of Global Environmental Indicators | Development geography | Scoop.it

To cut a long story short, if you leave below sea level or happen to be a polar bear, it’s time to pack up and move...


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INFOGRAPHIC: World Wetlands Destruction

INFOGRAPHIC: World Wetlands Destruction | Development geography | Scoop.it

I wrote about wetlands in Today Is World Wetlands Day 2011. In that post you can find out more about wetlands, why they’re important and what their role could have been in preventing some of the destruction and sorrow during Hurricane Katrina. Below is the World Wetlands Destruction infographic detailing the current state of our wetlands...


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Energy Needs

Energy Needs | Development geography | Scoop.it

"Welcome to Energy Realities, a visual guide to global energy needs, which shows how technology and intelligence are ensuring humanity continues to progress. The site combines maps, multimedia, and writing from three premier publishers and tells the story of energy use, production, sustainability on our planet. We invite you to explore and share this content to help increase understanding and dialogue about our world's energy needs."

 

Energy usage projects to be one of the great geograpical problems of our time.  As ideas such as sustainable economic growth enter the public consciousness, changes to the status quo seem as the more inevitable for the future.  That will the future of consumption look like?  What should it look like?


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Environmental Education & Our Planet [Infographic]

Environmental Education & Our Planet [Infographic] | Development geography | Scoop.it

Environmental Education and STEM: science, technology, engineering & math...

The environment is a compelling context for teaching and engaging today's students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)...


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Feeding the World Sustainably: Agroecology vs. Industrial Agriculture

Feeding the World Sustainably: Agroecology vs. Industrial Agriculture | Development geography | Scoop.it
There are currently 1 billion people in the world today who are hungry. There's also another billion people who over eat unhealthy foods.

 Food production around the world today is mostly done through industrial agriculture, and by judging current issues with obesity, worldwide food shortages, and the destruction of soil, it may not be the best process. We need to be able to feed our world without destroying it, and finding a more sustainable approach to accomplishing that is becoming more important.

The current system contributes to 1/3 of global emissions, is a polluter of our world’s water resources, and is a contributor to health problems. Industrial agriculture relies on mass produced, mechanized labor-saving policies that have pushed people out of rural areas and into cities, consolidating land and resources into fewer hands.

Agroecology looks to reduces agriculture’s impact on climate by working within natural systems. This is especially beneficial in rural areas, because the local community a major part of the growing process. The approach can conserve and protect soil and water — through terracing, contour farming, intercropping, and agroforestry — especially beneficial in areas where farmers lack modern irrigation infrastructure, or have farms situated on hillsides and other difficult farming sites...


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Daniel LaLiberte's curator insight, October 1, 2013 9:53 PM

Clearly industrial agriculture is not sustainable, and must be replaced entirely with systems that reverse the current damage and restore the balance that used to exist before we messed things up.  We can use plants and animals not only to feed ourselves, but to *improve* the environment for all life on the planet.

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"The Other Coast" Comic Strip

"The Other Coast" Comic Strip | Development geography | Scoop.it

This is an amusing, but still insightful way to discuss habitat encroachment, development, conservation and the economic utility of expansion. 


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Haiti: Legacy of Disaster

Haiti: Legacy of Disaster | Development geography | Scoop.it

"Even before the earthquake Haiti's environment teetered on the brink of disaster. Brent and Craig Renaud report on the country's deforestation problems."

 

What about a disaster is 'natural' and what about the disaster is attributable to how people live on the land?  This video highlights the poverty, architectural and environmental factors that exacerbated the problems in the Haitian Earthquake of 2010.  This is a merging of both the physical geography and human geography.  


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Tracy Galvin's curator insight, February 4, 2014 5:56 PM

This is an example of how civilizations can be hovering on the brink of destruction. The earthquake was the final straw it caused collapse of the whole system. The environment became a wasteland because humans that so not have their basic needs met cannot think about long term consequences of their actions. Need is immediate. If we want to help the country it needs to be in very small doses over many years. Their situation wasn't created overnight and the solution won't happen overnight either.

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 28, 2014 1:49 PM

Natural disasters occur because of two things; the environmental reason and how people react to it. This earthquake was only half the reason Haiti is in a natural disaster state. The people who don't know how to respond to such "natural disasters" are the real reason of problematic changes.

James Hobson's curator insight, September 25, 2014 10:26 AM

(Central America topic 2)

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or in this case:

Which came first, the deforestation or the disparity?

I believe the answer can be both.

At first such a country's inhabitants might not know what devastating impacts manmade environmental changes such as deforestation can have - or, they might just have no other choice. Here disparity comes first. But unfortunately such effects can be far reaching. Deforestation can 'come back around' and be the cause (not only the result) of disparity: erosion, flooding, landslides, lack of natural resources. These all contribute to further disasters and crises, which continue the repeating trend.

Dr. Bonin has held classes pertaining to this same issue of deforestation, among the other issues which Haitians face. IN addition, the company I work for has been sponsoring a campaign to help humanitarian efforts in the country, and I have worked with people who have lived there.

Lastly, I can't help but notice an uncanny similarity between the deforestation of Haiti and that of Easter Island. I hope Easter Is. will be used as a warning message.

 

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The true cost of oil

TED Talks What does environmental devastation actually look like? At TEDxVictoria, photographer Garth Lenz shares shocking photos of the Alberta Tar Sands mining project -- and the beautiful (and vital) ecosystems under threat.

 

This is a visually stunning portrayal of Canadian landscapes.   He shows incredibly gorgeous photographs of the ecosystems of the boreal forest, indigenous cultural landscapes and natural scenery.  This is unfortunately the backdrop for the impacts of industrial extraction of oil from the tar sands of the Athabasca in Canada.  Collectively, this makes for a jarring justaposition of environmental landscapes.


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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, January 29, 2014 10:59 AM

This presentation is very moving on the emotional side of the plight of Canada’s natural resources.  When it comes to oil production no matter where it is it will be dirty, messy and fraught with problems that impact the environment.  The idea that everyone wants oil but they don’t want to mess up their own country to get it is an interesting problem.  Frankly the more developed countries like Canada are more likely to mine the resources responsibly then a country that has little or no environmental protections.  This speaker gives a very impassioned presentation but he offers no alternatives to oil.  Getting oil from a country that has environmental protection laws is cleaner and better then getting it from a country that cares nothing for the environment; it is less accountable and more environmentally damaging to get it from somewhere else.  Pipelines are cleaner ways of moving oil as they seldom leak and don’t crash and spill.  The debate over oil and environmental responsibility will continue until a viable source of clean energy is created. 

Louis Mazza's curator insight, January 28, 12:37 PM

this video shows the beauties to be found in world, and the negative effects that mining for oil can do to these areas. in one region it was home to a type of deer but all they could be found was the deers antlers. that showed that mining for oil was killing all the deer. all these regions are under threat. the largest toxic wastelands on the planet are being created.

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Guns, Germs & Steel

Guns, Germs & Steel | Development geography | Scoop.it

This video (like the book with the same title) explores the course of human history to find the geographic factors that can help to explain the global inequalities between societies. Jared Diamond’s answer lies in the military strength (guns), superior pathogens (germs) and industrial production (steel) that agricultural societies were able to develop as the critical advantages over hunter/gatherer societies. The raw materials at the disposal of the societies inhabiting particular environments partially explain the economic possibilities before them. Diamond hypothesizes that the orientations of the continents play a critical role in the relative advantages among agricultural societies (East-West orientations allow for greater diffusion of agricultural technologies than North-South orientations since the growing seasons and ecology are more compatible), giving Eurasia an advantage over Africa and the Americas. The Fertile Crescent had native plant and animal species ideal for domestication, which then diffused to Europe. Societies that have more developed animal husbandry develop a resistance to more powerful germs. Consequently, when two societies come in contact those with the best resistance to the worse diseases are more successful. Similarly, industrial production depends on an agricultural surplus since specialization requires that some workers not needing to produce their own food to work on technological innovations. Societies that had agricultural advantages were able to invest in technologies (primarily steel) that would enhance their advantages over other societies, as seen during colonization. Societies that had the best environments had access to large plant eating mammals suitable for domestication and the most productive grains would be poised to produce more dangerous guns, germs and steel—the key resources for economic dominion resulting in global inequalities.


Diamond’s critics argue that the ‘geography hypothesis’ is environmental determinism that does not properly value human choices into the equation. Still, the core of this book is the search for connections between the themes of Geography with a spatial framework and the video is available via Netflix, public libraries and many other outlets.


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Emily Bian's curator insight, October 3, 2014 5:16 PM

I found this just browsing the suggestions, and I was like "Whoa! We learned this in class!" So I thought that it was really neat. 

Diamond's theory is an example of environmental determinism, because he claimed that the environment and where people lived affected the people, and that's why not everybody is equal. 

I personally agree with his theory, because it makes a lot of sense when I watched the movie/episodes.

             I believe in enviromental determinism but not to the extreme level, for example if someone is from a hot place they are lazy. I believe that people have choices and can pave their own way but the enviroment can limit them. This would for sure help future aphug students because it introduces human geography in the world history context. 

 

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Environmentally Conscience Manufacturing

Levi Strauss & Co. believes that water is a precious resource and everyone should do their part to lead a more WaterLess lifestyle. Find out more about our w...

 

More and more companies are strategically rethinking manufacturing to be less harmful to the environment.  There are sound economic, cultural, marketing and sustainability reasons for rethinking the manufacturing process.  In the past Levi's used more than 11 gallons to produce 1 pair of jeans to get that aesthetic look just right...this video looks at the restructuring process to make these essentially 'waterless' jeans. 


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The Economics of Sustainability

http://www.ted.com Have we used up all our resources? Have we filled up all the livable space on Earth? Paul Gilding suggests we have, and the possibility of...

 

This provocatively title TED talk would be an excellent resource for discussing sustainable development.  What are the economic, environmental, political and cultural ramifications of suggested policies that seek to lead towards sustainable development?  What are the ramifications of not changing policies towards sustainable development?  


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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 12, 2013 1:02 AM

 I found this video very interesting because it spoke about how there is so little space and more and more people are having kids. But there is no space because everyone likes having a lot of room to expand that is why because everyone in the world could fit in the state of California. So there is space it is just not spread out good enough that everyone could fit comfortably. 

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NASA Earth Observatory - Vegetation Index

The NDVI (Normalized Digital Vegetation Index) is on of the primary methods for detecting healthy vegetation using satellite imagery.  This also serves as a useful way to distinguish between distinct ecological and agricultural regions and the temporal patterns of planting seasons.  

 

This video was found on a site titled "Explorations in agricultural research" with many great links http://zerogravitygardening.blogspot.com/


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Why damming world's rivers is a tricky balancing act

Why damming world's rivers is a tricky balancing act | Development geography | Scoop.it
If we accept that controversial dams will continue to be built for economic benefit, how can we limit their damage on the environment?

 

"Of all the ways we have engineered Earth in the Anthropocene, the Age of Man, surely nothing rivals our audacious planetary-wide re-plumbing of the world's waterways. But is our control of Earth's arteries causing dangerous clots?"  The human-environmental interaction theme of geography is as readily apparent in this issue as any.  


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Jose Sepulveda's comment, June 30, 2012 5:24 PM
It would be possible if only the whole ecosystem is managed so as to damp negative synergies and keep permanent monitoring over the river as a whole, from its origin to its final discharge into the sea.
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How The Internet Is Killing The Planet…

How The Internet Is Killing The Planet… | Development geography | Scoop.it

The Internet can be a hazardous place to mingle around, and it’s apparent people are taking all the precautions they can to protect themselves and their children. However, personal safety isn’t the only concern when it comes to the Internet. There are far more areas where the Internet is causing some serious physical harm, maybe not directly, but to the environment and indirectly to us. When everything is about how “green” something is, it is not hard to understand that someone analyzed the Internet in that way.


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Infographic: deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions

Infographic: deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions | Development geography | Scoop.it

Because trees help absorb greenhouse gases, forest preservation plays an important role in controlling climate change. When forests are destroyed or degraded that harms our ability to control climate change. A new report from the Congressional Budget Office says there are three big challenges: building capacity to better document forest absorbtion capacity and its loss; improving governance in countries where the problem is most pronounced; and calibrating policy responses so they’re effective on a global scale. The study is titled “Deforestation and Greenhouse gases.”

A related CBO infographic helps tell the story...


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Sustainable Development - Infographic: Inclusive Green Growth

Sustainable Development - Infographic: Inclusive Green Growth | Development geography | Scoop.it
Why is inclusive green growth necessary?

The world's population is predicted to reach 9 billion people by 2050, and they will all need food, water, and energy to survive. Our current growth patterns are highly inefficient and stand in the way of truly sustainable development. The way forward is inclusive green growth that is clean in its treatment of the environment, efficient in its use of natural resources, resilient, and meets the needs of all people.


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Mariana Soffer's comment, June 17, 2012 7:50 AM
this is great
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The Impact of the Electric Car [Infographic]

The Impact of the Electric Car [Infographic] | Development geography | Scoop.it

This infographic provides an overview of the electric car industry and describes their environmental and energy impact...

This visualization offers numerous statistics, facts and global comparisons on the future of electric vehicles, in terms of costs, environment, sales and the role of electric vehicles in our transportation systems across the globe.


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Bridges For Animals - Wildlife Overpasses

Bridges For Animals - Wildlife Overpasses | Development geography | Scoop.it

Our modern society depends on greater connectivity between places.  Regionalized economies, politics and transportation networks are increasingly integrated with far-flung places now more than ever before.  Our biosphere and natural environments are exceptions to this pattern.  Wilderness areas are 'islands' in an ocean of human controlled environments.   We create transportation linkages that unite people economies and cities, but separate herds from there extended habitat. 

 

We've all seen road kill on major highways.  Species like deer, elk, and grizzly bears and other large-bodied animals need a wide range for numerous ecological reasons.  These bridges are an attempt to ameliorate some of the problems that our roads pose for the non-human species that still call Earth home.  From a purely economic standpoint, many argue that these bridges save society money given the accidents and property damage that can be avoided. 

 

Tags: biogeography, transportation, environment, land use, sustainability, environment adapt.


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Carly Schaus's comment, October 3, 2013 9:48 PM
I think this would be a great idea! it would keep the animals, nature and people safe. They have protection from motor vehicles where they crash on.
Courtney Gritman's comment, October 4, 2013 3:22 PM
I think this would be a wonderful solution from innocent animals from being killed and thousands of car accidents being prevented.
Jerod Garland's comment, October 15, 2013 8:55 PM
This is very interesting! Good scoop!
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Sustainability explained through animation

Watch this short animated movie explaining sustainability created for RealEyes by Igloo Animations...

 


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Visualizing the Global Carbon Footprint

Visualizing the Global Carbon Footprint | Development geography | Scoop.it

One of the key things I reinforce in conversations about globalization is that the advantages are unevenly distributed and the negative externalities to the system are also unevenly distributed.  This clever infographic highlights both rather effectively. 


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Dale Fraza's comment, February 27, 2012 3:26 PM
Really surprised at a couple things:
1. Brazil's relative tinyness in comparison with the U.S. Guess I've always just heard bad things about Brazil in regards to deforestation and the like.
2. Just how much a formerly agricultural nation (China) has exploded. Something really needs to be done about the environmental havoc they are wreaking (not to be a total ethnocentrist or anything).
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Jared Diamond: Why societies collapse

This talk (based on his controversial book, Collapse) explores the economic and environmental causes behind why a society that is overextended might collapse or recede from a golden age. Jared Diamond uses multiple historical examples such as classical Mayan civilization and Easter Island as well as modern societies such as Rwanda and Haiti, to argue that unsustainable management of the environmental resources might lead to short-term economic successes, but the environmental degradation may threaten the long-term economic viability of the economic system. This talk ties agricultural patterns, economic practices and political policies that can strengthen or weaken a society and the book looks to the past to assess the challenges of the present and future. This TED talk brings geographic concepts and spatial thinking to many of contemporary global issues.


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Climate Change and Sustainability

Climate Change and Sustainability | Development geography | Scoop.it

I'll let the comic (by Pulitzer cartoonist Joel Pett) speak for itself. 


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Mr. David Burton's comment, April 16, 2012 9:19 PM
That's funny!
Seth Dixon's comment, April 16, 2012 10:01 PM
Too funny to keep to myself.
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China now eats twice the meat we do

China now eats twice the meat we do | Development geography | Scoop.it
We can learn a lot from examining the way China's diet has changed in the last 20 years -- as well as its required efficiencies and the agriculture that supports it.

 

The United States still consumes more meat per capita than China, but as China's economy has grown (along with it's income and standard of living), the consumer habits have changed as well.  What will the impacts of the rise in Chinese meat consumption mean?   How do they get all this meat?  http://www.scoop.it/t/geography-education/p/1661841673/this-little-piggy-is-going-to-china


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Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 29, 2013 2:07 PM

This is actuallty very believable considering the population growth that China has experienced.  It only makes sense that the more people there are, the more meat will be consumed.  It is part of their cuisine to include meat.  Pork and chicken are among many of the popular proteins which are found on their dishes.  There is also the expansion to go along with all of the growth.  The landscape of the eastern part of the country has become more agriculturally accomodating for crops and livestock alike.  Therefore to match the trend of growing population, is the need to match it with meat and other foods.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 14, 2014 6:25 PM

China now eats twice as much meat than America. However, this chart does not touch upon "per-capita" which plays a major role in where the food is being dispersed and consumed. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 1:55 PM

China's meat demand is being met by importing meat. As the standard of living rises more of China's population are looking to branch out in regards to their diet, what is interesting is that this is also an example of cultures blending. Food is a great indicator of cultural diffusion. As China becomes more globalized we are seeing their diet and consumption patterns becoming less local and tradition.

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Sustainable Urbanism

http://www.ted.com Jaime Lerner reinvented urban space in his native Curitiba, Brazil. Along the way, he changed the way city planners worldwide see whats po...

 

Jaime Lerner does not see cities as the problem; he sees urbanism as the solution to many global problems.  This video outlines practical plans to rethink the city to be more sustainable.  To see an trailer for a documentary about the urban changes in Curitiba, Brazil, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swQTTG3NcYY


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 15, 2014 8:02 AM

Jaime Lerner does not see cities as the problem; he sees urbanism as the solution to many global problems.  This video outlines practical plans to rethink the city to be more sustainable.  Click here to see the trailer for a documentary about the urban changes in Curitiba, Brazil. 

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, February 17, 2014 11:47 AM

This video is enlightening.  The speaker uses the city as a model for fixing problems in the world.  Instead of seeing the city as an enemy to environmentalism, he purposes changing the cities and reworking old sites like quarries into something that is useable today.  He also advocates the integration of the transportation systems to make commuting more feasible as well as less pollution generating. 

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California's Deadlocked Delta

California's Deadlocked Delta | Development geography | Scoop.it
What did the Delta look like 200 years ago? See an interactive map of the historical habitat and present day landscape, as well as the old photos, maps and journals used by historical ecologists to answer that question.

 

This interactive module has over 20 different maps and perspectives to show both the physical and human geography of a particular environment.  As the delta's ecosystem has been failing, the importance of understanding the interconnections between people, places and our environment becomes all the more critical.


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Kyle Kampe's curator insight, May 28, 2014 11:02 PM

In AP Human Geo., this article relates to the concept of human geography vs physical geography in that its maps and interactive models provide a basis for the difference between the two subfields of geography.