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Development geography
Investigating global inequality
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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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Changes in Mortality: 1900 vs 2010

Changes in Mortality: 1900 vs 2010 | Development geography | Scoop.it
How we die (in one chart)...

 

This infographic shows the main causes of death in 1900 in the United States and compares that with the 2010 figures.  The United States, during that time underwent what many call the epidemiological transition (in essence, in developed societies we now die for different reason and generally live longer) What are the geographic factors that influence these shifts in the mortality rates?  What is better about society?  Has anything worsened?  How come?  


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Kim Vignale's comment, July 9, 2012 10:33 PM
In the 1900s, there were more "natural" caused illnesses but not enough medicine or technology to alleviate these diseases, hence, the greater mortality rate. Presently, medicine and technology has changed for the greater good. Many of the diseases are cured and more people living longer due to this. However, mortality caused by heart disease and cancer have increased in 2010; this is probably due to higher calorie diets and exposure to preservatives and radiation.
Don Brown Jr's comment, July 10, 2012 7:17 PM
Looking back and comparing the 1900’s to 2010, I think it is becoming quite evident that our surrounding environment and what we consume impacts our health. Honestly what kind of cancer are you not at risk of getting today? Factors can vary from the genetically altered food we consume, radiation emitted from our cell phones or even prolonged exposure to the sun. While combating harmful pathogens and bacteria may have been a critical health concern and challenge of the early 20th century, finding remedies to an increasingly toxic environment may characterize the medical needs of the 21st century.
Justin McCullough's curator insight, December 12, 2013 12:50 PM

The thing that is positive about this infograph on how we die, is that our mortality rate has indeed gone down a whole lot since 1900. As the article states, we have become more aware of the bacteria taht surrounds us and have learned to be more clean because of it. This has surely cut down the rate in which people die by infectious diseases. However, it is interesting to see that heart diseases remains in one of the top ways that we die, even to this day. Accident deaths have also significantly dropped, probably due to the safety measures taken in the workplaces, or the technological advances that have made fighting wars, less deadly than during the 1900s. 

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Satellite Images of Urban Sprawl

Satellite Images of Urban Sprawl | Development geography | Scoop.it
The past century has been defined by an epic migration of people from rural areas to the city. In 2008, for the first time in history, more of the Earth's population was living in cities than in the countryside.

 

This image gallery is designed "to present images from space [that] track the relentless spread of humanity."  The 'slide bar' in the middle allows the viewer to scroll between before and after images of major metropolitan areas that have experienced dramatic growth in the last 10-30 years.  The attached images is on Dubai, UAE.  Notice the man-made islands, especially the 'archipelago' in the shape of the world that is 2.5 miles off the coast of Dubai.


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