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Human/Environmental Interactions

The video talks about what is happing to the Aral Sea. I am surprised I have never hear about it until this class. The fact that the affects of this is showing up in penguins in the north pole shows that what happens in one part of the world affects the rest of it in one way or another. While it is commendable that people are trying to lessen the effects of the shrinking sea is will never bring it back.


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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 17, 2013 8:49 PM

I've read about the disaster of the Aral Sea before when I was taking a class on Eurasian history, but being able to visualize it made it even more striking. It was especially striking when, at the end, the man was talking about the great paradox he sees between people who are being threatened with rising ocean levels and then his people who are threatened by the drying of the Aral. It really does show how humans impact the environment, and demonstrates that areas in which people are manual laborers, working resources, health and environmental conditions tend to be worse. 

Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 20, 2013 1:11 PM

This has to be one of the most telling video of an environmental disaster I have even seen.  A whole sea, 26,000 square miles, bigger than the state of West Virginia, is bascially gone due to Soviet mismanagement.  This is an environmental disaster now that the Russians do not have to deal with as it is now located in the independant country of Kazakhstan.  It effects them as well as the new countries that have come to be withthe collapse of the USSR.  Seems Russian dodged this just like Chernobyl.  This is something we need to lean from, on how not to use a natural resource until it literally has dried up.

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 4, 12:24 PM

The Aral Sea, located in Central Asia is a very important water source for the entire region.  Unfortunately, the Soviet Union designated this water sources as one which would provide water to rice and cotton crops, which are both very water-intensive crops.  This has resulted in desertification of the area due to the cyclical shrinking volume of the lake.  Sands and chemicals are now free to blow around, affecting people's health.  This is one of the best examples on earth of environmental exploitation due to a lack of environmental planning.  When the lake dries up, the inhabitants of the surrounding countries will be in huge trouble.

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50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster

50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster | Education in the world | Scoop.it

I have always been very interested in Chernobyl. And would live to one day take one of the tours they now offer. I am amazed by the fact that a whole city was abandoned and will never be used again. I also think of those who died in this epic disaster. One of the thinking that always strikes me about the photo’s I see is the over growth from the weeds and all the green trees. It is incredible to me to nature thriving in such a polluted poised place. Chernobyl to me is also a great argument against Nuclear power. I know people say it is safe however one disaster and a whole area is poisoned for thousands of years. I do not nuclear power is worth it


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Ashley Raposo's curator insight, October 16, 2013 7:51 PM

Absolutely frightening to see a city so empty.  To only imgine what could have been in Chernobyl today if this nuclear disaster didn't happen.

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.

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Venice sinking five times faster than thought?

Venice sinking five times faster than thought? | Education in the world | Scoop.it

I never though about Venice sinking until I read this article although I have wondered of buildings to not corrode in the water. I also never thought about possible flooding issues in the city although it makes sense that it could be an issue. It is weird to think about such a beautiful city one day being sunk


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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, September 30, 2013 8:47 PM

The famous city in Italy is sinking, and quickly.  It seems that the transient opportunities of a transient town are like that of other areas exposed to natural inclemence- such as New Orleans, and earthquake zones.  Sooner or later, places that are exposed to disaster will become inhabitable, and possibly abandoned.  When I hear of this city sinking, it makes me think of the Titanic, and how people should likely jump ship out of this situation, before the whole city 'goes under.'  I also think of marshy areas that would not be well-suited for development and inhabitance, and it seems that there is a history in the town that united people to live there in spite of the abundance of water.  Some of my ancestors were from Italy, and I wouldn't want harm to come to their homeland, but it really makes me wonder why they chose such a place to live...  It seems likely to me that the mere fact that it was sinking was not really considered much back then;  they were not as realistically concerned about the longevity of the city in the long run, than they were about the 'now' and the time at hand.  This reflects many facets of humanity and the hedonistic lifestyles that accompany many humans.  Humans that live for today and forget about tomorrow are doomed to live a life of sorry.  Humans that live for tomorrow and not today are out of touch and fail to seize the day.  Humans that live for today but remember tomorrow are the masons that build stairways to new lands for their descendents, and along with that, myriad new possibilities for positive opportunities.  I think some of the wisdom of Italy was put into its architecture and structural design, so that we might remember- we are dying in this life, just as Venice sinks, but we should live life as best as we can, and pave the way for future generations.  Like so, the dumping of wastes into the ocean seems tiny at first, but accumulates over many generations and will leave many ocean species dead, and harm the overall functionality of the Earth as a whole.  Let Venice be a reminder.

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 6, 2013 9:27 PM

So not only is Mexico City sinking, but Venice is as well, and five times faster than we thought at that. If the heart of an urban, sprawling city becomes completely destroyed what changes will be made to the outlying areas? Will they break up into multiple, smaller districts each with a central area? Where will the rich who used to reside in the heart move to?

Brett Sinica's curator insight, October 8, 2013 3:36 PM

Day to day, even looking into next year the rate of 2 millimeters per year may not seem drastic.  To a city that has been around for hundreds of years, it's assumed the city plans to stay standing for hundreds more.  Considering the age of the city, say in a couple hundred more years, some buildings could begin to take in water.  It is also possible that certain parts of the city could be sinking faster than others.  There is a similar situation in Mexico City where it was built on a lake and each year that source diminishes due to the demand of water by its residents.  Certain parts of the city are sinking and some buildings are slanted due to the results.  These cities are beautiful  but reality shows that as time passes, it will probably only get worse.  Hopefully preventions can be taken to at least reduce the speed of sinking so that people after us can appreciate the architecture and atmosphere the city has provided all these years.

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Brazilian Ethanol

Brazilian Ethanol | Education in the world | Scoop.it

To many times we put our convenience and cost before the environment. To me this is yet another example. With all the technology out there it is still me start looking at ways to bring down cost without killing the world.

 

 


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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 1, 2013 1:28 PM

Great idea here.  i know that using corn is much more expensive than sugar, nut imagine the tade we can get with Brazil if we imprt more sugan ans then use it for gas.  It will probably still be cheaper than the regular gas, and the corn ethanol.  In the long run if this is used, along with the shale oil depositis the US has, we can reduce our dependance on oil from areas like the middle east and other countries which in turn can create many jobs here in the US.

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 1:27 AM

Here we have just one example of how technological advances have helped solve some of our world's energy problems.  Ethanol is slowly becoming a popular commodity.  However, until ethanol can be used in every single vehicle, it will not overtake traditional gasoline, and gas prices will continue to be high.  Because these hybrid vehciles are becoming more and more popular, less gas is being bought, and us non-hybrid users are paying the price for it.  This is a good step in the right direction, but the process needs to move faster if we are truely going to all benefit from the use of these alternative fuels.  

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 24, 5:03 PM

Difference in economical and ecological factors have everything to do with what Brazil is doing with ethanol. Since ethanol in Brazil is simpler and easier to obtain, American ethanol is highly useless and apparently not worth the money.

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China now eats twice the meat we do

China now eats twice the meat we do | Education in the world | 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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Crissy Borton's insight:

I wonder if this will bring on a meat shortage. At the least it is helping to full "factory" farmer and the feeding on cheep corn to cows. I wonder how much this will effect global warming.

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Seth Dixon's comment, July 25, 2012 8:09 PM
As more societies aspire to 'American lifestyles,' consuming meat goes up. As a country gets wealthier, their capacity to have a meat market expands. But China is so big, that shift is actually a big deal.
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, 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. 

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Studying "Green"

Studying "Green" | Education in the world | Scoop.it

"Green is an unusual film. It is both a hard hitting portrayal of the causes and consequences of deforestation in Indonesia, and a film which captures the tranquillity and calm of wild nature. It contains no narrative or dialogue and yet helps us understand complex commodity chains. Green needs to be taken seriously.  In these pages we present a series of short essays in response to the film." 


'Green' is a female orangutan in Indonesia, beset with deforestation and resource exploitation of her habitat.  This is a non-profit film follows her; watch at the film’s website or view the trailer: http://www.greenthefilm.com/


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Al Jazeera-Nepal's Forest Future

Al Jazeera-Nepal's Forest Future | Education in the world | Scoop.it
In Nepal, government owned forests are being felled at record speed, while community managed ones are thriving.

 

This is a great link for discussing governance and the environmental interactions and community.   


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Crissy Borton's insight:

This is a great example of how communities can help themselves and their land. It works because the people live there and they have to not only think about today but tomorrow so they do not exploit their recourses

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Don Brown Jr's comment, July 30, 2012 10:55 PM
Investing in the environment is a very beneficial way to promote sustainability in an increasingly urbanized world and a cheap way to increase air quality.
Al Picozzi's curator insight, November 13, 2013 12:07 AM

This shows want can be done to help preserve some of the natural habitat that we all need to live.  While the government lands are being used, illegally, though the government does nothing to stop it becasue of the economic stimulus it provides the lands given too the commnity are surviving and actually striving.  So why can't something like this be done in the Brazilian rain forest.  Set some of it aside to the community so they can maintain it, let it grow so that one of the most important natural resoures on this planet just doesn'tend up as ashes.

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 5:00 PM

The deforestation of Nepal to supply the growing needs of India is an example of how growth in one country strips another of its resources. While Nepal may gain in the short term form logging away their forests, deforestation has steep long term costs. Many people live off the forests and their disappearance could threaten to ruin their culture.

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Remote Sensing and Land Cover Change

Remote Sensing and Land Cover Change | Education in the world | Scoop.it

Anyone who thinks we are not affecting our environment should look at this. It makes me sad all the damage we are doing. Seeing the lake drying up is scary.


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Luke Walker's curator insight, October 23, 2013 11:14 PM

See how much the Aral Sea has changed due to the impact of humans on their environment for yourself. Drag the slider tool to see a before and after. Reference your textbook (p61) for the whole story.

Amy Marques's curator insight, April 24, 12:46 PM

This map is a true testament to the people who believe human activity does not affect the earth. Humans have been transforming Earth’s surface for years, through direct activities such as farming, mining, and building, and indirectly by altering its climate. Much of the transformation taking place in the Aral sea leads to its connection to the Soviet era and their lack of understanding of the environment. This mismanagement of the Aral Sea is leading to a lack of water for the people who live in Central Asia.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 10:30 AM

The colors seen in photographs and images like this is because of the equipment used. Sometimes the quality of the equipment makes the pictures look different than they actually are. This basin has dried up over time and its surface has signs of significant change.

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Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal

Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal | Education in the world | Scoop.it

The paper mill is what is keeping this town going and the only way for it’s people to make money. The problem is the paper mill is not making any money and it is killing the once pristine lake. The government is not really fixing any of the issues. The paper mill cannot go on forever and the lake is being polluted more and more every day. They are only putting a Band-Aid on the situation


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Brett Sinica's curator insight, October 20, 2013 2:43 PM

The story of this particular mono-town is very tough to "pick sides".  The factory undoubtedly pollutes the air and land like most other industrial areas, but being so close to Lake Baikal gives environmentalists a stronger reason to complain.  The lake is considered one of the purest and most unique in the world, yet the paper mill located on its banks raise controversy.  This is where the locals and workers are stuck between a rock and hard place.  Located in Siberia, such a vast and open region with little settlements compared to the western part of the country reminds the people living there that their resources are limited.  Closing down the factory would almost eliminate income and economy for the mono-town.  This is where the fine line is drawn; the workers surely aren't happy about the pollution and environmental hazards that go along with keeping the mill open, but at the same time the people could wither away if it wasn't up and running.

Ashley Raposo's curator insight, December 19, 2013 1:42 AM

THough the Soviet Union has been gone since the early 90s, it's hold on Russia is still creating problems. The creations of monotowns were already flawed. But to have this one monotown on Lake Baikal has gained the attention of enviromentalists. All odds are against that monotown. Without it's paper factory they have no jobs and no need for the town. It is a fight between enviromental geography and human geography in this area of the world. These people are stuck in a time where even the Soviet Union looked a little better than the constant wondering of your finacial stability in an up and coming capitalist nation.

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 4, 12:05 PM

The Soviet Union scattered "monotowns" around their territory; these monotowns consist of a job-creating industrial institutions like factories which then allow the formation of towns around them.  They are located all around the former Soviet Union and are very isolated.  After the collapse of the Soviet Union, these towns continued to run due to the privatization of the industrial center.  Today, Russia's Lake Baikal, which is the deepest lake in the world and contains 20 percent of the Earth's fresh water, is home to one of these monotowns.  This particular town's economy is based on their paper mill which uses and deposits tons of chemicals.  Environmentalists are very concerned for the future of the lake while the citizens are only concerned with feeding their families and this is creating social unrest.  Due to the isolation and distance from Moscow, people cannot just pick up and leave.  Also, working with "cleaner" alternatives is way out of this town's budget.  Today, many citizens in these monotowns miss the support that the Soviet Union offered and people are literally stuck in a place where their only income is dirty.

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The relative merits of Corn Ethanol

The relative merits of Corn Ethanol | Education in the world | Scoop.it

I know this is the not point of the video but watching it all I could think of was how much Monsanto gets when land is converted to farm land and how everytime we add more corn fields the more roundup gets pumped into our land. The video though also shows once again how we look for short-term answers and not long term effects. Long term studies should still be done even if we need quick answers. Also that fact that people like the one gentlemen in the video who only want to look at how it affects their area and not globally is another issue.


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Infographic: United States of the Environment

Infographic: United States of the Environment | Education in the world | Scoop.it

I must admit I was surprised at many of the states on here. I lived in Indiana for 35 years and I certainly did not think it was very “trashy”. I was also surprised at Rhode Island’s. I wonder why breast cancer is so high here.


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Jane Fox's curator insight, June 12, 2013 2:27 AM

Environmental issues map

Brett Sinica's curator insight, September 27, 2013 12:07 PM

I am always drawn to these type of maps where data is collected to determine which states are known for this or that.  I have seen maps regarding "state food" and favorite sports teams to name a few, but this one in particular isn't so fun.  It shows each state by negative aspects which in fact could actual be useful for things such as travel.  Say you have asthma or other respiratory problems, after viewing this map one would probably stay away from California or specificaly Los Angeles due to their levels of smog.  On the other hand, according to the map, being a vegetarian in the state of Oklahoma wouldn't be as easy as a more "fruitful" place considering the state has been rated to eat the fewest fruit and vegetables.

Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, March 6, 12:03 PM

This map perfectly displays the varied negligences of the environment by all 50 states. This map speaks a thousand words about a states geography, ecology, policies, and industry.

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Finding the flotsam: where is Japan's floating tsunami wreckage headed?

Finding the flotsam: where is Japan's floating tsunami wreckage headed? | Education in the world | Scoop.it

Scientists model where and when the debris from the March 2011 Japanese tsunami will be.  The likelihood that the debris (not radioactive) will reach the U.S. west coast is increasingly likely.  Look at the great video attached to the article.   


Via Seth Dixon
Crissy Borton's insight:

Interesting to see were all the “junk” is going. I wonder how it effects the water and the ecosystem as it moves.

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Brett Sinica's curator insight, December 10, 2013 5:02 PM

This video showed time elasped which stopped in the summer of 2013, it is now December.  At the time of the video the mass was entering the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean so I'm curious to where it is now.  I can't find any current imagery of the vast ocean but it would be a neat, yet dangerous spectacle.  I could only imagine any of the harm it's causing on the sealife on its way across the pacific.  We can only hope that doesn't bring too many issues once it washes up on the west coast, if at all.

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 6:09 PM

Hopefully none of the wreckage that reaches the US is radioactive.... But the projected travel of the debris shows how ocean currents create, almost, a "natural" globalization of natural disasters. 

Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, September 1, 10:43 AM

Although it's important to know where all of this trash is headed, this just makes me think of how we might prevent this. We can't prevent these catastrophic natural disasters, but how might we lessen it's effects on our cities and settlements? Furthermore, how might we lessen our impact on ecosystems during these times of catastrophe? 

It's only called a catastrophe when it hits human populations for a reason, it's not just devastating to us. Remnants of our lifestyle are carried far and wide, able to cause harm on many other species. 

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Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai

Taking Root tells the dramatic story of Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai whose simple act of planting trees grew into a nationwide movement ...

 

Community, agriculture, gender, politics and the environment... it's all here in this inspiring clip.  


Via Seth Dixon
Crissy Borton's insight:

This is such an inspiring video. All it took was for one women, Wangari Maathai, to have an idea and to stand up for that idea for change to take place. How cool that from that one women a government was changed at 35 million trees planted!

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Sean Rooney's comment, November 5, 2012 2:52 PM
S.R. This video clip covers a wide range of the different aspects in geography. We talked about the significant impact of natural resources in countries that rely on natural resources to stimulate the economy. For example, planting trees will stimulate the economy and create jobs in Africa. This is the first step towards industrialization in Africa. The community, agriculture, gender, politics, and the environment are all interconnected.
Ana Cristina Gil's curator insight, December 10, 2013 7:02 PM

To me seem that it was more than just planting trees. Is was a way for this woman to have some type of control. Their story show how nothing is impossible, that sometimes we think that whatever little thing we do, it would not make a different. Those woman illustrate that no matter how powerless you feel. If you believe in something no stop until you get it accomplished.

Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 12, 2013 1:20 AM

It seems that the people depend on planting. it also hurts that these people have little access to water. Where other parts in this world there is too much water and it is hurting the people. It is devastating what is happening to them. The trees that are planted could help them get water in some kind of way. But it might take them a while because to grow a tree it takes years to grow.