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Colombia's gold rush

Colombia's gold rush | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
Gold fever is sweeping across South America and is at its most lethal in Colombia where it is fuelling the civil war.

 

 Colombia's gold mines are bringing out greed in all nations. Civilian wars are breaking out over the gold. Native people are scared and fleeing their homes. The Colombian government has to watch closely over who is working the mines. The government does not want miners without licenses in the mines, because the government will not be paid royalties on the gold.

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Derek Ethier's comment, September 30, 2012 3:57 PM
This is a sad yet all too occurring phenomenon in underdeveloped nations. In Africa, they fight Civil Wars over minerals like oil and coltan. Here the fight is over gold. When government is unable to control militant groups, they take control over natural resources using violence. It is also unfortunate that international companies are coming in to sweep up the wealth. Colombia is unlikely to keep too much of this wealth in their own nation.
Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 6, 2012 7:30 PM
Colombia's gold mines are bringing out greed in all nations. Civilian wars are breaking out over the gold. Native people are scared and fleeing their homes. The Colombian government has to watch closely over who is working the mines. The government does not want miners without licenses in the mines, because the government will not be paid royalties on the gold.
Al Picozzi's curator insight, September 29, 2013 1:58 PM

The war has now shifted from Cocaine to Gold.  Seems that alot of the planters when from planting cocaine to mining for gold...illegally according to the Columbian government.  The government is taking land from the native people and taking for themselves in order to get big business, especially foregin owned ones, to invest in their country.  Does it south familar.  It should.  1874, Black Hills in the then Dakota territory of the US.  Seems gold was found on Native American land..an expedition led by George Armstrong Custer confirmed gold was there...which led to..native Americans being forefully moved from their land into the Montana territory..which eventully led to the 1876 Great Sioux War in which Custer was killed and eventaully the Sioux and the Lakota and the Cheyenne being defeated by 1877.  Seems there is a parallel going on in South America.  Looks like the old axiom of those that do not learn history are doomed to repeat it proves itself correct again.

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Brazil's economy overtakes UK's

Brazil's economy overtakes UK's | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
Brazil has overtaken the UK as the world's sixth largest economy, the Centre for Economics and Business Research says.

 

The "BRIC" countries are surging forward and are seen as major players in the global economy (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Brazil just recently past the U.K. as the 6th largest economy.  China passed Japan not more than a year ago.    Furthermore, Russia and India are poised to pass the traditional European economic powers (U.K., Germany, France and Italy) by 2020.  In this restructuring of the global economy, what will the impacts be on various regions of the world? 

 

The statistics prove that Brazil is higher ranking economically that the UK. Brazil is succeeding economically. It must have to with their natural resources and financial gains of exporting goods.  Brazil is economically expanding.  Elizabeth Allen


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Matt Mallinson's comment, September 26, 2012 7:04 AM
Until learning this, I had no idea Brazil was considered one of the world's top six largest economies. When I think of Brazil I think of rainforests and the amazing city of Rio de Jeneiro, I want to visit there at least once before I die.
Elizabeth Allen's comment, November 16, 2012 2:28 PM
The statistics prove that Brazil is higher ranking economically that the UK. Brazil is succeeding economically. It must have to with their natural resources and financial gains of exporting goods.
Cam E's curator insight, February 11, 8:46 AM

BRIC has always interested me as an alternative to the traditional centers of economic power. The four BRIC countries are all powerful up and comers and their positioning all around the world and lack of cultural commonality make them a very intriguing force.

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Brazilian Ethanol

Brazilian Ethanol | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it

"Distilling ethanol from tropical sugarcane takes less land and uses less fossil fuel than starting with corn grown in temperate climes. That makes Brazilian ethanol, unlike the pampered and grotesquely wasteful American version, competitive with hydrocarbons and genuinely good for the environment." 

 

Although ethanol is working well for Brazil, there is a growing literature supporting the idea that wide-scale ethanol production is not sustainable or environmentally beneficial.  This is a great example to demonstrate that economic and environmental policies are locally dependent on geographic factors and are not universally transferable.  For a simple explanation of the differences in the economic and environmental differences in the production of sugar and corn-based ethanol, see: http://cei.org/studies-issue-analysis/brazilian-sugarcane-ethanol-experience  

 

Interesting information. Like anything the pros and cons need to be weighed by the experts. Everyone would love a low price alternative for fuel, but the environmental risks may be too high. Elizabeth Allen


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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 1, 2013 10:28 AM

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 10, 2013 10:27 PM

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, 2:03 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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In Honduras, Police Accused Of Corruption, Killings

The Central American nation is the most violent country in the world, according to the United Nations. A mix of drug trafficking, political instability and history adds up to a murder rate that is now four times that of Mexico.

 

Corruption is inflicting Honduras. There are many factors causing this. High drug trafficking, poor governemnt system, and high murder rates. to hear that anywhere has a higher murde rate than Mexico- is astounding. And further, to know that many murders at at the hands of police is disturbing. Affiliation in gangs and gang warfare is costing lives. The police seem crooked, so I cannot imagine crime rate will decline anytime soon. It must be bad if the Peace Corp has vacated. According to BBC News, a politician running for office is offering free burials for those that cannot afford them.  Honduras violent death rate is 1 every 74 minutes. And the police do not punish criminals....   Elizabeth Allen


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Albert Jordan's curator insight, February 4, 3:31 PM

Although this is dated approximately two years ago, the issue is still relevant. Honduras is geographically located in the middle of heavy drug trafficking routes. A poor economy and a history of political corruption, as well as a history of United States involvement in paramilitary training and aid has created a country that is not set up for stability. The issues in Honduras are very similar to the issues of many third world nations that deal heavily with drug trafficking and political corruption. Those in power, receiving aid from the U.S. use those assets against their political foes while the common people find themselves turning to illegal means to make a living. The police, being corrupt themselves since corruption is a trickle down disease, probably have a number of officers working for various gangs, cartels, and other nefarious groups. Because they can hide behind the authority of the “law,” they are able to use their force to further the agendas for whoever is putting money in their pocket. Whether it be for greed or unfortunate economic necessity, or out of fear of reprisal for not conforming it is the locals who suffer from the overwhelming police presence. These are issues that are found across the globe in countries and regions that have unstable politics that are fueled by conflict, whether it be resources, illicit substances, or other illegal trade.As the police pressure continues to mount, it is only a matter of time before serious reform takes place or violent revolution transforms the political landscape.

Paige Therien's curator insight, February 11, 10:36 AM

Honduras' role in the drug trafficking industry has increased immensely which does not mix well with their already corrupt government and police force.  However, a history of U.S. aid and security "support" is what rooted this country in violence.  Honduras' situation is spiraling out of control because the drug trafficking industry has taken advantage of its already weak state.

Amy Marques's curator insight, February 12, 7:55 PM

In the news we sometimes hear about violence taking place at the border of the US and Mexico, but you never hear of the violence in Honduras. With a mix of drug trafficking, corruption, political instability and history has led to a murder rate that is now four times that of Mexico., which is pretty hard to think of since there Mexico already has a high muder right. The situation has gotten so bad that the Peace Corps has withdrawn its volunteers.

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In Venezuela Housing Crisis, Squatters Find 45-Story Walkup

In Venezuela Housing Crisis, Squatters Find 45-Story Walkup | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
An unfinished skyscraper occupied by squatters is a symbol of Venezuela’s financial crisis in the 1990s, state control of the economy and a housing shortage.

 

This skyscraper that was once a symbol of wealth, in an incredible paradigm shift, has now become is occupied by squatters. The lack of a vibrant formal economy and more formal housing leads to a lack of suitable options for many urban residents--especially with problems in the rural countryside. A complex web of geographic factors needs to be explained to understand this most fascinating situation. The video link "Squatters on the Skyline" embedded in the article is a must see.

 

Truly amazing. People and businesses occupying an un-safe government owned building. I give them credit for what they have achieved in attempt to survive. The government is obviously falling short in the promise to supply low-income housing. This building was to symbolize "mettle" proving Caracas to be a courageous capital, now it describes the people left to live there. It is sad to see the deplorable conditions that the people are left to live or in, or even worse, to die in. 

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Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 2:34 PM

The video we watched of the squatters living in an unfinished skyscraper was unlike anything I've ever seen before. In a country with such high population rates and a housing shortage, people have gotten creative and made homes in this 45 story building where they share what would have been office spaces and bathrooms.  Over 2,500 people have moved into the dilapidated skyscraper and made a home out of it for their families. They have rigged electricity that the government does not provide for them and built small stores on almost every floor.  The people have not been evicted because the government of Venezuela knows of the housing shortages, yet does not fix it.  

I feel ashamed that a country with so many oil resources has such high rates of poverty and no one is fixing it.  It shows the corruption in the government through an extreme although innovative example.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, February 17, 7:46 AM

The problems in Venezuela with housing and the lack of response to the problem by the government has led people to become squatters.  The using of the abandoned buildings was a good idea by the original squatters.  The vacant buildings can house many of the countries it is a shame that the government did not think of this solution to the housing problem and vacant building first, if they had, they could have made sure they were safer for the residence.  The idea of a vertical city springing up in this building is also an interesting one.  Not only are squatters living in these buildings but creating businesses and other services for the residence.

Jess Deady's curator insight, February 18, 10:02 AM

In life, I constantly find myself comparing situations with what I read and what I know. Imagine this skyscraper is the Prudential in Boston. How could something meant to be so great fall to its death (and to peoples literal deaths)? One day there is a massive financial building occupied with bankers and lavishness. The next day there is a skyscraper in the form of a house. Housing shortages are happening everywhere and Venezuela is being hit hard in this situation. Imagine visiting this country and asking where someone lives? "Oh, I live in the Tower of David, which used to mean a whole lot more."