Geography 400 at ric
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China's 'Mountain-Moving' Project

A promotional video shows planned development of a state-level development zone by government of Lanzhou, a provincial capital in China's arid northwest...


The Lanzhou province is lightly populated mainly due to it's semi-arid climate and rugged topography.  The goal is make a 500 square mile area (currently with 100,000 people) into a city with over 1 million people by 2030.  To make this new metropolis, developers are planning to literally remove mountains to create a more 'ideal' urban environment.  This makes some of the most ambitious environmental modification projects seem tame.  For more read, the accompanying article from the Guardian.  


Questions to Ponder: What potential environmental impacts come from this scale of modification?  How will this massive influx of the population impact the region?  Could this type of project happen in other part of the world? 


Tags: environment, urban ecology, planning, environment modify, China.


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Allen's insight:

The developer is claiming this will be "protective development." I am not sure if I buy that.  They are moving mountains- which means everything that comes with that, wildlife, trees, etc...  And they are building an airport and an oil refinery (amongst other things)..  Urbanizing can be great for the economy- but at what cost.   Elizabeth Allen

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Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 11, 2012 11:51 PM
The developer is claiming this will be "protective development." I am not sure if I buy that. They are moving mountains- which means everything that comes with that, wildlife, trees, etc... And they are building an airport and an oil refinery (amongst other things).. Urbanizing can be great for the economy- but at what cost.
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South Asian floods take economic toll

Environmental degradation, seasonally high rainfall, a low elevation profile and climate change combine in a very bad way for Bangladesh.  Flooding, given these geographic characteristics, is essentially a regular occurence.   For a more in-depth look at these issues from the same media outlet, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj0iZiivYJc&feature=player_embedded#!

 

In an area already stricken with poverty, the floods manifest the problems. High rains and low elevations cause massive floods in areas such as Bangladesh and Nepal. Most areas do not receive aid, especially the remote areas of the villages.  The villages are left without drinking water, agriculture is destroyed, and economic activity is no where to be found.  As Dr. Rouf explains, if the contaminated water is consumed people will be struck with sickness and disease.  Nurses fear that dehydration levels will continue to increase if people are not provided claen drinking water.

Elizabeth Allen

 


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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 7, 2012 3:41 PM
The people that live here understand that they will have flooding every year. They're smart to build elevated roads so they have some way of transportation over flooded areas. It's weird to think that this is a normal thing for them and for us we close everything down and wait in our houses.
Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 7, 2012 12:17 AM
In an area already stricken with poverty, the floods manifest the problems. High rains and low elevations cause massive floods in areas such as Bangladesh and Nepal. Most areas do not receive aid, especially the remote areas of the villages.
Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 4:55 PM

The "socio-economics of flooding" is a side of the natural disaster we don't normally think about. People most affected by floods tend to live in areas with poor infrastructure and large populations. Their displacement to cities, like Dhaka, has incredible cost. For both the family and the new place they relocate to. 

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It's Okay to go Green During the Holidays, Look at the Grinch!

It's Okay to go Green During the Holidays, Look at the Grinch! | Geography 400 at ric | 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. 

 

There have been major differences between American's food consumption compared to Africa's consumption for as long as I can remember. Here we are many years later and the devastation continues.... Comparing articles http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/interactive/2012/jul/19/sahel-food-crisis-guardian-interactive and http://ecocycle.org/holidayguide/10ways    ; Elizabeth Allen


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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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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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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 11:25 AM

Brazil is taking advantage of its natural resources to make themselves competitive in the global market. Today geography can change the shape of the economics around the globe. The prospect of economic growth and energy competitiveness has made them short sighted.  Brazil has to beware of becoming a mono-commodity country that relies on a business that is not sustainable.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 7:35 PM

While only Brazil is taking part in this and it hasn't completely replaced gasoline it is without a doubt a step in the right direction that hopefully other nations can learn from. While the hypotheses over how much oil fluctuates it is undeniable it isn't a permanent solution, the future of fuel must lie in renewal resources. Unfortunately oil companies hold so much sway in politics its unknown how much change is actually possible today. Regardless of this hopefully one day the world as a whole will realize this and seek to emulate Brazil's in innovation.

Taylor S's curator insight, March 23, 7:58 PM

It is being said that the use of Brazilian, sugarcane produced ethanol is an effective means of self-sustainable energy, more officiant then the corn produced products. the reason this relates to my 5 year plan is due to the proposal that this energy can be used to reduce the emissions given off by different industries and provide clean energy. I believe that this is important as it would reduce the type of impact these organisations have on the environment.

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Turbulence on the Mekong River

Turbulence on the Mekong River | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
The Mekong River was once a wild and primitive backwater. Today, growing demands for electricity and rapid economic growth are changing the character of what is the world's 12th-longest river.

 

Economic progress for some often entails job loss and environmental degradation for others.  The once isolated and remote Mekong is experiences some impacts of globalization with residents having mixed feelings about the prospects. 

 

The technological resources from the Mekong River are needed to keep up with population demands suchs as electricity.  However in building dams, the wildlife and naturalness on the river is being stolen.  Farmers and fishermen fear that fish will be destroyed and blocked by the dams.  They are already noticing effects from upstream- the work China has done on the river is effecting Laos' societies.  Elizabeth Allen


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Emma Lafleur's curator insight, April 30, 2013 8:03 PM

It seems to be a theme that across the bored, people are building things that directly and negatively impact the environment and the local people. There are always two sides to the problem. On one hand, the dam can help with the development of Laos because it will bring in money, but it will also destroy the fish population and therefore many fishermen will lose their jobs and people will lose a food source. It is a difficult problem because Laos needs money because there is a lot of poverty in this rural country and the fishermen do not add a whole lot to the economy, but the people need a way to survive and make money for their families as well. It's a problem that I think will be around for generation to come.

Al Picozzi's curator insight, November 26, 2013 11:35 AM

Seems the price of modernizing will be the local economy that as existed here for centuries.  It is not a small industy either, it is according to the report a billion dollar fishing industry.  However with a growing population and a demand for electricity the river is the perfect source for this power.  This globalization, like all globalization, will help some and will hurt some.  What you have to ask yourself is will it help more than it hurts?  Will it help in the long run, over time?  For everyone involoved in globalization these answeres are never the same everywhere.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 2014 9:21 PM

The Mekong river is a river that many fisherman in Laos depend on for food and income. Plans to build dams that will cause the fish to seek an alternate route to migrate upstream. Critics of the dams say that the dams will cause the fish to abandon the Mekong river and go through their neighboring rivers, leaving the residents without a source of income. Many in favor of the dams say the reverse, that building the dams will boost economy and cause the area to flourish.

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50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster

50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster: Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. ...

 

A haunting gallery that displays the effects of environmental and political mismanagement. 

 

The eerieness of the photographs is so alarming. To see the shoe of a child, or the ferris wheel he or she never got to ride... firefighters who did not now what they were up against, who lost their lives. Many people died and the unknown consequences will be everlasting. Not only did this horrific event take the lives of people, but it effected wildlife, forests, and water resources.  Elizabeth Allen


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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.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 5:06 PM

this is a haunting reminder that we must always try to prevent the horrifying failures that result from mismanagement. that this was an event that had impacts as far away as France is often forgotten, and the thoughts of what may happen if something larger happens is even more horrifying.

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Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal

Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
Workers at an ailing paper mill in Siberia are clinging to their jobs in the face of financial pressure and criticism from environmentalists.

 

The environment, industry and politics play key roles in this story of an old style Soviet mono-town on Lake Baikal.  Monotowns had planned economies that revolved around one industry and today many of these are struggling in the post-Soviet era.  While the particulars of the political situation are a bit dated, the overall issue is still quite relevant to understanding Russia today.   

 

This video provides a clear picture of lasting effects of post-Soviet times. The Siberian mill was at one time a central industry town. Now that the industry has slowed down, it is becoming criticized for its environmental flaws. Environmentalists want to close the factory down, however there is a society of workers who are soley dependent on their jobs here. Through the transition from communsim to capitalism many factors need to be considered. The factory is causing a great deal of harm to the environment and the health of the people, however to just hut it down would disrupt the stability of the people who work there.  Elizabeth Allen

 

Tags: Russia, industry, labor, environment, economic, water, pollution, environment modify, unit 6 industry.


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Alex Vielman's curator insight, November 18, 2015 11:12 PM

Lake Baikal is one Russia's oldest and deepest body of freshwater but is turning into a swamp, Russian ecologists warn. They say that tons of liquid waste from tourist camps and water transport vehicles is being dumped into the lake. The financial crisis in Russian has been a big problem because it is leaving factories abandoned and leaving waste all over towns. If Baikal is ruined, it is going to put tons of peoples lives at risk for people who depend on this water. Also, a part of this Lake is frozen. This is fresh clean water that makes this lake what it is. 

The paper factory has caused some major pollution into the lake and all the chemicals are affecting the lake each and everyday. This beautiful land could possibly be destroyed for measures aren't taken, and can also just be another wasteland. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, November 25, 2015 2:31 PM

This mill on Lake Biakal was created in the soviet era. This was created and made a increasing well place to work with the promise of a bright future for its workers. Instead when it comes to the post soviet era its a failing community. Not because of the workers but because of the era that they live in. The age of environmentalists. because of this the mill and its workers are suffering. Many of the people that had moved there to work in the mill in the 60's with a promise of a bright future. However today the people who originally moved there and the descendents are paying the price for the soviet promise. If the mill were to forever close then the people of the area would basically have no life and future. They wouldnt even have enough money to move out of look for jobs.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 1:28 PM

Seeing this video and the lack of human development in this small town is astounding. They are destroying a lake and the environment about them, they do not care though. Unfortunately, they have to not care about the environment, they are so desperate for work to make money to live and support themselves and family, that they are willing to do what it takes to keep their jobs at the mill. The workers and citizens of the area know about the consequences of the pollution, they know it needs to be taken care of, but with the depravity they have, they have to. They are faced with a situation no one want to be in... work and destroy the environment so they have money to live, or be without life necessities. 

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Infographic: United States of the Environment

Infographic: United States of the Environment | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
Every U.S. state is No. 1 in some environmental category ... and No. 50 in another.

 

A fun map that can be used to discuss environmental issues at both the national and local level for American teachers.

This is an easy way to show kids that geography is not just about locaton of states; geography can be about what may define a state.  This map can help kids to think outside of the box.       Elizabeth Allen


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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, September 22, 2014 3:11 PM

Rhode Island excels at having the lowest CO2 emissions. This makes a lot of sense when you consider the characteristics the State as it relates to pollution. Manufacturing is not a large part of Rhode Island's production, therefore CO2 emissions from factories is less than many other states. Furthermore CO2 from automobiles is low because of the small size of the state. Commutes for people working and living in Rhode Island are no longer than an hour each way. The minimal drive time for each person also cuts down possible emissions. 

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, November 1, 2014 8:41 PM

This fun and interactive map shows where each state excel and where they falter. Its interesting to see that in a state a small as Rhode Island, it has the highest rate of breast cancer in the nation. And the state of Colorado has the most avalanche deaths, which when you think of the state of Colorado, you wouldn't think of Colorado as a state with a lot of avalanches. What really surprised me  was Alaska as having the most airports per capita. One wouldn't think this of Alaska since it is a state covered mostly with snow. And it raises the question as to how many people travel in and out of the state. With all of the states surprises, one thing that shocked me a bit was how much organic food is grown in this land. That's one thing that is surprising. I once viewed this land as a of imports of just about everything, but looking at these two maps have changed my outlook of this land.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, January 24, 2015 10:12 PM

Scary to look at the New England region as five of the six states are highest in a form of cancer.Is there a causal connection that should be investigated? Probably doesn't help we live next door to NY and NJ, highest in air pollution and most Superfund sites respectively. As a parent with a son who has autism, I feel for the folks in Ohio. Both California and Florida get the "duh" award for leading in smog and boating wrecks.